How to Do Spotlight Search on Mac

Joel Mason

Mac, Tutorials

Spotlight Search on Mac is a powerful tool that allows you to quickly find files, applications, and information on your computer. Whether you need to locate a specific document or launch an app without navigating through multiple folders, Spotlight Search is your go-to feature.

How to Access Spotlight Search

To access Spotlight Search on your Mac, simply press Command + Spacebar on your keyboard. Alternatively, you can click on the magnifying glass icon located in the top-right corner of your screen.

Basic Searches with Spotlight

Once you have opened Spotlight Search, you can start typing immediately. As you type, Spotlight begins displaying results based on what you’re entering. By default, it searches for files, applications, and documents matching your query.

If a file or application matches your search term, it will appear at the top of the list in the search results. You can use the arrow keys to navigate through the results and press Enter to open the selected item.

Advanced Searches with Operators

If you want to perform more advanced searches using specific operators, Spotlight supports several options:

  • AND operator: Use & or && between search terms to find items that contain all specified words. For example, searching for “apple & orange” will only display results that include both “apple” and “orange”.
  • OR operator: Use |, |, or || between search terms to find items that contain either term.

    For example, searching for “apple | orange” will display results that include either “apple” or “orange”.

  • NOT operator: Use or ! before a search term to exclude items containing that term. For example, searching for “apple -orange” will display results that include “apple” but not “orange”.

Customizing Spotlight Search Results

You can customize the types of results that appear in Spotlight Search by accessing the System Preferences on your Mac. Here’s how:

  1. Click on the Apple menu located in the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. Select “System Preferences”.
  3. Choose “Spotlight”.
  4. In the Spotlight preferences window, you can check or uncheck various categories such as Applications, Documents, Folders, etc., depending on your preference.

In Conclusion

Spotlight Search is an invaluable tool for quickly finding files and launching applications on your Mac. By utilizing its advanced search operators and customizing search results, you can streamline your workflow and save time.

Remember to press Command + Spacebar or click on the magnifying glass icon to access Spotlight Search whenever you need it. Start experimenting with different search terms and operators to become a power user of this incredible feature!

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