I'm trying to start using Mavericks tagging system, even though it has its bugs…
I'm also evaluating Yep to better organize my docs, but maybe I can do without, if I can find how to display all the untagged files in a Finder window via smart folders/saved searches. There's the filter for "Tag" (in "other…"), but it wants me to write a tag name (or the start/end of it). Is there any way to use a wildcard, or an hidden way to set "has tags" as filter?
(Also, a more intuitive way to view files with two or more tags would be good…)

3 Answers 3


Ok, I should have taken a look at SuperUser, here's a way to do what AllInOne says without fiddling with XML files (and it's faster).
Simply create a new smart folder or hit cmd+F, choose "Raw Query" from the filters and type kMDItemUserTags != '*' in the field.

  • This is awesome sauce! Jun 24, 2014 at 19:05

A simple way to do this in Finder...

At the top of the finder window you see the column headers such as "Name", "Size", "Kind" etc like in the picture below.

enter image description here

Just right click on any column header and you can add a column called "tags"as seen here.

enter image description here

Then you can sort that column.


Create a new Smart Folder where Tags is not foo. Save your new Smart Folder to your Desktop.

Open your "Smart Folder" in a text editor. Yes, they are just XML files!

Go to line 8. You will see something that looks like:

<string>((kMDItemUserTags != "foo"cd))</string>

Replace "foo" with the wildcard character, like so:

<string>((kMDItemUserTags != "*"cd))</string>


Save the text file.

There is some kind of caching in saved searches. We need to overcome this so the Smart Folder will use the new search criteria instead of the old (cached) criteria. What worked for me was duplicating the Smart Folder.

Open the duplicated folder and you should see all of the non-tagged files and none of the tagged files.

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