Smart Folders are one of the most underused features of macOS. Which is a shame, because they make it much easier to find files on your computer. They can save you a huge amount of time and change the way you use your Mac.
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But getting them set up properly takes a few steps. When you create a Smart Folder, you choose a property or series of properties. Selecting This Mac makes the Smart Folder search through every file on your computer. To create the search criteria, click the Plus symbol on the right side of the window:. You might see another set of dropdowns, like Name and matches.
The steps below will work with any combination. Clicking Kind displays some search parameters. This is the type of smart search you want to run. Default options are kind file format , last opened date , last modified date , created date , name , and contents. The choices in the second menu depend on what you choose in the first.
You can fine-tune the search by clicking the plus symbol on the right side of the screen and adding more parameters. To save your Smart Folder, hit Save on the right side of the screen. Note that you can save the Smart Folder wherever you want. That will open the Saved Searches folder.
Add either your saved searches or the Saved Searches folder to the Finder sidebar to save time.
Just head to the Saved Search folder using the Terminal command above or any other method you like , select a Smart Folder, and send it to the Trash. You can change the search criteria for a Smart Folder with just a few clicks. Open the Smart Folder and click the gear in the menu bar. Select Show Search Criteria :. When we looked at the search criteria earlier, the final option was Other. There are too many to list here, but you can include attributes like chat services, alpha channels, whether the file has a custom icon, photo exposure time, musical genre, creating organization, and more.
You can also use the search bar to find attributes quickly.
To use one of these attributes, select it and click OK you can also check the In Menu box to make it display in the dropdown. These free apps will let you know. Read More? Disk images can pile up quickly if you install a lot of apps. Learn more about Spotlight. When you select a search result, its location appears at the bottom of the window.
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In both Spotlight and Finder, you can use advanced searches to narrow your search results. To remove a file from the Trash, click the Trash to open it, then drag the file out of the Trash.
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The storage space used by those files then becomes available for other files. In macOS Sierra, you can set up your Mac to empty the trash automatically.
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Open Menu Close Menu Apple. Get to know the Finder on your Mac Learning about the Finder is the first step toward finding and organizing your documents, media, folders, and other files. Open windows and files To open a window and see the files on your Mac, switch to the Finder by clicking the Finder icon pictured above in the Dock.
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When you see a document, app, or other file that you want to open, just double-click it. Change how your files are displayed To change how files are displayed in Finder windows, use the View menu in the menu bar, or the row of buttons at the top of the Finder window. This is particularly useful when working with photos and media, because key EXIF data, like camera model and aperture value, are easy to locate.
Use Stacks on your desktop macOS Mojave introduces Stacks, which lets you automatically organize your desktop into neat stacks of files, so it's easy to keep your desktop tidy and find exactly what you're looking for. Search for files To search with Spotlight, click the magnifying glass in the menu bar, or press Command—Space bar. To search from a Finder window, use the search field in the corner of the window: When you select a search result, its location appears at the bottom of the window.
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