The place to learn about your Mac. Tips and tutorials for novices and experts.

How to Make an Alias (Shortcut) in Mac OS X

If you've ever wished you could have a single folder in two different places at once, you should consider creating an alias, which is known as a shortcut on Windows-based operating systems. An alias looks like a folder, but when you double click it, you open the actual folder it points to. It's literally a shortcut to a different directory on your Mac.

Many people create aliases for their most commonly used folders, such as Documents or Applications, and move those aliases to the Desktop. That way they can quickly access the folder without having to open a new Finder window and navigate to it.

Here's how to make an alias (shortcut) in Mac OS X:

  1. Open the Finder, and then navigate to the folder you want to create an alias of.

  2. Select the folder by clicking on it once. You'll know the folder is selected when it's highlighted, as shown below.

  3. From the File menu, select Make Alias, as shown below.

  4. The alias appears, as shown below. You know it's an alias because it has a little arrow on its icon.

Now you can now rename the shortcut and drag it anywhere you want. Go ahead, try it! Just remember that when you open the alias, you'll actually be in the original folder.

Meet Your Macinstructor

Matt Cone, the author of Master Your Mac, has been a Mac user for over 20 years. A former ghost writer for some of Apple's most notable instructors, Cone founded Macinstruct in 1999, a site with OS X tutorials that boasts hundreds of thousands of unique visitors per month. You can email him at: [email protected].


Copyright © 2016 Macinstruct. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.