How to select multiple files on macOS

select multiple files on macOS

File selection is an integral step whether you need to move or copy work reports to a different folder on your PC or you are deleting old documents off your computer. Selecting one file is rather an easy step and nobody needs to be taught how to do it. However, you may get into a fix while selecting multiple files to carry out the move, copy or remove tasks. This occurs especially when the files are not adjacent in a folder.

Like many other desktop operating systems macOS allows you to select multiple files at once so that you can organize them conveniently and you don\’t have to perform it for each file individually. In this article, we will guide you on how to make multiple file selections easier. You must know these simple steps to make your PC work efficiently and to save your face from looking like a novice.

Select multiple files on macOS

Selecting multiple files simultaneously on macOS is not that complicated once you get the hang of it. It can be done in various ways, depending on if they are in a folder or on your desktop.

1. Select all files in a folder.

2. Select multiple files present adjacent to each other, up to a certain row. In other words, the files can be selected in the order they appear in Finder.

3. Select multiple files randomly or present non-adjacent. The files you want to select are not in any particular order i.e., in different rows at different positions in Finder.

1. Select all files in a folder

Follow these steps to select all files in the folder:

1. Click near the first item.

2. Press and hold the trackpad or mouse button, then drag over all of the files.

This method is especially useful in the Icon view in the Finder.

Keyboard shortcut: Click a window to make it active, then press Command + A.

2.  Selecting multiple files – adjacent

Here\’s how you can select files that are not in any particular order i.e., in different rows at different positions in Finder.

1. Click the first file.

2. Hold down the Shift key.

3. Click the last file. All files in between are included in the selection.

Arrow keys gesture:

1. Use the Right arrow key to begin selecting files.

2. To make a larger selection, you can use the Down arrow key and select multiple files simultaneously.

Touchpad gesture:

Select one file and drag over the files you want to select.

3. Select multiple files – Non-adjacent

Random or non-contiguous file selection is a little tricky in that you need to use both the keyboard and the touchpad to do it.

1. Open Finder.

2. Go to the folder you want to select files in.

3. Click the first file you want to include in the selection.

4. Press and hold the Command key.

5. Meanwhile, click the next file you want to select.

Continue clicking the files you want for bulk selection, just keep in mind to keep holding the Command key down.

Note: If your trackpad isn’t working, you can always connect a mouse to your Mac and click with it instead of the trackpad.

4. Deselect one file from multiple selected files

You can deselect one file by following this.

1. Hold the Command key.

2. Click the file you want to remove from the selected file list.

Also Read: How to open ASPX files on Windows


To move, copy, and make changes to your files, you usually have to select them first. Multiple selections save you from performing the task on each file individually. File selection is mostly the same on macOS as in other major desktop operating systems. The only real difference is that the Command key is used to modify the type of selection unlike the Control key on Windows and Linux. This is the only part that causes confusion while selecting files.

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