How to Change Views in macOS Finder

There are four different ways you can view your files in the macOS Finder: Icon, List, Column, and Cover Flow. By changing the way you view files in Finder, you can work more efficiently on your Mac.

To see any view, first open a Finder window by clicking on the Finder icon in your dock

Icon View in Finder

Click on the Icon View icon in the upper left. It looks like four tiny squares in a box shape. This changes the view to icons, which are easier to see and make a colorful desktop.

List View

The List View icon (four parallel lines) shows the files in a list of names. Click on the column headers, like “Date Modified” to change the order the files are sorted in.

Column View

Click on the Column View icon to show the files in columns. The highlighted file appears in the middle column in list view, with the icon on the right and the parent directory in the left.

Cover Flow View

Click on the Cover Flow icon to see a preview of image files in the top pane with the file list in the bottom.

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Jennifer Kyrnin
Jennifer Kyrnin has been building websites since 1995, and teaching others how to do it since 1997. She's written several books on the topic, and is probably working on another one right now. And she does it all on her beloved iMac and sometimes her MacBook Air.