Are you struggling to find files and folders on your Mac? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
In this tutorial, we will walk you through the various methods to effectively search and locate items on your Mac. Let’s dive in!
If you want to quickly find a file or application on your Mac, Spotlight is the way to go. This powerful search feature is built into macOS and can be accessed by clicking on the magnifying glass icon in the top-right corner of your screen or by pressing Command + Spacebar.
To make your search more specific, you can use special operators like AND, OR, and NOT. For example, if you are looking for a document containing both “apple” and “pie,” simply type “apple AND pie” in the Spotlight search bar.
Searching within Finder
If you prefer a more detailed search within a specific folder or directory, Finder offers advanced searching options that can help you narrow down your results.
To start a search within Finder, open a new Finder window by clicking on the blue smiley face icon in your Dock. Then click on the magnifying glass icon located at the top-right corner of the window.
You can enter keywords directly into the search bar or use additional filters like file type, date modified, or even file size to refine your search results further.
Searching with Boolean Operators
- AND: Use AND between two keywords to find files that contain both terms. For example, searching for “apple AND pie” will return files that have both words in their name or content.
- OR: Use OR between two keywords to find files that contain either term.
For example, searching for “apple OR pie” will return files that have either word in their name or content.
- NOT: Use NOT before a keyword to exclude files that contain that term. For example, searching for “apple NOT pie” will return files that have the word “apple” but not “pie”.
Using Smart Folders
If you frequently search for specific types of files, Smart Folders can be a great way to save time. Smart Folders are virtual folders that automatically update based on your search criteria.
To create a Smart Folder, open a new Finder window and click on File in the menu bar. Then select New Smart Folder. A new window will appear where you can customize your search criteria by selecting specific file attributes like file type, date modified, or even tags.
Once you’ve defined your search criteria, click on Save and give your Smart Folder a name. The Smart Folder will now appear in the sidebar of your Finder window for quick access.
Using Terminal Commands
If you’re comfortable with using the Terminal and prefer a command-line approach, there are several commands you can use to find files on your Mac.
The most commonly used command is
find. With this command, you can specify various search criteria such as filename, size, or even file contents.
For example, to find all PNG image files larger than 1MB within your Documents folder, you would enter the following command:
$ find ~/Documents -name "*.png" -size +1M
This will display a list of all PNG files meeting the specified criteria.
Finding files and folders on your Mac doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Whether you prefer using the user-friendly Spotlight or the power of Terminal commands, these methods will help you locate your files with ease.
Remember to use Spotlight for quick searches, Finder for more specific searches within a particular folder, and Smart Folders to save time with frequently used search criteria. And if you’re comfortable with the command line, don’t hesitate to use Terminal commands.