How to search files
on Mac


Want to know how to make Mac search faster and easier when searching for specific file type or file format match? In this article we will highlight such popular questions as “How to find files on a Mac?” and “Standard ways of search on Mac”. So, let’s start.

First of all, you can search for files directly in Spotlight and in the Finder based search function. In order to run Spotlight search Mac users need to hit simultaneously Command+Spacebar. To open Finder search Mac users need to hit Command+F.


If you want to make file search on a Mac efficient you need to use proper search operators to narrow down your request. File search operators can be divided into two categories: specific, such as file format or general, such as file type.

How to search on a Mac for general file type


General file types can be such as “text”, “application”, “movie”, “image”, etc. So if you know exactly the type of the file you are searching simply type in the search functions of OS X the following: kind:(file type).

If you want to search by file type in Spotlight, the results will be shown in the list by recent usage. However, in Finder, the search will be done in the entire computer.

How to search on a Mac for specific file format


Specific file formats are presented as “gif”, “pdf”, “jpeg”, “zip”, “mp3”, etc. Knowing specific file format, simply type in the search functions of OS X the following: kind:(file format).

You can use these operators in Spotlight as well as in Finder.

How to search on a Mac for file names and specific file types/formats


When searching you can combine search operators and add different prefixes to get the better results. For example: kind:(operator) "text to search match".

However, if you want to search files in more efficient way, than you should choose a good file search utility. Take a glance at Commander One. With this app you can not only search through local drives and archives, but also on FTP servers. Commander One can also use Spotlight engine when searching. However, the search will be done through local drives only.


In order to start search click the “Search file” toolbar button and adjust the filters. The app allows searching for the whole word, for the text contained in the files as well as for the text in Unicode/Hex/UTF8/ANSI files only, searching in the archives, selections, limiting search to a current directory or certain level or even using RegEx and it also supports Case sensitive function.

Install Commander One and enjoy enhanced search.

Commander One

Requirements: MacOS 10.10+ , 36.95MB size
Version 2.1(3037) (8th Jul, 2019) Release notes
Category: Utilities