Skip to main content

How to find and copy a file path on Mac

Whether for troubleshooting a problem or for quick access, it's useful to know how to find and copy a file path on Mac. This places the path name on your clipboard for you to paste elsewhere, like in Notes as a reference or in Terminal for additional actions.

We’ll show you a few ways to locate and copy the path for a file or folder in macOS.



What You Need

  • Mac computer

File paths in Finder

One of the easiest ways to view a file path is in Finder on your Mac. Along with it, we’ll show you how to use the context menu to copy that path.

Step 1: Open Finder on your Mac and navigate to the file or folder you want to view.

Step 2: To simply see the file path, select View > Show path bar in the menu bar.

Show Path Bar in the Finder View menu.

Step 3: You’ll then see the path display at the bottom of the Finder window.

Path Bar in a Finder window on Mac.

Step 4: To copy the file path, right-click the item in Finder to display the context menu.

Right-click context menu on Mac.

Step 5: Hold the Option key while the context menu is open and select Copy [name] as Pathname.

The file path is then on your clipboard for you to paste where you wish.

Copy Pathname in the context menu on Mac.

File paths in Get Info

Another convenient location to view and copy a file path is with the Get Info tool.

Step 1: Select the item on your desktop or in Finder.

Step 2: Press Command + I or right-click and pick Get info.

Get Info in the context menu for a folder.

Step 3: When the Get Info window opens, expand the General section at the top and you’ll see the file path next to Where. Drag your cursor through the path to highlight it.

Path name next to Where in the Get Info window.

Step 4: Press Command + C to copy the path or right-click and choose Copy as Pathname.

Copy as Pathname in Get Info.

Step 5: With the path on your clipboard, you can then paste it where needed. The path should display correctly with the arrows replaced by forward slashes.

File path from Get Info pasted into Notes.

File paths in Go To Folder

You may only think of opening Finder’s Go To Folder tool when you need to navigate somewhere on Mac. But this nifty tool can also provide the file path of an item.

Step 1: With Finder active, select Go > Go to folder from the menu bar.

Go to Folder in the Finder Go menu.

Step 2: When the window opens, select the X on the right side of the Search bar to clear the field if necessary.

X in the Go To Folder search bar.

Step 3: Drag your file or folder into the Search bar at the top of the window. You’ll then see the path for the item in that field.

Dragging a folder into the Go To Folder window.

Step 4: From there, select the path and either use Command + C or right-click and pick Copy.

With the path on your clipboard, you can paste it where you like.

Copy in the shortcut menu in Go To Folder.

File paths in Terminal

If you’re a fan of using Terminal to perform actions on your Mac, then you can use this app to display and copy a file path as well.

Step 1: Open Terminal as you normally would or by going to the Utilities folder and selecting the application.

Terminal in the MacOS Utilities folder.

Step 2: When the Terminal window opens, drag your file or folder into it. You’ll then see the file path display in the window.

Dragging a folder into the Dragging a folder into the Terminal window.

Step 3: Right-click and choose Copy to place the path on your clipboard and paste it where needed.

Copy in the Terminal shortcut menu.

If you want to see the full path of a file or folder on Mac, you have a few easy ways to do so, as well as copying that path to your clipboard.

Editors' Recommendations

How Microsoft 365 Copilot unleashes ChatGPT from its restraints
Copilot in Microsoft Word generating results.

Thanks to ChatGPT, natural language AI has taken the world by storm. But so far, it's felt boxed in. With these chatbots, everything happens in one window, with one search bar to type into.

We've always known these large language models could do far more, though, and it was only a matter of time until that potential was unlocked. Microsoft has just announced Copilot, its own integration of ChatGPT into all its Microsoft 365 apps, including Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and more. And finally, we're seeing the way generative AI is going to be used more commonly in the future -- and it's not necessarily as a straightforward chatbot.
Bringing natural language into apps

Read more
Firefox just got a great new way to protect your privacy
Canva in Firefox on a MacBook.

If you’re fed up with signing up for new accounts online and then being perpetually spammed in the days and weeks after, Mozilla has an idea that could help. The company has just announced its Firefox Relay feature is being directly integrated into its Firefox web browser, and it could help guarantee your privacy without any extra hassle.

Firefox Relay works by letting you create email “masks” when you sign up for new accounts. Instead of entering your real credentials into the sign-up field, Firefox Relay provides you with a throwaway address and phone number to use. Any messages from the website -- such as purchase receipts -- are then forwarded to your real email address, with all the sender’s tracking information stripped out to protect your privacy.

Read more
How to cancel Spotify Premium on your desktop or iOS device
The app screen on Spotify that says Cancel Premium.

Spotify is the world's most popular music and podcast streaming service for a reason. It has a catalog of over 100 million songs, the interface is fun and easy to use, and it's full of features that allow for music discovery, great playlist creation, and sharing. And while its main Achilles heel is that it doesn't offer higher resolution audio like many of its competitors such as Apple Music, Tidal, and Amazon Music, it's Premium tiers are reasonably priced at between $10 and $16 per month. So why would anyone want to cancel Spotify?

Read more