Finder is an integral part of macOS. It allows you to browse your Mac’s file system and access any attached devices, be it an external disk, a thumb drive, or a camera, all in one place.

change default finder folder on mac
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By default, Finder is configured to show your most recent files whenever you open it. However, as you can imagine, this isn’t always ideal for many people, as everyone has their own preference when it comes to storing their work on the Mac.

Thankfully, Apple lets you change the default Finder folder on macOS. Here’s how to do this.

Why Change the Default Finder Folder?

In its default configuration, Finder opens to the Recents folder on your Mac, which lists all the files you’ve recently viewed or interacted with on your Mac. But since there’s almost little to no use in having your Finder window open to these files, it makes sense to change it to a folder you use very often.

Needless to say, some users use other locations, like Desktop, the Documents folder, or even a custom folder to save their work. In which case, changing the default Finder folder to that folder can save them a few clicks.

How to Change Default Finder Folder on Mac

As of macOS Monterey, you can set the new Finder window to show the home folder, Desktop, Documents, iCloud Drive, or your local storage. In addition, if you use a custom folder to save your work, you can also set Finder to display the same on your Mac.

Follow these steps to change the default Finder folder on Mac:

  1. Open Finder on your Mac.
  2. Tap on Finder in the menu bar and select Preferences. Or alternatively, press Command + , keyboard shortcut to access Finder Preferences directly.
    finder preferences
  3. Make sure you’re in the General tab.
    finder preferences
  4. Click on the dropdown for New Finder windows show: and select a location from the listed options. If you want to use a custom folder location that isn’t listed, click on Other…, and using Finder, navigate to the folder you want to set as the default Finder folder, select it, and hit Choose.
    selecting default finder folder on mac

Finder will now set your selected folder as the default folder. Consequently, when you open Finder on your Mac, it will open your new default folder/location.

Customize Finder to Your Preference

While Finder seems restrictive in terms of functionality, you’ll be surprised to find out that it offers a wide range of options for customization. Changing the default folder is one of the most basic customizations you can perform in Finder to control what appears in a new Finder window. There are various Finder options you can tweak/customize to make Finder work better for you.

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