Like everyone else, I use spotlight to open up OSX apps. But I also like to use it to open up a particular log file, or a specific remote desktop connection.

When I search for the osx app, it is usually sorted to the top of the list so I can just type the return key to run it. However, for the log file and the remote connection, they are WAY down the list, so I have to use the mouse to click them. (I know, I am lazy)...

I used to use Launchy when I was on windows, and it would sort my most recently used items or most frequently used items to be at the top, so it was nice and convenient. Is there any way to duplicate this functionality?

3 Answers 3


I do that in Finder Search window with custom settings.

It looks like this

I save that search in the finder side bar, so now just click it and it shows me the results.

enter image description here

  • 1
    I guess I was more looking for something in the results of the spotlight search that is in the top right of the screen (which has the ⌘↩ shortcut). This is more handy because I can hit that keyboard shortcut in any context (not just finder).
    – Mike
    Mar 18, 2014 at 2:34

I'd check out LaunchBar. I'm not certain it will do exactly what you are looking for, but unlike Spotlight, it doesn't keep any class of result at the top.

Aside: I bought version 2 back when I first got OSX 10.0 (if I'm remembering correctly... the developer was originally a NeXT shop) and have bought updates a few times (It is currently on version 5.) It has definitely been worth it.

There are also a couple of free options that I've dabbled with, but I always went back to Launch Bar:

Alfred - (free, but they charge for certain actions you may or may not want)

Quicksilver - (Donationware)

Also: it might be possible to get Spotlight to do what you want. I'll leave that for other answerers since I don't know.


What you ask was the default behaviour of Spotlight, at least until Mojave, in my experience.
Once I updated to a more "modern" macOS version, Spotlight stopped sorting results altogether.


It doesn't give total control and the actual "Last Used hits" behaviour,
but you can add a (whatever) tag to the desired files.

This makes Spotlight increase the priority of the file and bumps it up.
(usually; until Apple doesn't come with a regression on that either)

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