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If you use your Mac every day for work and your personal life, chances are you have a lot of files, photos, folders, documents, and other data all over your Mac. It can make finding one specific file a pain in the butt.


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Luckily, Spotlight lets you search your Mac for pretty much anything, making it easy to find whatever you need. Here's how to use Spotlight on Mac. What Spotlight can help you find Spotlight helps you find pretty much anything on your Mac. It indexes the contents of your Mac's hard drive to make it easier to find documents, emails, apps, music, contacts, and other information.

It can also help you find information on the web, perform equations, and now in High Sierra, it can even find your flight information. How to access and use Spotlight in macOS. Click on the Spotlight button in the menu bar, it looks like a magnifying glass. Or, use the Command - Space keyboard shortcut. The Spotlight search field will appear in the middle of your screen. Type in your search query. Spotlight will return results as you type.

If Spotlight isn't finding what you're looking for, you can adjust its search results to be optimized for what you need. You can also exclude specific locations of your hard disk to prevent Spotlight from searching information you'd prefer to keep private. How to customize Spotlight search results.


Click on the  menu button on the top left of your screen. Click System Preferences. Click on Spotlight. Click the Checkbox beside the category to change what Spotlight will show you. If it has a checkmark, then those results will be displayed; if it doesn't, then those results will not be displayed.

How to hide content from Spotlight search If you have sensitive documents in a certain location that you never want to be searched, you can tell Spotlight to not look in those locations. Click on the  menu button on the top left of your screen. Click System Preferences.

Click on Spotlight. Click on the Privacy tab. Click on the add button. It's the + sign at the bottom left of the window.

How to Customize Your Mac Spotlight Search Results By You can customize search results in numerous ways on your Mac by telling Spotlight where to search and by telling it, in precise detail, the criteria to use in that search. Look over here If the contents you’re searching for reside on the Mac before your very eyes (as opposed to another on your network), make sure that the Search: This Mac button is the one you choose. The button to its immediate right changes depending on what you have highlighted and what you are searching. You see All My Files, also displayed under Favorites in the navigation tree on the left.

Choosing either option tells Spotlight to look nowhere else but that folder (and its subfolders). Sometimes, the next button shows any other computer on your network for which you have sharing rights. The Shared option doesn’t appear if no other Mac is on your network with File Sharing turned on. Indeed, you have to set up the computers so that they’re in a sharing mood. Search this, not that Now that Spotlight knows where to set its sights, it’s time to tell it exactly what you’re looking for. Do you want Spotlight to search for an item by its filename? Or do you want it to hunt for nuggets buried somewhere deep inside those files?

Remember that in searching for something, you don’t necessarily want to cast too wide a net. The best way to narrow results is to enter as specific a search term as possible right off the bat. As you plan your vacation, typing beach will probably summon the e-mail message Gilligan sent you. But because Spotlight finds all files or programs that match that text, results may also include Microsoft PowerPoint presentations with a beach theme, pictures of your family by the seashore, and songs on your storage drives sung by the Beach Boys. Typing Gilligan and beach together helps you fine-tune your search.

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If you know the type of item you’re looking for, such as Gilligan’s e-mail as opposed to his picture, you can filter the search in another way.

This entry was posted on 01.10.2019.