With Mountain Lion, the following was working:

  • Search for a file type and name, e.g. to find all Excel sheets named Foo: kind:excel foo
  • This would show all Excel sheets where the name includes Foo in the spotlight results.
  • If the name of the files was the same, Spotlight would show the name of the containing folder right next to the name of the file.

Unfortunately I don't have a screenshot of this available. The displayed name of the containing folder was helpful in deciding which file I wanted.

In Mavericks, the folder name is no longer displayed next to the search result - see screenshot.

Mavericks Spotlight Search Results

Is there a way to enable this in Mavericks?

I know that I can show the file location when hovering over the item in the search results and pressing Cmd, but that's not what I want.

  • So Show all in Finder is not good enough for you?
    – Ruskes
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 12:41
  • No, otherwise I wouldn't have asked :-) I would also like to understand whether there's a configuration that allows me to get the old behavior back. I guess we'll never find out why that feature was removed from Mavericks, I thought it was really useful.
    – nwinkler
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 12:45
  • 1
    it was removed as part of the process in which they consider all users dumb... It's really annoying!
    – ortnec
    Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 15:23

6 Answers 6


Hold down Option and Cmd to get the full path while moving the mouse over the hits. Kinda nice now I know. Hold those two keys while clicking on the preview causes Spotlight to open the Finder at the hit location; very convenient!

  • This works for me.
    – itsafire
    Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 13:52
  • 1
    What does the Option key in this case? Cmd by itself seems to show the path Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 21:16
    – chrismarx
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 20:24

For me it's working fine. It shows the folder names when the file names are identical.

Here I searched for music files and it still shows the folder names: Strange.

  • Yes, this works for me as well. As soon as I add the kind:... term to limit the results to a specific type of document, it doesn't show the folder names anymore. What happens if you search for Hello kind:music? It should still show you the music entries, but does it still show "Lionel Richie" as the folder name after the first result? I'm pretty sure this was working in Mountain Lion.
    – nwinkler
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 15:46
  • I search just Downloads right now, I get five completely identical-looking folder results, with no note after them. If I hover them I can sort of figure out which one I want based on size or permissions, but…
    – Mattie
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 16:11
  • I searched for music files and it still shows the folder names.
    – NEO
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 20:59
  • It seems inconsistent. I've just managed to do one search on Mavericks including the kind:... part, and it showed folder names after the identically named results. Another search didn't include the folders ...
    – nwinkler
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 7:17

Hold down ⌘ Cmd and then it shows the path.

(Works at least on my Mavericks 10.9.2)


Hold down ⌘ Cmd and then click on the document it will open that doc in finder


On my 10.9.2 install holding CMD while hovering over Spotlight search results adds additional content from sources that Spotlight can preview to the preview pop-up, but for sources it can't generate a preview for (e.g., a unix executable) it shows only the filename.

To get the COMPLETE path or URL to show up I have to hold down BOTH CMD and Option while hovering. Wonder if there's a writeable pref to toggle this on by default?


10.9.5 = the following behavior:

  1. Hovering over spotlight result opens preview pop-up.

  2. While hovering, holding CMD alone, look at the bottom of the preview pop-up. You will see it cycle between the path to the result, and, if applicable, the context it based the result on with your search term highlighted. It may have matched name, content, etc...

  3. If you hold both OPTION and CMD, it will just display the path to the file.

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