Macintosh Finder (Mac): How to Sort Files for Cleanup


To help with file clean-up for the H: Drive file move, and for ongoing data clean-up, this article will provide you with some tips and tricks on sorting options available in Finder on Mac. For more suggestions, please visit the H: Drive & Inside Loyola Sites: Data Move Overview & Expectations.

Note: Before doing any clean-up on your department’s H: drive, please understand and follow the file retention policy for your department.

The View buttons in a Finder window.


Your settings for sorting and arranging items in a folder apply until you change them. For example, if you sort your Documents folder by Date Added, the next time you view that folder, the folder is sorted by Date Added.

 If you are working remotely, you will need to set up MyWorkDrive on your computer to access your H: drive first.
  1. On your Mac, click the Finder icon in the Dock to open a Finder window, and click on the H: Drive. 

  2. Do any of the following:

    • Sort items: In any view, choose View > Show View Options, click the Sort By pop-up menu, then choose the sort order, such as Date Modified or Name.

      In List view, move the cursor over the column name you want to sort by, then click the column. Click the column name again to reverse the sort order.

    • Group items: In any view, click the Group button, then choose an option, such as Date Created or Size.

    • Keep folders at the top: When sorting by name, you can keep folders (in alphabetical order) at the top of the list. Choose Finder > Preferences, click Advanced, then select the “Keep folders on top: In windows when sorting by name” checkbox.

    • Arrange icons neatlyIn Icon view, choose View > Clean Up.

    • Resize columns: In List view and Column view, drag the line that is between the column headings.

      To expand a column to show all filenames in their entirety, double-click the column divider.

    • Show or hide columns: In List view, Control-click any column to view all columns available. Choose a column name to display or hide the column (visible columns have a checkmark next to their name).

For more ways to change your view options, see Change options for Icon, List, Column, or Gallery view.

Apple Inc. (2020). Sort items, group icons, and resize columns in the Finder on Mac. Retrieved May 19, 2020, from


Article ID: 99769
Tue 3/3/20 10:33 AM
Mon 4/26/21 9:32 AM