Use ‘Folder Peek’ to Turn Your Mac’s Menu Into an App Launcher

Use ‘Folder Peek’ to Turn Your Mac’s Menu Into an App Launcher

Your Mac’s menu bar can be home to a host of nifty utilities. From managing your calendar to adding a virtual sticky note, there’s a great menu bar tool for almost everything. I recently discovered another useful app called Folder Peek, which lets you place any folder from your Mac on the menu bar. You can use this in many different ways, but my favorite is using it as an app launcher.

Using Folder Peek as an app launcher

Credit: Pranay Parab

Once you’ve installed Folder Peek on your Mac (simply click “Get” while viewing it in the App Store), choose which folder you want to add to your menu bar. Here’s a fun trick: if you choose the Applications folder, clicking on it will display all the apps installed on your Mac, which you can click again to launch. This is perfect if you want to declutter your dock, and it can also be faster than launching an app via Spotlight (or a better alternative).

It takes a little bit of configuration to make the most of this setup, though. To customize how your folder looks in the Menu bar, click the Folder Peek icon and press Command-Shift-, (the last key is comma). This will open a settings window. Choose an icon for your folder, give it a title, and head over to the Menu section. I like the Date Accessed sort order and Large file icon size. I also limit the maximum number of icons to 15. You can play around with these options until you land on something that serves you best.

Other features worth trying

Credit: Pranay Parab

Since you can add any folder to your menu bar, there’s plenty else you can do with this app. If you add a folder that has some photos in it, you can quickly preview them using Folder Peek. I noticed that this process is faster than using the Spacebar key to preview photos and hitting the arrow keys to scroll through, at least on my M1 MacBook Air. Similarly, you can also preview text files, PDF files, and view what’s inside various sub-folders. With sub-folders open in Folder Peek, press Shift to see more options, such as Get Info or Copy Path.

You can also always click the folder title, located at the top of the drop-down menu, to open the folder in Finder. Interestingly, you can use Folder Peek as a way to quickly open bookmarked webpages. To do this, open any webpage in Safari and drag the URL to a folder on your Mac. Now put this folder in the menu bar using Folder Peek and you’ll notice that all the pages you saved to it will be listed when you click on it. Clicking these pages will open them in your default web browser.

The app has a few more tricks up its sleeve, which you can explore by opening folders in it and pressing the Option key.

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