How to Find the Applications Folder on Mac

The Applications folder on your Mac is a commonly used folder. Just as its name indicates, it stores your applications or at least most of them. It’s the default location where most applications get installed, and it is the location you can go to find those applications.

So, where is the Applications folder? How do I find it? There are several ways to navigate the Applications folder, but the easiest is to use Finder. If you open Finder, you will see a link to the Applications folder in the left horizontal pane of the Finder application.

My name is Eric, and as a software engineer, I am familiar with the macOS directory structure and where many files and folders are located. The Applications folder is used often and for many applications, including the default apps that come with macOS. If you need to find it, I can show you how.

Keep reading below if you would like to see the easiest way to get to the Applications folder and also see some alternative ways to find it.

More than One Way to Find a Folder

Like many other things you do on your computer, there are multiple ways to find and navigate to the Application folder. Below, we will first look at the most straightforward way to do this, but we will also cover some alternative methods.

There is no best way to find and navigate to the folder. It all depends on what you are trying to do and which one works best for you. Look at the different methods below, and you can decide which one you prefer to use.

1. Finder

The Finder application, which is included with your macOS, provides several ways to find and navigate to the Applications folder. I will show you the most common below. You can open Finder by clicking on the Finder Icon on the bottom left corner of your screen.

Shortcut Key

The quickest way to get to the Applications folder in Finder is just using the shortcut key combination. With the Finder window open and active on your desktop, just press the SHIFT+COMMAND+A keys, and it will take you right to it.

Quick Link

Finder contains a list of quick links in the pane on the left side of the window. You can quickly and easily access the Applications folder by clicking the one labeled Applications.

Navigate to the Folder

You can also use Finder to navigate to the Applications folder like any other folder on your hard drive. Just click on the Macintosh HD link under locations on the left side pane of the Finder Window.

From there, you will see a list of folders located off your hard drive’s root directory. In that list, you will see the Applications folder. Double-click on it, and you will now be in the Applications Folder.

Use the Go Menu

The Go menu is another way to get there that we often forget about. This menu has links to many popular locations, such as the Applications folder, and you can even type the name of a folder in if you wish to do it that way. 

For the Applications folder, just click on the Go menu, then click on the Applications selection, which you can find near the bottom of the dropdown menu.

Once you click on it, you will find yourself in the Applications folder.

Search for the Folder

I’m sure there are more, but for this article, it will be the last method using Finder. Like all the other Finder methods, this one is also fairly quick and simple. Just click on the search symbol in the upper right corner of the Finder window.

Then, type in Applications in the search window.

You will now see the Applications folder in the main window, as shown above. You can double-click on it, which will take you to the folder.

2. Spotlight Search

You might want to try Spotlight if you’re looking for a method other than Finder to find and navigate to the Applications folder. It’s your Mac’s search tool, and you can use it to find almost anything. It is located on top of your screen on the right side and appears as a magnifying glass.

Just click on the magnifying glass, and a search field will appear. Type Applications in the field, and you will see a list of results related to the word Applications. Look for the one that has a Folder symbol beside it, as that will be your Applications folder.

Click on the Applications folder above to take you right to it. This will open Finder to take you to the Applications folder, so in the end, you are still using Finder to get there.

3. Mac Terminal

Suppose you’re like me and like to use Mac Terminal often ( I use it almost every day ). In that case, you might want to know how to find and get to the Applications folder from there. With Mac Terminal, you can navigate to any folder on your system.

You can use Mac Terminal to search for the Applications directory if you don’t know where it is, but in our case, it’s really easy to find since it is located right off the root directory, as I mentioned above. All you need to do is type the following command.

cd /Applications

Now, you will be in the Applications folder in the Mac Terminal.


Below are a few frequently asked questions when discussing the Applications folder on your Mac.

What is the Applications folder?

The Applications folder, as its name indicates, is where your applications are typically installed and run. They are not required to be installed and run there, but this is the default location where this usually occurs. Keeping all of them there makes it easier to locate them when needed.

Can I open a Mac Terminal session that starts in the Applications Folder?

Yes, you can do this. If you first use Finder to navigate to the Applications folder described above, you can open a terminal session right there in the Applications folder.

Can I use Siri to get to the Utilities Folder?

You can use Siri to do many things, but this is not one of them. Unfortunately, Siri does not work with Finder because Finder has not added support for Siri, so it cannot navigate to the Utilities folder.


The Applications folder on your Mac is located in /Applications on your system’s hard drive. There are multiple ways to find and navigate it through Finder, and you can even use Spotlight search to get there.  In Mac Terminal, you can get there by using the cd command.

I hope the information provided above has helped you to find and navigate to the Applications folder on your Mac. As usual, let me know if you have any questions or comments. I would love to hear from you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *