Using Explorer on Mac: Step-by-Step Guide

How do I use Explorer on Mac?

If you’re a Mac user and find yourself needing to access files and folders on a Windows computer or network, you may be wondering how to use Windows Explorer on your Mac. While Windows Explorer is the default file manager for Windows operating systems, Macs use a different file management system called Finder. However, there are several ways you can access and navigate Windows Explorer on your Mac.

1. Using a Virtual Machine

If you need to use Windows Explorer on a regular basis, one option is to install a Windows virtual machine on your Mac using software like Parallels or VMware Fusion. A virtual machine allows you to run a separate operating system, like Windows, within a window on your Mac. Once you have a virtual machine set up with Windows, you can use Windows Explorer just like you would on a Windows computer.

2. Remote Desktop Connection

Another option is to use a remote desktop connection to access a Windows computer or server from your Mac. This allows you to control a Windows computer remotely and use Windows Explorer as if you were sitting right in front of it. There are several remote desktop applications available for Mac, including Microsoft Remote Desktop and TeamViewer.

3. Network Sharing

If you only need to access files and folders on a Windows computer or network occasionally, you can use network sharing to connect to the Windows computer from your Mac. To do this, you’ll need to ensure that both computers are on the same network and that file sharing is enabled on the Windows computer. Once connected, you can use Finder on your Mac to browse and access files and folders on the Windows computer.

While Macs and Windows computers have different file management systems, there are ways for Mac users to access and navigate Windows Explorer. Whether you choose to use a virtual machine, a remote desktop connection, or network sharing, you can successfully use Windows Explorer on your Mac.

Installing Explorer on Mac

Here are the step-by-step instructions to install Explorer on your Mac:

  1. Make sure your Mac meets the system requirements for Explorer. You can find the system requirements on the official Explorer website.
  2. Open your preferred web browser and navigate to the official Explorer website.
  3. Locate the download link for the Mac version of Explorer and click on it.
  4. The download should start automatically. If it doesn’t, click on the provided link to initiate the download.
  5. Once the download is complete, locate the downloaded file in your Downloads folder or the specified download location.
  6. Double-click on the downloaded file to start the installation process.
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. You may be required to enter your administrator password.
  8. Once the installation is finished, you should see the Explorer icon in your Applications folder or in the Dock.
  9. Click on the Explorer icon to launch the application.
  10. When prompted, sign in using your Explorer account credentials or create a new account if you don’t have one.
  11. Follow any additional setup instructions provided by the application to personalize your Explorer experience.
  12. Congratulations! You have successfully installed Explorer on your Mac.

Note: It is always recommended to download software from official sources to ensure its authenticity and security. Be cautious of downloading Explorer from unofficial websites or through third-party sources. Always double-check the integrity of the download and verify its source before proceeding with the installation.

Opening Explorer on Mac

Explorer, the file management tool on Windows, is not available on Mac by default. However, you can use an alternative file management tool called Finder, which comes pre-installed on all Mac computers. Here’s how you can open Finder:

  1. Click on the “Finder” icon located on the dock. The Finder icon looks like a blue and white smiley face.
  2. If you can’t find the Finder icon on the dock, you can also click on the “Go” menu in the menu bar at the top of the screen and select “Finder” from the dropdown menu.
  3. Another way to open Finder is by using the shortcut key combination “Command + Space” to open Spotlight search. Type “Finder” in the search bar and select the “Finder” application from the search results.

Once you have opened Finder, you can navigate through your files and folders, create new folders, copy, move, and delete files, and perform various file management tasks, similar to how you would use Explorer on Windows.

Navigating the Explorer Interface

When using Explorer on your Mac, it is important to familiarize yourself with the interface and its various components. This will help you navigate through your files and folders more efficiently.

  • Toolbar: The toolbar is located at the top of the Explorer window and provides quick access to commonly used functions such as creating new folders, copying and pasting files, and searching for specific items.
  • Navigation Pane: The navigation pane is located on the left side of the window and displays the different locations you can navigate to, such as your computer’s storage, external drives, and network locations.
  • File and Folder List: The file and folder list is located in the main area of the Explorer window. It displays the contents of the currently selected location, allowing you to view and access your files and folders.
  • Details Pane: The details pane is located on the right side of the window and provides additional information about the selected file or folder, such as its size, date modified, and file type.
  • Breadcrumb Bar: The breadcrumb bar is located at the top of the Explorer window below the toolbar. It displays the current location and allows you to easily navigate back to previous locations by clicking on the desired folder in the breadcrumb trail.
  • Search Box: The search box is located in the top-right corner of the Explorer window. You can use this box to quickly search for specific files or folders by typing keywords or file names.

By understanding and utilizing these different components of the Explorer interface, you can efficiently navigate through your files and folders on your Mac.

Managing Files and Folders in Explorer

Explorer on Mac allows you to easily manage your files and folders. Here are some basic actions you can perform:

  • Creating a New Folder: To create a new folder, navigate to the location where you want to create the folder and click on the “New Folder” button. Enter a name for the folder and press Enter.
  • Renaming a File or Folder: To rename a file or folder, right-click on it and select the “Rename” option. Enter the new name and press Enter.
  • Copying Files and Folders: To copy a file or folder, select it and press Command+C. Navigate to the destination folder, right-click, and select the “Paste” option. Alternatively, you can also drag and drop the file or folder to the desired location.
  • Moving Files and Folders: To move a file or folder, select it and press Command+X. Navigate to the destination folder, right-click, and select the “Paste” option. Alternatively, you can also drag and drop the file or folder to the desired location.
  • Deleting Files and Folders: To delete a file or folder, right-click on it and select the “Move to Trash” option. Alternatively, you can select the file or folder and press Command+Delete.
  • Searching for Files: To search for a file or folder, click on the search bar in the top-right corner of the window and enter the name or keywords. Explorer will display the matching results.

Additionally, you can also arrange files and folders by name, date modified, size, or kind by clicking on the respective column header. You can also change the view mode to list, icon, or gallery depending on your preference.

With these basic file and folder management actions in Explorer on Mac, you can easily organize and navigate through your files and folders.

Customizing Preferences in Explorer

Explorer on Mac allows users to customize their preferences to tailor their browsing experience. Here are some steps to customize preferences in Explorer:

  1. Launch Explorer on your Mac by clicking on the application icon.
  2. Click on the “Explorer” menu in the top menu bar.
  3. In the dropdown menu, select “Preferences.”
  4. A new window will open with various options to customize your preferences.
  5. Under the “General” tab, you can choose the language, set the default homepage, and specify the behavior of opening new tabs.
  6. In the “Appearance” tab, you can change the theme, font, and other visual settings of Explorer.
  7. Go to the “Privacy & Security” tab to manage your browsing history, cookies, and security settings.
  8. Under the “Tabs” tab, you can control how new tabs are opened, whether they are opened in the background or foreground, and set other tab options.
  9. Switch to the “Advanced” tab for additional customization options, such as network settings, performance tweaks, and developer tools.
  10. Once you have made your desired changes, click the “OK” button to apply the new preferences.

By following these steps, you can easily customize Explorer preferences to match your browsing preferences and enhance your overall experience.

Troubleshooting Issues with Explorer on Mac

If you are experiencing any issues with Explorer on your Mac, here are some troubleshooting steps you can follow to resolve them:

  1. Clear cache and temporary files: Sometimes, accumulated cache and temporary files can cause issues with Explorer. Clearing them can help resolve the issue. To do this, open Explorer, go to the “Preferences” or “Settings” section, and look for options to clear cache and temporary files. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
  2. Update Explorer: Outdated versions of Explorer may have compatibility issues with your Mac. Check for any available updates and install them. To update Explorer, go to the “Help” or “About” section and look for options to check for updates. Follow the prompts to download and install any available updates.
  3. Restart your Mac: Sometimes, a simple restart can resolve various software issues. Close Explorer, click on the Apple menu, and select “Restart”. Wait for your Mac to restart and then open Explorer again to see if the issue has been resolved.
  4. Check internet connection: Poor or unstable internet connection can also cause issues with Explorer. Make sure you have a stable and reliable internet connection. If you are using Wi-Fi, try switching to a wired connection for better stability.
  5. Disable browser extensions: Browser extensions and plugins can sometimes interfere with the normal functioning of Explorer. Disable any extensions or plugins you have installed and restart Explorer to check if the issue persists.
  6. Contact support: If none of the above steps resolve the issue, it is advisable to contact Explorer’s support team for further assistance. They may be able to provide specific solutions based on your Mac’s configuration and the nature of the issue.

By following these troubleshooting steps, you should be able to address common issues with Explorer on your Mac and improve its performance and functionality.

Tips and Tricks for Using Explorer on Mac

Explorer is a powerful file management tool on Mac that allows you to navigate, organize, and access your files and folders. Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the most out of Explorer:

1. Keyboard Shortcuts

  • ⌘ + N: Create a new folder.
  • ⌘ + ↑: Go up one level in the folder hierarchy.
  • ⌘ + ↓: Open the selected item.
  • ⌘ + W: Close the current window.
  • ⌘ + T: Open a new tab.

2. Customize the Toolbar

Explorer allows you to customize the toolbar to add frequently used actions. Simply right-click on the toolbar, select “Customize Toolbar,” and drag and drop the desired actions onto the toolbar. This can save you time and make accessing actions more convenient.

3. Quick Look

Quick Look is a handy feature in Explorer that allows you to preview files without opening them. To use Quick Look, simply select a file and press the spacebar. A preview window will appear showing the content of the file. This feature is especially useful for quickly scanning through multiple files.

4. AirDrop Integration

With AirDrop integration, you can easily share files between your Mac and other Apple devices. To use AirDrop, simply open Explorer, select the file you want to share, and click on the Share button. From the list of options, select AirDrop and choose the device you want to send the file to.

5. Sorting and Filtering

Explorer provides powerful sorting and filtering options to help you find files more efficiently. To sort files, simply click on the column headers such as Name, Date Modified, or Size. To filter files, click on the Filter button in the toolbar and choose the criteria you want to apply.

6. Split View

Split View allows you to simultaneously view two different folders side by side in Explorer. To use Split View, simply click and hold the green maximize button on a window and drag it to one side of the screen. Then, choose another window to fill the other side. This feature can be useful when organizing or comparing files.

7. Tags and Labels

Tags and labels are a great way to organize and categorize your files in Explorer. You can assign different tags or labels to files to easily identify and group them. To add a tag, simply right-click on a file and select “Tags” or “Labels” from the context menu.

8. Compress and Extract Files

Explorer allows you to compress files and folders into ZIP archives, as well as extract files from existing archives. To compress files, select the items you want to compress, right-click, and choose “Compress.” To extract files, simply double-click on the archive, and Explorer will automatically extract the contents to a new folder.


By using these tips and tricks, you can enhance your productivity and make the most out of Explorer on your Mac. Experiment with these features and discover how they can streamline your file management tasks!


Can I use Explorer on my Mac?

Yes, you can use Explorer on your Mac by following this step-by-step guide.

What is Explorer?

Explorer is a file management program that allows you to navigate through your files and folders on your computer.

How do I download Explorer on my Mac?

To download Explorer on your Mac, you can visit the official Explorer website and look for the download option compatible with Mac. Then, simply click on the download button and follow the on-screen instructions to install it on your computer.

Is Explorer free to use on Mac?

Yes, Explorer is free to use on Mac. You can download and install it without any cost.

What are the main features of Explorer?

Explorer offers a variety of features, including a user-friendly interface, the ability to organize and manage files and folders, support for various file types, quick search function, and the option to customize the appearance and layout of the program.

Can I move files and folders using Explorer on my Mac?

Yes, you can easily move files and folders using Explorer on your Mac. Simply select the file or folder you want to move, then drag and drop it to the desired location.

30 Mac / macOS Getting Started Tips! Do you know them all?

Why You Should NEVER Use These Apps On Your Mac…

How to Use MacBook Pro – New to Mac Beginners Guide 2021

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *