How to Add Tags to Files in Finder With a Keyboard Shortcut

This guide will take you step by step through the process of creating a keyboard shortcut that will allow you to quickly “tag” files on your Mac.

You won’t need to install any additional Apps – just follow these steps:

  1. Open the System Preferences by clicking the Apple icon in your Menu Bar and selecting System Preferences… from the drop-drop menu. Then select Keyboard from the options.
  2. Select the Shortcuts tab.
  3. From the column on the left side of the window, select App Shortcuts
  4. Now click the “plus sign” ( + ) button in the bottom left corner of the window.
  5. Click the ‘up and down arrows’ to expand the Application: menu
  6. Select Finder from the list of Applications.
  7. In the empty field next to Menu Title: enter the following text:


  8. Click inside of the Keyboard Shortcut: field and enter the keyboard shortcut you want to use to bring up the ‘tag’ feature when you have a file (or multiple files) selected.
  9. Make sure your new keyboard shortcut is now included in the list of available shortcuts.
  10. Now go give it a try! Select one or more files in Finder and then invoke your keyboard shortcut. Ta-da! If it worked right away congrats, you’re done. If it didn’t work have no fear, one of these troubleshooting steps will likely clear up the problem.
  11. Open the Keyboard section of the System Preferences again, and select the Shortcuts tab again. Select the shortcut that you just created and change the text Tags… to Tags … (in other words, add a space between the word Tags and the three dots). Head back over to a Finder window and give it a try again. If it still didn’t work, try the next step.
  12. With a Finder window open, select Finder from the Menu Bar and then Preferences… from the drop-down list. Click the Sidebar tab and from the list of items to show in the Finder Sidebar, remove the check-mark from the Recent Tags item. Note: you can re-enable this again once you get the shortcut working.
  13. With a Finder window open, select the Apple Icon from your Menu Bar, hold down the Shift key and select Force Quit Finder
  14. Now try your keyboard shortcut again. This time it should finally work :)

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