An Explanation Of The Apple Mac Folder/File System

Rename An Apple Mac Folder Using Different Methods

If you look at a newly created folder, you will notice its name (untitled folder) is highlighted in blue, within an Edit Box. This means it is waiting to be edited (Renamed). An edit box is a bordered space, usually white in the centre with a dark border, that allows you to edit the text already inside it or type in some new text. In this example the edit box has a light blue centre with a slightly darker blue border. The wording inside it is - untitled folder - which is the name of the newly created folder of course.

Fig 1.1  A newly created folder called: untitled folder

When you click anywhere inside the edit box for the first time the text becomes unhighlighted, whereby the background of the edit box turns white, and a flashing cursor is then positioned where you clicked (Fig 1.2 below). In this example I have clicked in between letters f and o. From here I can type in some new letters and/or delete old ones in order to rename the folder (Figures 1.3 and 1.4). Here I am renaming untitled folder to untitled films. This didn't have to be the case though. I could of renamed the folder John for example.

Fig 1.2  Click in-between f and o.

Fig 1.3  Type letters: ilms

Fig 1.4  Delete letters: older

Fig 1.5  Press ENTER

When you rename a new folder you usually press the ENTER keyboard key to set the folder's new name. However. This also reselects the folder, and its new name, which means accidents can happen. For example. If you press the DELETE (CMD + BACKSPACE) keyboard key without thinking or realising it, while the folder is selected, the folder will be deleted straight away (moved into the Trashcan). While there is no real danger to this on your computer, because you can simply undelete it by using the PUT BACK menu-item on the TRASHCAN context menu (right click pop-up menu), deleting an e-mail folder or network folder by mistake may mean it cannot be undeleted/recovered. Now imagine that folder has your valuable holiday and/or wedding photo files inside it.

OS X (Sierra) does not display a message requester like Windows 7 asking you "Are you sure you want to delete this folder and its content?". This is in part because OS X knows it would virtually be impossible to accidentally delete a folder whereby you have to press down two keys - CMD and BACKSPACE. Regardless of this though; To avoid this scenario altogether just double click anywhere inside the DOCUMENTS folder (window) display area instead, after renaming the new folder, to set the new name and to then deselect the folder. The first click sets the name but leaves the folder selected, hence why you need the second click to deselect the folder.

Fig 1.6  Double Click anywhere inside the white display area of the DOCUMENTS folder to set a new folder's name

If you want to delete the new folder's current name (untitled folder) in one go, before renaming it, simply press the DELETE keyboard key when the name is selected (Fig 1.8). If you press the CMD and BACKSPACE keyboard keys it will delete the new folder simply because it will currently be selected (as explained above). In other words, the folder (icon) and its associated edit box are both selected. Alternatively, just delete one letter (character) at a time until they are all wiped out - Click on the end letter and then keep pressing the BACKSPACE keyboard key. More information about the Edit Box can be found in the Edit Box Explained section.

Fig 1.7  A New Folder

Fig 1.8  DELETE the name: untitled folder

Fig 1.9  Rename the folder


To rename an existing folder you must first have it selected (highlighted in blue), by clicking on either its folder name or its folder icon.

Fig 2.0  Select (left click on) a Folder

Once the folder is selected (highlighted in blue) you then have two methods for renaming it. Either press the ENTER keyboard key or click on its name. Both methods will then make the name editable (renameable).

Fig 2.1  Press the ENTER keyboard key or click on the folder's name to make it editable/renameable

With the folder's name now editable, with its edit box active, you can rename the folder as described in the Rename A New Folder section at the beginning of this web page. Surprisingly OS X (Sierra) does not have a RENAME menu-item on the EDIT menu, as you might of expected.