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How to use tags in macOS finder

If you sometimes get lost in a sea of files on your Mac, Jack Wallen wants to introduce you to a handy, built-in feature that can make your life much more efficient.

MacOS has a lot of features that help make your life more efficient. Some of those features are obvious and some not so much.

One feature that falls into the latter category is Finder tags. Have you ever tried to find a specific file (of a specific type), but can’t remember where you saved it and can’t even remember the name? You can, however, remember what kind of document it was. Maybe it was an .m4a file, a .pdf, or a .docx file.

SEE: Apple Silicon M1 Mac buying guide: 2021 iMac vs. 2020 MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac mini (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Fortunately, macOS has a built-in feature to give you a hand. That feature is tags. You know what tags are. You’ve probably used them on social media or within Gmail. Essentially, they are a way to save information within a file’s metadata that makes it easier for you to find those files. Say, for example, you sometimes create video files, but you’re not terribly good at managing your file system. You could tag that file with a video tag, add the tag to the Finder sidebar, and those video files are just a click away from locating.

Let me show you how this is done.
First, we must create a new tag.
Open Finder and then click Finder | Preferences. (Figures A and B)

Figure A

Figure B

In the resulting window, click + to create a new tag (Figure C)

Give the new tag a name (such as Video) and an optional color (Figure D)

Figure D

Once you’ve added the new tag, make sure the checkbox is checked to show the new tag in the sidebar (for easy access).
To tag files, locate them in Finder, right-click on, and then click Tags (Figure E).

Figure E

In the tags popup, select the newly-created tag to associate the file (Figure F).

Figure F

Once you’ve tagged the files, they’ll appear in Finder by clicking on the related tag (Figure G).

Figure G

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