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How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Finder on Mac is one of the most comfortable ways to get around your Mac and navigate through files and folders. Besides the essential functions that you see in the Finder, there are specific handy tools that can ease your file and folder navigation further.

That’s precisely what we are going to discuss today. We will explain how to reveal file path in the Finder on Mac to know the exact location of a file or folder that you are viewing currently (If you wish to copy file/folder path from Mac finder, jump here.) The process is quite simple and will take little more than a couple of steps. To make it even simpler, we have prepared the guide with steps and images to help you out, cruise around.

How to Show File Path in Finder on Mac

Step #1. Open the Finder first.

Step #2. Now from the Finder menu at the top, click on View.

Step #3. All you need to do now is to click on “Show Path Bar.”

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Now you can see a small bar pops-up at the bottom of the Finder.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Step #4. To make sure everything was done right, navigate through different folders and notice the path being displayed in that bar.

If you ever wish to hide the path again, Simply click on “Hide Path Bar.”

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

View Full File Path in Finder on Mac Using Keyobard Shortcut

Viewing a File path is even more easy using a Keyboard shortcut. Open Finder → Use the combination of Option(⌥) + Command( ⌘ ) + P.

That’s all for now!

Signing off

This feature didn’t need any technical know-how, and it should have been available to all Mac users by default instead of manually doing it. But maybe Apple had some other thoughts on it. Now that you know it, make sure you use it and reduce the stress of memorizing file path.

You may like to refer:

Should you have any issue following this guide, make sure you comment below or get in touch with us.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Mac users who are searching for specific file type and file format matches on their computer can make the job dramatically easier by issuing proper search operators to the Find functions in Mac OS X. File type search operators can be used directly in Spotlight and also in the Finder based search function, and they can be either very specific to a particular file format (for example, a JPEG), or more general to a file type (for example, a movie).

Let’s walk through some examples of how to use these to look for and match a variety of file types and file formats in Mac OS.

As a quick reminder, you can open Spotlight search by hitting the Command+Spacebar key combo from anywhere in Mac OS and Mac OS X, and you can open a new Finder search with Command+F from anywhere in the Mac file system, desktop, or Finder.

Searching for a General File Type in Mac OS

If you know you want to find and match general file types, you can use generalized file operators in the search functions of Mac OS like so:

File type search operators can be things like ‘image’, ‘movie’, ‘music’, ’email’, ‘application’, ‘text’, ‘archive’, etc.

For example, if you want to find all images in a folder, or search for a file that you know is an image, you could use the following operator:

If used in Spotlight (command+spacebar), the matches will be listed by most recent usage, but you can click on the “Show all in Finder” option to see all matches for the search type.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

If the kind:type operator is used in the Finder windows, it will default to searching the entire computer for matches of that type (in the prior example, all images, or in the below example, all music).

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Searching for Specific File Format Matches in Mac OS X

Assuming you know a specific file format, you can use file format operators when searching on the Mac as well, like so:

File format search operators are quite literal, meaning you can specify something like ‘jpeg’, ‘gif’, ‘aiff’, ‘pdf’, ‘rtf’, ‘psd’, ‘mp3’, ‘zip’, or basically any other file format.

For example, to search for matches that are mp3 files, you would use:

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Just like before, you can use these operators in either Spotlight, or with direct Finder searches.

Searching for File Names & Specific File Types / Formats on Mac

You can take the file type and file format searches further by using the search operator as a prefix to narrow down a name search as well. The usage of an operator in this scenario would be like so:

kind:(operator) “text to search match”

In this image example with Spotlight, we’re searching for ‘kind:pdf’ and the text match of “user_guide” with “kind:pdf ‘user_guide’”

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

This works great if you know a general name and file type but can’t remember the file format or exact name (for example, if you know it’s an image file and had the text ‘iPhone’ in the file name, but can’t remember the exact file itself).

Search operators are very powerful and can make locating things on the Mac much easier, whether you start from the Spotlight search feature or a general Finder based file search. You can learn more about general Spotlight search operators for OS X here, or read a few more specific use cases, like locating large files on the Mac with size searches, or finding files from a specific date with another operator set, or even searching system files in Mac OS X.

Know of any other handy uses of search operators on the Mac? Let us know in the comments.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

When you’re looking for something on your Mac, whether a document, file, or application, you have two powerful search tools; Finder and Spotlight. We’ve covered some tips for helping you use Spotlight on your Mac, so now it’s time to offer up our help with Finder.

The Finder Search feature does more than provide you a simple search box. You can select how to look, add criteria to narrow down your results, and save your searches to reuse.

Here are several tips for using Finder Search on Mac.

Basic Finder searches

If you’re looking for something on your Mac using Finder, you simply pop a keyword or phrase into the Search box on the top right of the Finder window.

When you do this, you can select to find the term in the filename, kind of file, from someone, or just use Everything. Click the drop-down box in the left side of the search box after you enter your keyword or phrase. This is a quick way to narrow down certain results.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Depending on the folder you’re searching within, you can also use the options at the top of the Finder window to search the current folder or pick This Mac or Shared.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Add criteria to searches

If you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can narrow down your search results even further.

After you enter your keyword or phrase, click the plus sign in the bar that appears below the Search box.

1) You can then use criteria like name, last opened date, contents, or other.

2) Once you make a selection, move to the next drop-down box for options like matches, contains, begins or ends with.

3) Then, enter your text in the last box if needed.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Your search results will refresh automatically to match the criteria that you entered. And if you want to go a step further, you can click the plus sign to the right and add another set of criteria.

The Apple Support site offers up a tons of metadata attributes that you can use for searching your Mac. So if you’re comfortable popping in things like “author:[name]” or “[keyword] kind:document,” then you can use those types of searches too.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

But adding the criteria as explained above accomplishes this same goal and you don’t have to worry about entering the correct metadata or using the right syntax for the search.

Save your searches as Smart Folders

Smart Folders on Mac give you a convenient way to put items into folders automatically. Be sure to check out our full tutorial for working with Smart Folders if you’re interested.

When you want to save a search as a Smart Folder, it’s really easy.

1) Click the Save button below the Search box.

2) Give your Smart Folder a name and pick its location. You’ll notice a folder called “Smart Searches” is there by default, but you can change it.

If you decide to use that folder, you can access it with Finder by clicking Go > Go to Folder, entering

/library/saved searches, and clicking Go.

You also have an option at the bottom to Add to Sidebar so you can access it easily from the Finder Sidebar when needed.

3) When you finish, click Save.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Now you can access that Smart Folder when you want items you searched for and anything new will be automatically added to it.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Wrapping it up

When you’re in search of something on your Mac, it can get aggravating if you aren’t finding what you want. This is especially true if you’re in a hurry and need a file quickly. These helpful tips for the Finder Search feature should help!

Do you have tricks for using the Finder Search that you think our readers could use? If so, please do leave a comment below!

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

This Mac tip is provided by Mark Greentree and was originally posted on Mark’s blog – Everyday Mac Support. For more of Mark’s tips visit his site, follow him on Twitter, or browse his archive of posts here.

How To: Searching For File Types In Mac OS X Lion Finder Windows

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

A new search option which was first delivered in the Mac App Store has made a system wide appearance in Mac OS X Lion. That option is the ability to search by file type or extension rather than by file name.

As you can see from the image at the beginning of this post you simply type kind: pdf or kind:pdf for example and all PDF files within the given area you are searching will be presented. Likewise, as shown below if you simply type kind: doc then all possible formats which are classed as a document will be presented such as a Word Document or a Pixelmator Document. Should you highlight Pixelmator Document for example you will be shown only Pixelmator documents.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

You can also perform the same search without using kind:. The difference will be that you will get file names as well as file kinds and extensions in the search results. Hence, using kind: gives you a more specific search window.

Please note, this does not work in Spotlight. It only works in the search bar of Finder windows.

For more helpful tips, check out our full collection of tutorials by visiting our How-To category!

@benjedwards
June 30, 2020, 11:23am EDT

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

When fixing problems on a Mac, sometimes you need to roll up your sleeves and directly modify system settings files in your Library folder. Apple hides the Library folder by default, so it can be tough to locate. Here’s how to find it.

Be Careful in Your Library Folder

Apple hides the Library folder for a good reason: It contains essential configuration files for both macOS and your applications. If you accidentally delete or modify those files, you might cause problems serious with your system. So, before you dive into Library, make sure you have a current Time Machine backup and a plan for what you’ll be doing.

It’s also a good idea to keep a backup copy of files you will be moving or replacing in the Library folder. For example, if you plan to overwrite a file called “email.plist,” you should rename the existing file “email.plist.old” first. If something goes wrong with your replacement, you can delete it and restore the previous file by renaming it back to “email.plist.”

Method 1: Use the Go Menu

In Finder, when you click on the Go menu at the top of the screen, “Library” usually isn’t present on the list. But if you hold down the Option key when you click “Go,” “Library” will appear.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

From there, you can click on the “Library” option, and you will be taken directly to your Library folder.

Method 2: “Go To” Your Library Folder Directly

Alternately, if you like making things slightly more complicated, you can also visit your Library folder by switching to Finder and selecting Go > Go to Folder in the menu bar.

In the text box that pops up, enter “

/Library” and hit “Go.”

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Just like that, you’ll be taken directly to your Library folder.

Method 3: A Keyboard Shortcut that Shows Hidden Files

If you are browsing your user account’s home folder in Finder and Library is hidden, press Command+Shift+. (that’s a period) on the keyboard. All the hidden files in the folder will appear as translucent icons, including the Library folder.

From there, you can double-click the Library folder icon to open it.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

If you want to hide the Library folder again, just hit Command+Shift+. and the hidden files will disappear as quickly as they came.

How to Make the Library Folder Always Visible in macOS

If you access the Library folder frequently and would just like to always be able to view it, there’s an option for that as well. To see it, open a Finder window and navigate to View > Show View Options in the menu bar at the top of the screen. Or you can hit Command+J.

In the small window that pops up, locate the option that says “Show Library Folder” and check the box beside it.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

After that, the Library will always appear both in your Home folder and in Finder’s Go menu. Be careful and good luck!

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Typically if you’re looking to determine the file type and encoding of an item, you can simply look at the file in the Mac Finder, check the file name extension, Get Info about the file, or even open it to quickly find out what the file is. Of course, that’s limited to the user friendly file system of Mac OS X, and there are occasions where it may be necessary to detect how a file is encoded or what a file type is from the command line, often with less obvious clues (or no clues at all) than a visible file extension.

If you’re in a situation where you need to figure out what a particular file is and how it’s encoded, you can use the ‘file’ command with the uppercase i flag to quickly see what the file is, and it’s character set.

How to Determine File Type / Encoding via Command Line on Mac

To try this yourself, launch the Terminal application and issue the proper syntax.

The syntax to determine file encoding type and file type in Mac OS (and from the linux command line as well) looks like the following:

file -I filename

Do note the flag is a capital ‘i’ and not a lowercase l. The output of the properly executed command will read like the following:

/Path/To/Filename: fileformat/filetype; charset=encoding

Let’s look at a few examples, first is checking a file which turns out to be an image:

/Desktop/iphone-plus
/Users/Paul/Desktop/iphone-plus: image/jpeg; charset=binary

The file type is clearly shown as is the character set.

Again, with another file, which shows as an xml encoded as us-ascii:

file -I osxdaily.com.webloc
osxdaily.com.webloc: application/xml; charset=us-ascii

Another example which turns out to be a plain old text file:

/Documents/diywatch: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

And another example which turns out to be an executable binary application:

file -I /usr/sbin/streamy
/usr/sbin/streamy: application/octet-stream; charset=binary

This command line approach to determining file type and encoding can be helpful for many reasons, whether for usage in a script, for remote troubleshooting or maintenance with ssh, finding specific file types and file formats with the built-in search functions in Mac OS X, or even for your own purposes of determining what a mystery file is, what app to open it with, and perhaps what extension type it should have if it’s missing one.

No matter how well you organize the files on your Mac, it can sometimes be challenging to find the exact file you want.

This is particularly true with older files, which are probably buried in a folder you haven’t thought of in ages.

Fortunately, you can easily find files on your Mac using the Finder window, or Spotlight search. Here’s how.

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How to find files on your Mac using Finder

Here’s how to use Finder to search for files on your Mac.

1. Finder is always automatically open on your Mac. If you can’t find a Finder window, click on the Finder icon in the Dock at the bottom of your screen. It’s a blue and white face, usually the first thing in your Dock.

2. Type your search term into the search box. It’s the field with a magnifying glass in it in the upper-left corner of your Finder window.

3. As you type, a menu will pop down that says “Name Matches.” If you know that what you searched for is in the name of the file you need, choose this option. If not, ignore it and hit enter to execute the search.

4. You can also search by date. Write out the name of the month and the year, and select the “Dates” option from the drop-down menu to find files from that month.

5. Finder will start by searching the folder you had open when you initiated the search. If you didn’t have a folder open, the search will start with “This Mac,” which searches your entire computer.

6. You can toggle back and forth between a folder and your whole computer by clicking on “This Mac” or the folder name. Finder only shows you This Mac and one folder. If you’re searching for a file that you know is in a particular folder, open it in the Finder window before you start your search.

7. Once you find the file you want using this search method, you can double-click it to open it, or right-click it and select “Show in Enclosing Folder” to be brought to the folder that it’s currently in.

Giving your files descriptive names will make it easier to find them later. You can search for documents that contain a keyword or words, but it will be easier and quicker to find the file you want if you can search for the exact name of the file you want.

How to find files on your Mac using Spotlight search

Here’s how to use Spotlight to search for files.

1. Open Spotlight by clicking the magnifying glass icon in the upper right corner of your Mac’s screen.

2. Type your search term in the field that pops up. Spotlight will open a window with the most relevant results, including files, folders, and often even a definition of your search term.

Spotlight will also bring up websites that are related to your search terms, so if you’re trying to find a website quickly, Spotlight can be a big help.

Before we start

Having spent some years coding applications for macOS we’ve created a tool that everybody can use. The all-round problem fixer for Mac.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

So here’s a tip for you: Download CleanMyMac to quickly solve some of the issues mentioned in this article. But to help you do it all by yourself, we’ve gathered our best ideas and solutions below.

Features described in this article refer to the MacPaw site version of CleanMyMac X.

No matter how much space you have on your Mac, one day, you may see “Your disk is almost full” notification. Even if it seems like there is no app or program that would take a considerable amount of storage, the large files may be hidden deep down in your Mac’s memory. Keep reading to discover how to locate such files on your Mac and delete them for good.

Scan the most obvious place

When looking for large files on their Macs, users often start scanning a bunch of folders stored on their machines. But, usually, the most common destination of all large files is the Downloads folder. You may automatically download thousands of files and forget to remove them. So, checking the Downloads folder on your Mac may help you find lots of forgotten large files and documents that you don’t need anymore.

Looking for the large items may take some time. Free tools, like CleanMyMac X, can accelerate the process by scanning your Mac’s memory and detecting large files. The only task left for you will be to remove the found files all at once.

Find large files using Finder

Another way to search for large files is by using search filters in Finder. It can help you locate the biggest files on your Mac. Here’s how to find large files using Finder:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Find the Search field in the top right and click it.
  3. Click the Settings symbol and select Show Search Criteria.
  4. In the list of search filters on the left, choose Other.
  5. In the window that appears, select File Size and click OK. How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac 
  6. In the second space, select Is greater than and enter the size in the third space.
  7. Choose KB, MG, or GB in a final filter field.

Remember to select This Mac to get a full list of results. You will then see all files which size is greater than you defined. Look through the found documents and remove unnecessary items that take too much space on your Mac.

Although, this method has certain disadvantages. Finder doesn’t give you a full picture of the large files stored on your Mac. It shows only single files, excluding large folders that comprise a lot of smaller items.

It’s also unclear which files you can safely delete without risk of removing important documents. Finder neither provides any additional information about files nor shows which folder the file belongs to. So, it’s difficult to decide whether the large file is important or not.

Continue reading to discover how to find the largest files on your Mac using other methods.

Find large files using the Storage Management app

Another solution is to use the built-in Storage Management app.

  1. Choose Apple menu.
  2. Select About This Mac.
  3. In the window that appears, click Storage. Here you can see how much free storage you have and view the amount of space used by different categories. How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac
  4. Click Manage.
  5. As the Storage Management app opens, select Documents.
  6. Browse the Large Files to delete those you don’t need.

Click any file to see its path at the bottom of the window. The Storage Management app also shows the exact size of each document as well as the date you opened it last.

Apple provides helpful recommendations at the top left to help you optimize your storage. Here you can choose to store all your files in iCloud, remove large files like movies and TV shows, turn on Empty Trash Automatically and reduce clutter.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

This method is great for those who don’t have a lot of large files on their Mac. But, if you tend to keep many files on your machine, you may consider using the Storage Management app tiresome.

How to find biggest files on Mac via Terminal

Another way to locate large files on your Mac is to use Terminal. Although some users find commands complicated, if you use them correctly, you can find anything on your Mac. So, you can locate the biggest files on your device, just like that:

  1. Go to Utilities and open Terminal.
  2. Execute find command. If you want to locate all files bigger than 1G under the /home directory, for example, type find /home -size 1G .
  3. To delete the files enter
    find /home -type f -name *.avi -size +2G -exec rm <>
    This command will remove all AVI files that are greater than 2GB under the /home directory.

Using this command, you can also limit your search, setting size filters. Then your command will look like this: find /home -size +30M -size -100M . This command will locate all files that are greater than 30MB but less than 100MB.

Locate and remove large files using CleanMyMac X

If you have enough time, you can look through all data stored on your Mac using the methods described above. In case you want to speed up the process, CleanMyMac X can prove useful. Thanks to its Large & Old files feature, you can look at the bigger picture of all large files found on your Mac and delete them altogether.

Here’s short instruction on how to find and delete large files using CleanMyMac X:

  1. Download the free version of CleanMyMac X and open the app once it’s installed.
  2. Click the Large & Old Files tab.
  3. Run a quick scan.
  4. CleanMyMac X will show you all files stored on your Mac. You can sort files based on their size, type, and access date, to see the large items that can be removed from your Mac.
  5. Check the boxes for the files you want to delete and click Remove.

Using CleanMyMac X, you can remove all unnecessary files quickly and make some space for more important documents.

So, these were some simple methods of how to view all files on Mac and delete them. You can either use Finder, the Storage Management app, or Terminal to find the biggest files on your Mac and clean up your machine of them.

Before we start

Having spent some years coding applications for macOS we’ve created a tool that everybody can use. The all-round problem fixer for Mac.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

So here’s a tip for you: Download CleanMyMac to quickly solve some of the issues mentioned in this article. But to help you do it all by yourself, we’ve gathered our best ideas and solutions below.

Features described in this article refer to the MacPaw site version of CleanMyMac X.

When you’ve got loads of files — hundreds or even thousands isn’t unusual after a couple years using the same Mac — it can be difficult to get the correct file path. We attempt to solve this problem in this article for those tired of looking for files and file paths on a Mac.

After trying Spotlight Searches or browsing through files, you might be ready to give up. At times, not knowing the right name can cause software conflicts. But don’t despair. There is always a way to locate a file path.

How to get a file path on a Mac?

To get a basic understanding where you file is located, just right click the file.

  1. Right-click the file
  2. Click Get Info

Look up what’s written under Where:

The selected area shows the enclosed folder of your document.

How to copy the file path

Copying any text from the previous window isn’t easy, obviously. But still you need a complete file address that you can copy and paste anywhere. So you do one extra step:

  1. Click on Finder
  2. Click View in the upper bar
  3. Click Show the Path Bar

Interestingly, the file path will immediately appear underneath the Finder window.

  • Now, Control + Click the file you want the location for
  • Hold the Option key

You will see the new command that has appeared in the context menu — Copy …. as Pathname

  • Click on the selected command

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

You are now ready to paste. This information is pasted into the Clipboard. Make sure to complete pasting/moving it elsewhere, or this will be lost and you will need to find the folder again.

And that is how to get folder path in Mac. Nice and simple.

How to find the file path using Terminal

Also known as a folder path, or directory path, they aren’t always easy to find. When every other method has failed, turn to Terminal as your solution.

  1. Go to Applications > Utilities.
  2. Launch Terminal.
  3. Make sure you are using it as a Super User (which means being logged in as an Admin), so type in sudo su — then press Return.
  4. Now you need to have something of an idea what this file might be called, so once you do, type in the following (the name in the middle is where you’d put a file name): find / -name randomfilename -print
  5. Give it time to process the query, which could take several minutes.
  6. A list of names should appear, some or many of which you can ignore as they will be followed by file-end names, such as “operation not permitted”; so focus on the ones that make the most sense, such as: /Library/Application Support/randomfilename/settings/
  7. Now copy and past the full name and drop it into Finder or Spotlight Search.

Hopefully, this will bring you to the file you need.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

A shortcut to see unlisted (grayed out) files

For those who love Apple, which for many is more than a tech company, it’s a representation of a lifestyle, a brand that has many fans, we’ve got a fun fact for you. Did you know there is a shortcut combination to see hidden files?

This shortcut should work for anyone running macOS Mojave, High Sierra, and Sierra, and anything beyond OS 10.12. Here is how you access the shorcut:

  1. From Finder, go anywhere where you suspect there are hidden files, such as the the Macintosh HD root directory, or Home folder
  2. Next, press down the Command + Shift + Period keys, which should toggle to show hidden files in that folder.
  3. As you press the shortcut the keys are visible: when you switch it off, they dissapear again.

Any hidden files that have been made visible will have greyed out names and icons.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

How to find other hidden files on Mac?

It isn’t always easy to know where you’ve put every file on your Mac.

After a couple years of constant use, a Mac can start to resemble a cluttered old-school file cabinet. Files in places that once make sense, but are now in the wrong place. Files and folders that should be in the right place, but have been put somewhere else. Files that seemingly don’t exist, or are floating around elsewhere.

One solution to this is to download CleanMyMac X. It’s a handy and easy-to-use Mac performance improvement app. It comes with a few tools for finding unlisted, hidden, and large old files that have slipped through the cracks. Here is how you use it:

  1. Download CleanMyMac X (download a free edition here).
  2. Click on Space Lens.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

These blue bubbles represent all your documents in relation to their size. You can dive into each of these folders to reveal their contents — a more visual alternative to Finder.

You can also use the Large & Old files scanner (in the same app). Either or both features will highlight a few gigabytes worth of space you can free up, uncovering files that can easily slip through the cracks and become forgotten. By the way, CleanMyMac X is notarized by Apple, which means this app is malware-free and safe to use on your Mac.

For those with a lot of files, or Mac users badly in need of making more hard drive space, CleanMyMac X is an invaluable tool. We hope you found this article useful about how to locate and copy the file path details when searching for what you need.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Some of the more notable updates in macOS 10.14 Mojave came to the Finder. Users can now use Stacks to clean up their desktops, check out files in the new Gallery view in Finder windows, get a more detailed view of their files’ metadata, take quick action on items, and even make edits to files without even opening them thanks to refinements in Quick Look.

Here’s how all of the new stuff in Finder works on macOS Mojave.

How to use Stacks in macOS Mojave

    Click View in the Menu bar of your Mac when on your desktop with no apps in the foreground.

Click Use Stacks.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Hover your mouse cursor over Group Stacks By. Choose between Kind, Date Last Opened, Date Added, Date Modified, Date Created, and Tags.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

How to use Gallery View in macOS Mojave

    Click on the Finder icon in your Dock to open a new Finder window.

Navigate to the folder or section that you want to view.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Click the Gallery View button on the right-most side of the view selection buttons on the Finder window.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

How to view file metadata in macOS Mojave

    Click on the Finder icon in your Dock to open a new Finder window.

Choose the view you want to use.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Click View in the Menu bar.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Click Show More in the Preview pane to view additional metadata.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

How to use Quick Actions in macOS Mojave

    Click on the Finder icon in your Dock to open a new Finder window.

Choose the view you want to use.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Click View in the Menu bar if the Preview pane isn’t already visible.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Choose one of the actions available at the bottom of the Preview pane to perform it on the selected file or files.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Click More… to find any other actions that you might be able to take.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

How to use Quick Look in macOS Mojave

Quick Look’s updates in macOS Mojave make it more powerful than ever. Here’s how you use it.

    Click on the Finder icon in your Dock to open a new Finder window.

Choose the view you want to use.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

Click the action button to take an action on the file. What actions you can take and what the button looks like will depend on the file type.

  • Documents will have a Markup button. This allows you to draw, write, and highlight on images and documents, add text boxes to them, and even sign documents with a pre-saved signature. Images can be cropped and rotated as well.
  • In addition to Markup, images may also have a Rotate button. Press this to rotate your image to the left.
  • Audio and video files will have a Trim button. Press this, then grab the sliders on either end of the Quick Look preview to trim the length of an audio clip or video.

How to Search for File Types in Finder on a Mac

  • Tap the space bar again when you’re done with Quick Look.
  • Questions?

    If you have any questions about how the new Finder capabilities work in macOS Mojave, let us know in the comments.

    If you need to search for files in OS X, one option it is to use the OS X Terminal application and some of its services.

    There several ways to find files in OS X, the most popular of which are GUI-based routines such as the Spotlight menu and the Finder search, both of which offer quick access to the system’s metadata search index. However, there are other options for accessing this index and otherwise finding files you might be interested in locating.

    Of course besides Apple’s GUI options there are some third-party searching tools available; however, without these the other option in OS X is to use the Terminal, which can benefit both Terminal and GUI-based routines.

    The first option in the Terminal is the classic “find” command that is common to many Unix systems, which will recursively walk a specified folder hierarchy and search items for a given name pattern. The find command has a number of options you can use to narrow down search results, and these can be looked up on its manual page, but the basics for finding a file are to specify the starting path and the name, such as the example here to locate a file called “test.txt” starting in the Users directory:

    The find command will try to enter any folder in the specified path, which can result in “Permission denied” errors, but for files that your account has default access, this command should reveal them properly. Screenshot by Topher Kessler/CNET

    find /Users -name “test.txt”

    Since the find command walks through the filesystem hierarchy, it may take a long time to complete, and if you specify the root folder only (without using flags to prevent recursion), it may recurse through the /Volumes/Macintosh HD/ mount point directory repeatedly and never end the search.

    Beyond the find command are two that offer indexed search results. The first of these is the “locate” command, which will build a database of system resources and then allow you to find them by simply typing the following command:

    In this command, NAME can be any partial file name and the command will output the full path to any item that includes this name. The locate command does require a properly built “locate” database, which Apple blocks by default in OS X; however, you can enable the launch daemon that regularly builds and updates the locate database with the following command:

    sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.locate.plist

    The locate command will show system files either by full or partial name. Screenshot by Topher Kessler/CNET

    After this command is run, after a while the locate database will be assembled and be ready to use, but once it’s completed you can use the locate command to search for numerous system files that you might know of by name. Do keep in mind that this command will only search for system files and will not index the user directories for finding personal files.

    The final command is the “mdfind” command, which will locate files on your system that have been indexed for use with Spotlight. This command is arguably the more thorough of the two prior commands, as it will search both user and system files by default, and also offer options to search by file name and by file content, just like Spotlight searches.

    To use this command, simply run it as follows; it will output a list of full paths to the files that include the search term:

    The mdfind command will locate files in your user directory, as well as those in the system. In this case, the same file was found as part of an developer application installation in the User directory, as well as in the system directory. Screenshot by Topher Kessler/CNET

    As with all of these commands, the mdfind command has a number of additional options that can be implemented for limiting and customizing its search scope, which can be looked up in the mdfind manual page.

    With these commands, you can easily output the full path to files you may be interested in locating, and then be able to access them either in the Finder or use the full path in subsequent Terminal commands. To reveal items in the finder, simply triple-click one of the paths to select it, and then right-click the selection and choose “Reveal in Finder” from the Services contextual submenu.

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