Use Get Info to discover the properties of a file or folder


Use Get Info to discover the properties of a file or folder
Mac Tip #477, 09 March 2011

If you need information about a file or folder then Get Info has what you need. It’s like Properties in Windows. Here’s how to call up and use the Get Info window.

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Overview and quick instructions for Get Info

The Get Info window with all sections closed.

The Get Info window with all sections closed.

  1. Select a file in the Finder and Right click or press Command (⌘) I.
  2. Choose Get Info from the contextual menu.
  3. Click a disclosure triangle once to show more information.
  4. Click the red Close button to close the Get Info window when finished.

See below for more detailed steps and some extra tips.

Get Info

  1. In the Finder select the file or folder that you want information for.
  2. Choose Get Info from the File menu, or Right click (Control (⌃) click) and choose Get Info from the contextual menu or press Command (⌘) I. The Get Info window appears.
Click the Disclosure Triangle once.

Click the Disclosure Triangle once to either open or close its section.

Expand and collapse sections with the Disclosure Triangle

There are often half a dozen different sections in the Get Info window. Each has a small triangle, called the Disclosure Triangle, to the left of the section name.

Click the Disclosure Triangle once to either open or close its section.

View or edit information

Some of the information in the Get Info window can only be viewed, such as the Kind or Size of a file.

Other information can be edited. For example:

  1. Click on a label colour to highlight the selected file with that colour label.
  2. Check the Locked checkbox to ‘lock’ a file or folder.
  3. Edit the filename in the Name & Extension section.
Change the application that opens a file.

Change the application that opens a file.

Change the default application for opening a file

If you double click a file in the Finder it opens with a default application.

For example, a .txt file might open with Apple’s TextEdit Application.

You may prefer a specific file to open with a different application, such as BBedit. Or you may prefer all files of that particular type to open with BBedit.

To change the application that opens a single file or all files of a type:

  1. Open the Open with section of the Get Info window.
  2. Select an application from the pop-up menu in the Open with section. The default application for the selected file will change to the application you have selected. No further action is required.
  3. To change all files of that type to open with the selected application click the Change All… button. An alert appears asking you to confirm your choice. Click the Continue button in the alert window to change the default application for all files of that type or click Cancel to avoid making that change.
An Inspector window for multiple items.

An Inspector window for multiple items.

Use Option Get Info for a summary of multiple items

To see a summary for two or more selected items hold down the Option (⌥) key while you choose Get Info. Under the file menu the Get Info item changes to Show Inspector.

The Inspector window provides limited information, such as the total size of all the files and how many files are selected.

Close the Get Info window

To close the Get Info window click the red button at top left.

Share your favourite Get Info tips in the Comments at the website.

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