How to Copy a File Path in the Finder

Maybe I should file this under “old news that I should be ashamed I didn’t already know”, but I recently learned you can easily copy the path of any file or folder in the Finder:

1. Select the file or folder in the Finder.
2. Hold down the Option key on the keyboard (and keep it down until you finish step 3).
3. Choose the menu Edit > Copy “Your File” as Pathname.

The item’s path has been placed onto the clipboard.

This same menu command is also available from the item’s contextual menu. As with the main menu, you have to hold down the Option key to see the alternative command (it supplants the normal Copy command).

The only remaining question is who at Apple decided to call this a pathname? That is a real term, but nobody calls it that. “Certainly milord, I shall fetch your pathname posthaste!” 🎩 Round these parts we just call ’em paths.


  1. John Robert

    Thanks for this. I didn’t know it, but I’ve long used another route to the same command, as follows:
    Insure that the Path Bar is showing in the Finder window (View>Show Path Bar).
    Right click any of the the items in the Path Bar for which you want to copy the path.
    The popup menu shows the Copy “[item selected]” as Pathname command.

  2. @John: thanks for the related tip! That’s also a nice quick way to copy a file path.

    I personally don’t normally browse with the “Path Bar” showing, but it seems it has some other useful contextual commands like “Open in Terminal”.

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