To recursively show all the files in the current folder (= flat view)

I want to have a quick and easy way to view all the files in a current folder, the so-called “flat view”.

I see two possible ways for this, but none of them really works for me yet.

The first is to use the search field in the top right corner. It seems earlier macOS versions supported


search criteria, but this doesn’t seem to work anymore, at least on my Ventura 13.5.

The second approach, which I think would be even better, is to have a saved search in the Finder sidebar. You can create it using the following steps:

  1. Open Finder, click File > New Smart Folder

  2. Click the plus sign next to the Save button

  3. Hold the Option key so that the second plus sign will be changed to the ellipsis, and click it.

  4. Adjust the rest as follows:

    enter image description here

The second approach works, but I don’t understand how to make it work for the current folder, that is, any folder I’m currently in. Is it possible? Or what are good alternatives?

(FWIW, I’m not sure I really want to not show folders in flat view. So if you have a solution or idea that works, but there is one single disadvantage that it doesn’t hide folders, this might be nevertheless exactly what I’m looking for.)

Do you, by any chance, have Service Station?

Unfortunately, no. The problem with using third-party tools is that my country is blocked from using Visa and Mastercard, so purchasing software is not an easy thing. (Our country is blocked because we have done a lot of shit. I don’t justify our people.)

Try searching for NOT kind:folder


Thanks a lot, Tom. This is a solution I searched for!

Tom, maybe you know how to make this work to show not just files, but both files and folders? I have tried kind:ANY, but this doesn’t seem to work. As a workaround, we can negatively search for a non-existent file type, like NOT kind:abcxyz, but I would prefer to find a “real” way of doing this, not a workaround.

Whenever I want to see everything in list view I don’t use a search, but I type ⌘a ⌘→. To collapse it back, ⌘a ⌘←.

<…> to see everything in list view <…>

Sure, but this works in List View only. What if you prefer to use a different style of viewing items in Finder, for example, as icons?

Then you are out of luck. :disappointed_relieved: