How to Arrange and Sort Files on Mac

One of the new and most useful ways of sorting files is by date, however till date files are sorted on the basis of name and type by most of the Mac users. Various options to sort applications, files, folders and documents based on date, whose utilization is excellent in the Finder List View are allowed by the Mac finders.

In Mac OS, “Created Date”,“Modified Date”,“Added Date” and “Last Opened Date” are some of the options ideally used in the date based sorting, to help arrange the data. Many time users might not have used these features before or might not be familiar with their presence. Hence, this article will help Mac users to make use of these date based sorting methods.

It doesn’t matter, which system software release you are using. Mostly, every existing edition of Mac OS X and Mac OS are having these options.

Learn to arrangefiles by date in Mac OS Finder

  • Search the folder whose contents you want to organize by date, or make use of “All My Files”option after opening the Finder in Mac OS
  • In the Finder window title bar, click and choose the “List” view option
  • Drag down the “View” menu and select “Show View Options”
  • Select the options of date sorting,that allows Finder window, in the “Show Columns” view*
  • To arrange files by date, click on the just enabled date column at the finder window.

*Only the Finder folder opened at present gets affected by view settings. But you can set your options selected here, as default options on Mac’s other Finder windows by selecting the button “Use as Defaults”.

Here, we select to sort files by the “Date Modified” column type in the library folder.

The oldest date appears on the top,if the arrowhead after the date column points upwards. On the other hand, if it points downwards, the latest dates will be on top.I’ll always go for the latest dates to appear on the top but other users have their own preferences. So, to toggle this forward and backward, you can click the date column.

In Mac finder, what is the meaning of file sort by using date sorting options? 

Question about the actual meaning of sorting settings and column is striking? Allow, do and learn them by yourself or below are some general options:

  • If sorting files or folders, on the basis of their original creation date – Date Created
  • Sorting of files or folders on the basis of their last modification and alteration date –Date Modified
  • Sort by when folders, files were added to the computer or the current location – Date Added
  • Sort accordingly when a folder or file was last opened, whether opened just to view not to modify or change – Date Last Opened

“Date Last Opened” and “Date Modified” are my preferred date-based sorting. I prefer “Date Modified” for other folders and files on a Mac though I found “Date Last Opened” to be useful in all my files.

To find out when a particular file or app is opened last time, the “Date Last Opened” sort setting is very useful. It can be used for your own needs as well as for snooping purposes, example- being a parent, if you want to know when the last time a video game or app was played, you can do this by sorting the container folder by using “Date Last Opened” option.

Other way in to date-based sorting methods for files in the Mac Finder 

Present in the list view,right-click in the sorting columns is another way for the arrangement of files based on date-sorting method provided by Mac Finder.

This shows a drop down menu from which you can select the different sorting options. If you want to have date-based sorting options available in the same way, you have to be in Finder list view necessarily.

This clearly concern to sorting of files in the visual file system named Mac Finder in Mac OS. However you can also arrange it by date at the command line, if you are a terminal dweller.

This article has been written by the author Maria Silvia who always works hard to collect and transfer news, ideas and information related to the technology. She always tries to provide her readers with the best knowledge which further helps its readers. Some related topics on which she had wrote are support for apple and mac support etc.

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