Finder: Open Folder in New Window When Open in Tabs Is Finder Default?

Okay, tabs are swell for certain things, but I'd like the option to open a selected Finder folder in a new window.

According to this, holding down the option key while right-clicking should do just that:

Well, it doesn't for me, and I'm wondering if there's a macro for this.

I searched and couldn't find it.

Thank you in advance!


Sorry, I’m not 100% sure what you are trying to do.

If you are looking at a Finder window, and that Finder window shows you a folder, then you can do a Control+Click to get a contextual menu that looks like this:

Then, if you release the Control key and press+hold the Option key, that “Open in New Tab” will change to “Open in New Window”:

Is that what you’re trying to do?

I’m not sure how you could do that with a keyboard shortcut, as you’d have to have the folder actually selected, not just Control+Click selected.

Hello tjluoma!

That is EXACTLY what I was trying to do, and perhaps I read through the article I cited too quickly.

I ddn't understand why holding down the OPTION+Click wasn't working, and didn't realize there was more of a dance to it.

Many thanks!


I believe you can set a keyboard shortcut through System Preferences, which you would make specifically available within Finder, targeting the menu item "Open in New Window" (case-sensitive).

My Mac died so I can't confirm this isn't wishful thinking for alternative menu items, but the menu item should physically exist even if it's not visible, so Apple would have gone out of their way to prevent this from working if it doesn't.

Otherwise, AppleScript:

tell application id ""
	repeat with f in (the selection as alias list)
		if folder = the class of item f then tell ¬
			(make new Finder window) to set ¬
			[target, index] to [f, 1]
	end repeat
end tell
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Hello CJK:

This was my thinking as well, but if your Finder preferences are set to ""Open folders in tabs instead of new windows"…


…then that menu option is not available:


That said, your AppleScript does the trick (and, of course, I've made it a KM macro…).

At least this non-power-user was not able to get it to show up.

Thank you for considering this, CJK.


@Soucek I do have Finder set to open in tabs. While the File menu is open, you ought to be able to press down the option key and see some items change. I was reasonably sure that those items that are only visible in this state still made viable keyboard shortcuts. However, if you did actually try this, and confirmed it not to be the case, then I'm glad at least the AppleScript does the job.

Hey Paul,

Select the folder in the Finder and type: O

Cmd-Ctrl-O (not zero).


1 Like

Hi Guys and @ccstone,

I'm also interested in what @Soucek is interested in doing but at least for me no matter what I do I can't get it to open (for specific occasions) in a new window – it seems it always adds a new tab on Catalina (latest updates as of 03/05/2020).

Perhaps there is a more intelligent way to this so ill try to present what I'm trying to do.
I do want most new Finder windows to stay in 1 window and populate tabs so I have this setup:

Yet I want to create some Finder pre-defined layouts. That is have Keyboard Maestro open a new Finder window with a predefined set of tabs.

Currently no matter what I try it adds these as new tabs to the current Finder window instead of creating a new window.

thx all


When you say TABS are you talking about different panes in one finder window or the columns displayed line i.e. size etc.

What happens if you do
Activate Finder
New window CMD+N
Open a folder in that window (with path) KM open action
New Window CMD+N
Open a folder in that window (with path) KM open action

Is this what you want?

Here is an untested idea, but I did do some manual testing with the Finder.

Here's a process I think would work:

  1. Open a New Finder window (use the menu command)
  2. Use the View > Goto > Folder to set the folder for the new window.
  3. For each TAB you want to add:
    1. File > New Tab
    2. View > Goto > Folder

I'm pretty sure you can do all that in KM, must using the Select or Show a Menu Item action.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

thx all!
i ended up using this macro based on your tips to suit my needs

im attaching if anyone is interested

thx again