Open Two Windows in the Finder Side by Side

I would like to open the Finder in two windows, side by side. Has someone created a trigger or script for this?

This should work:

Finder, side by side.kmmacros (3.8 KB)


Thanks for this.

For me the classic one is the pairing of Downloads and Applications: Every time a new Drafts beta comes out I'm wanting to drag it from one to the other. But then I want to close both windows again afterwards - which probably has to be a separate action.

Here's a Macro I use several times a day to get pretty much any two Windows I want side by side and filling the screen.

It works in a similar way to @Jim's example Macro above. But it has some If Then Else stuff to choose which open Windows you want to tile.

To use this Macro, you just click once on each of the two Windows you want to tile and press the shortcut (in my case ⌥2) and the two Windows will be tiled side by side with the Window you clicked on last being on the Left side of screen.

It assumes that if you click on two Finder Windows you want to tile them, with the second Finder window clicked on being put on the left side.

If you click in other Applications it assumes you want to tile the window from one to the left and the window from the other Application to the right.

If you want to have a Finder window and another Application's window, just make sure to click on the Finder Window first.

I most often use this to tile two Finder Windows - for situations like this:

But I also use it to tile say, a Preview Window (to show an invoice) and a Safari Window (to show my online Bank).

If the two Windows come up with the one you want on the left on the right, just click on them each again and press the shortcut - whichever you click on last will be on the Left.

Like I said, I find myself using this Macro several times a day.

Any Two Windows Side by Side.kmmacros (9.7 KB)



Thanks Jim, just what I needed.

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hey, thanks Zabobon. I've loaded this one too.

Not that you need yet another solution, but it looks like Monterey has a new menu item under the Window menu for most apps in Monterey which says "Tile Window to Left of Screen" and "Tile Window to Right of Screen."

I just tried them out, and they seem to do what you want.

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Hey Guys,

I compared @Jim's macro to AppleScript thinking the script would be noticeably faster, but they were about the same speed. Kudos to @peternlewis for that.

In any case – on my system I reckon this task feels a bit faster and smoother if you rearrange the actions in the macro just a trifle:

Finder – Open Two Folders Side by Side.kmmacros (4.4 KB)
Keyboard Maestro Export



Hey Martin,

Why bother fooling with drag and drop when you can move it directly and replace the original?

set destinationFolder to path to applications folder

tell application "Finder"
   set finderSelectionList to selection as alias list
   if length of finderSelectionList = 0 then error "No files were selected in the Finder!"
   set theItem to item 1 of finderSelectionList
   move theItem to destinationFolder with replacing
end tell

I've got a fairly large script that on activation automatically moves the selected items from the Downloads folder to various places depending upon file-type and/or WhereFroms metadata.

It's easy enough to further process for file name or content.

I also have macro that lets me choose the destination from a pick-list:


I suppose the upshot of all this is – if you're going to automate the process why not go whole hog?  :sunglasses:



I think that's been there for a while (at least since Catalina - or maybe it's the actual menu item that's new? - certainly having is as a menu item makes it easier to invoke or even automate with Keyboard Maestro :slightly_smiling_face:). For some reason I tried it in the past and found it wasn't simple enough - I think because it also puts the apps into full screen and opens them on a new desktop. But I just had another look at it and will give it another go. I do like the fact you can drag a central bar left or right to favour one window or the other. It's worth reading the official Apple instructions as they explain how it works and how to get out of that mode etc. (I must admit, the way it's implemented feels unnecessarily complicated especially as when you leave the mode you're left with one of the Windows on its own desktop space - that's probably why I gave up with it in the past and used my simple Keyboard Maestro Macro to tile the two windows side by side.)

Years ago I used an Amiga Computer and there was an App called "Directory Opus" which was like the Finder but by default had its window split in two to make it easy to copy files from one place to another. That felt simple and logical and this "Tile Window to Left/Right of Screen" reminds me of that.

Thanks for this. My inclination was to automate the whole thing, too. But - and there might be a more general lesson in this - the islands of automation in my head weren't joined up: I assumed I'd be doing the drag - which would've meant two automations.

You've pointed out the whole thing could be a single action. Joining up the islands of automation makes much more sense.

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I really enjoy seeing all the amazingly creative and super intelligent ways that everyone discovers for using KM and I look forward to reading each and every posting on this board. But, since someone else has already referred to an app that could perform this task, I thought I'd briefly mention that I've used an app called PathFinder for years and, although it has a wealth of features that I, now, find I couldn't function without, the thing that initially attracted me to the app was it's super-useful dual window and preview set up.

I'm merely an end user and have zero association with the app's developer but thought I'd mention its existence in case the person initiating this thread might find it useful.


Hey @LWks,

Good luck reading all the posts on the forum. There's around 18,000 this year alone...


I've owned licenses for Path Finder and ForkLift and a couple of others for many years, but I only trot them out when I want their specific features.

I find that for most things I prefer the Finder and my custom AppleScripts & Keyboard Maestro macros.



I use both Path Finder and ForkLift also. I like the idea of using Finder in a side-by-side orientation but I want it to work in a Split View window. I may try to write one of those.

@eno, yes. And thanks to the power of Keyboard Maestro it's easy to create a more general macro.

DOWNLOAD Macro File:
Position N Windows.kmmacros (12 KB)
Note: This macro was uploaded in a DISABLED state. It must be ENABLED before it can be run. If it does not trigger, the macro group might also need to be ENABLED.


Hey Jason,

Look carefully at the Resize a Window action.


That gets you 90% of the way there.


I tried a few things yesterday but wasn't successful.

I didn't want the finder windows to just SHOW side-by-side, I wanted them to TILE in Split View.

My strategy was this:

  1. Open finder window 1 for Downloads
  2. Open finder window 2 for Desktop
  3. Send a keystroke (which I had created in System Preferences that handled the "Tile Window To Left of Screen" function) to put the Mac in Split View and anchors one of the finder windows to the left. That all worked fine.

However, I could only sporadically get the other finder window to anchor to the right. I tried bringing it to the front, and them mousing and clicking on it. One time it worked, then four times it didn't. I played around with various Pause intervals to no success.

Also, sometimes the Desktop finder was tiled left and sometimes it was the Downloads window that was tiled left. I even tried a pause in there but it didn't work consistently. No ideal why there was an anomaly here.

I had other things to do so I may try another attempt over the weekend. If I get it working, I'll post it. For now, I have this finder placement in a fixed mission control desktop that I just scroll over to when needed but I'd prefer being able to do it in KB. I have these other apps (ForkLift and Path Finder) so it's no big deal if I can't get it working.

Personally I have found the inbuilt OS Split View very confusing and I really don't like that it opens the windows in a new Desktop which leaves everything in an odd state when you close one of the windows. I tried to like it but stopped using it. It feels like it could have been implemented a lot better as potentially it is such a useful feature. I went back to using my reliable Keyboard Maestro Macro to simply click on any two windows I wanted to arrange side by side and press a shortcut.

It's always hard to explain what a Macro does in words so, I've made a little Gif to show it in action. Click any two open windows and press the shortcut, the window clicked on last will be tiled to the left. It's one of my most used Macros.

Screen Recording 2021-12-10 at 11.47.44-Animated GIF Small

I wanted the windows docked together with a slider between them.

For now, I just set them up manually on a separate desktop that I can Control+RightArrow over to when needed.

Maybe, I'll write a Swift UI app with a split view container and place finder apps in them. That might be better than Split View.

I'm going to download Mosaic and see if it does this. Maybe I can use Mosaic in combination with Keyboard Maestro.