There are millions of troubleshooting articles available online for fixing your computer problems. Most of the time when reading those articles, you will be asked to open a certain file, folder or an application for troubleshooting the problem. Generally, it is easy to find the source file location in Windows and Mac. However, it is not the case always especially for app shortcuts and system applications. If you are struggling to find file location, here is how you can do in Windows and Mac.
Finding Source File Location
The process is very easy in both Windows and Mac. However, varies based on the file type you want to find the source location.
Get File Location in Windows 10
We will explain all possible scenarios in Windows 10 computer.
1. Finding Location Using File Properties
Many users keep application shortcuts on their desktop. In addition, system applications like Edge browser will have a default shortcut on the desktop. Let us take finding location of the Chrome app that you have created shortcuts on your desktop.
- First right click on the Chrome app shortcut on your desktop and click on “Properties” option. Alternatively, you can select the icon and press “Alt + Enter” shortcut keys.
- This will open the properties window of the shortcut file.
- The location details under “General” section will show you the location of the shortcut file. This is not useful as you already know the location of the shortcut file is your desktop.
- Click on the “Shortcut” tab and check the “Target” box. Here you can find the source file location of the shortcut.
- Click on “Open File Location” to open the file in File Explorer. Alternatively, you can copy the target path and keep it for any further reference.
This is useful especially when you have installed applications on different drive locations other than C:.
2. Finding Location Using Search in Windows 10
The alternate option for getting source file location in Windows 10 computers is to use the Windows or Cortana search box. Let us take an example of finding source file location of the default Edge browser.
- Type “edge” in Windows Search box and click on the small down arrow showing on the right side section.
- This will show some additional options and click on “Open file location”.
- Now, you will see the Edge application in File Explorer. However, it will be the Edge shortcut and not the original application file.
- Right click on the Edge shortcut and open file properties window. As explained in the above method, you can find the source file location under “Shortcut” section in “Target” box.
However, the search box works differently for different type of files. When you search images, Windows will show “Open file location” and “Copy full path” options.
In addition, you can see the “Top Apps” list when clicking on the search box. From here also, you can right click and open the file location.
3. Get File Location in File Explorer
File Explorer app will show the complete path of file you are currently viewing. In case if you want to copy the location when in File Explorer, simply click on the address bar. This will reveal the complete file path and press “Control + C” to copy the location to your clipboard.
Get File Location in Mac
Similar to Windows, Mac also offers different methods to find the file location.
1. Get Location with Get Info
Click on the file you want to find the location and press “Command + I” shortcut keys. Alternatively, right click on the file and select “Get Info” option.
This will open the file properties dialog box. Check the “Original” file path under “General” section.
2. Find Location of Apps in Dock
If you want to find the file location of an app available on your dock, right click on it. Go to “Options > Show in Finder” to open the file location in Finder.
3. Open File Location in Spotlight Search
The last option is to get the file location using Spotlight Search box. Press “Command + Space” to open Spotlight Search and type the file or app name. By default, you will not see the file location in Spotlight search results. However, select the file and press command key. This will show the file path on the status bar as shown below. You can hold the command key and click on the file to open the location in Finder.