Navigating Finder using Enter/Backspace

I've run into a couple problems when assigning finder shortcuts like enter to cmd+down and backspace to cmd+up to make navigating finder more intuitive to me as a long time windows user.

These shortcuts work as intended when it comes to navigation, but because they are always active in finder, when it comes to renaming a file the whenever I hit backspace instead of deleting the letters it sends me up a level in the directory. When I hit enter to finish renaming it immediately opens the file or folder. Is there a way to stop this from occurring specifically until I'm done renaming the file or folder?

I had a similar issue where if finder was the last thing I was using and then I went to spotlight, the enter button would send me down the list instead of opening the program. I was able to solve this by using conditional rules that are only active when spotlight is open. I'm hoping there are conditional rules that can pick up the renaming file/folder state.

It looks like BTT can distinguish the Finder fields.

I have not tested this, but with CAG it should be possible to do what you want.

If the cursor is in this field (renaming)


then backspace = backspace.

Otherwise backspace does something else.

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thanks for the tips! got it working. Thanks. I was getting stuck by trying to use the Advanced Conditions instead of the CAG groups. Whats the difference and/or how you know when to use what? BC i was getting the conditions met/unmet with arguement using AXRoleDescription: "text field" but of course no luck.

anyways thanks much appreciated

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Thanks a bunch, also to wynstaxxx.

I got rid of all my previous finder rules, created a conditional activation group in the leftmost column with all the following conditions:
App name is Finder
Focused element role is not AXTextField

Then in the Top Level Triggers column I put in the following triggers:
"Enter" assigned to "CMD-Down" with Advanced Conditions when"None" of the "Focused_element_details" "Contains" "Spotlight"
"Backspace" assigned to "CMD-Up" with Advanced Conditions when "None" of the "Focused_element_details" "Contains" "Spotlight"

As far as I can tell it all works beautifully!


I tried to use your solution and it works fine. However, when I try to use backpack or enter when using spotlight or alfred, it triggers the CMD+Up / CMD+Down shortcut instead of regular backspace or enter.

Would appreciate your help.

My configuration:

I am not sure. It could be related to the fact that Spotlight is not a Finder window. Spotlight is also not the front app when the search window is open, as far as I know. Honestly, I'm more or less guessing here.

But BTT recognizes the Spotlight window. Did you try "when this window is visible", then Enter does something?

Thanks for your input! That unfortunately did not work.

Doesnt seem like "focused_element_role" is updating to "AXTextField" when renaming a file - is this a new bug?

updated to the latest OS - fixed the bug, was weird!

Working perfectly now in finder, editing a file name and spotlight :slight_smile: