New Finder Window vs. New Smart Folder — What’s the Difference?

I had my MacBook for years before I decided to finally find out what the difference between the New Finder Window and New Smart Folder is. On the surface, they look like the same thing, but they’re not.

Short version:

  • A New Finder Window is the regular Finder Mac folder you can store files in. If you right-click on your Finder icon and click New Finder Window, it simply opens up another default Finder window.
  • A Smart Folder is a folder that you can configure and customize to your needs, and then save it in your Sidebar for immediate accessibility.

To make a custom Smart Folder, click on the Save button in the Smart Folder toolbar. Give it a fitting name, choose a folder location, and whether you want to add it to your Finder Sidebar.

In this example, I’m creating a Graphics folder, which I want to place on my Desktop, and I also want to have it accessible in my regular Finder window’s Sidebar.

Mac New Smart Folder Example

As soon as I hit save, my new Smart Folder for graphics is created, and I can now access it in my sidebar every time I open up the Finder window:

Mac New Smart Folder added to Sidebar

There is a myriad of different ways you can configure your Smart Folders. I’ll leave that part up to you, have fun!

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