Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

In macOS Monterey, Finder learns a few new tricks

macOS Monterey arrives on Oct. 25, and among many changes and additions, it alters a concept that’s been a part of the Mac since the very beginning.

When you copy a file in macOS Monterey’s Finder, you will see a floating copy window, of course:

Finder box

There’s just one thing about that window that’s unusual. The red circle used to close windows, inactive in previous versions of macOS, is now active. And what happens if you click it?

The window closes… and the copy continues.

file copy animation

Once you close the window, it won’t reappear for subsequent operations until you choose Show Progress Window from the Window menu. But Finder is still providing you with some feedback that a copy operation is happening. In List views, a circle to the right of the filename slowly fills in clockwise until the copy is done. In Icon views, a progress bar fills from left to right across the bottom of the icon. (These animations aren’t new, but they’re more important now!) An “X” hovers over the top-left corner of the icon, from which you can cancel the file copy.

file copy animation 2

When I started using the Mac, Finder copies used to be an opportunity to stretch your legs—not only were they slow, but the copy window was modal, blocking out any other use of Finder while the disks grinded away. That hasn’t been true for some time, of course, but closing the window and just letting copies happen in the background is going to take some getting used to.

At the very least, it was worth marking the change. Finder is at the center of the Mac experience (at least if you weren’t born this century), and while faster networks and disks have made waiting for copies a lot less laborious than it used to be, I still frequently find myself copying several gigabytes of an audio or video project and waiting for the copy window to close so that I can get on with my life.

One other related fun addition in macOS Monterey: If a copy is interrupted, the partial file will remain visible, grayed out with a clockwise circling arrow icon to the right of the filename. When you click that icon, you’re asked if you want to resume the copy:

What do you know—they’re still teaching Finder new tricks after all these years.

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