I have a Western Digital NAS and I've noticed that if I tag any files/folders stored on it, the Finder never shows them when I select a tag in the sidebar.

For example, if I add a tag called Work to a folder on the NAS, that folder won't appear when I select the Work tag in the Finder's sidebar, although other files and folders with the tag (that are located on the internal storage) will.

And I can browse to the folder on the NAS and see that the tag is applied, so it isn't that the tag isn't being saved or something.

Is there any way I can get the sidebar tags to include files/folders from the NAS?

  • Are you able to use Spotlight to find anything on the NAS? (I assume filtering by tag is handled by Spotlight.)
    – pknz
    Sep 1, 2014 at 2:23
  • Yes, but only if I search in the Finder and select "Shared" in the filter bar. If I leave the filter on "This Mac," or if I search from the global Spotlight menu, I get no results for anything on the NAS. Since the tags in the sidebar are technically doing a search under the hood, I'm guessing they just default to not included results from shared drives?
    – daGUY
    Sep 1, 2014 at 17:56

1 Answer 1


Having the same problem. Finder is not showing all the tags I made on various documents after I transferred everything to my new AirPort.

So, a kind of a workaround (although far from ideal) is to create your own tags: create a Smart Folder in Finder to search (also) in your external drive (via 'shared') and let one of the search criteria be 'filename' 'contains' ... .

Then you fill in a self-made 'tag', like 'to do' or 'review' or 'finished', etc. Then name this this Smart Folder for instance 'To do' and place it in your Favorites-section on the left side of the Finder-menu.

Finally, change the file names of the files you want to find and enter anywhere in the file name itself the same words, like: 'to do' or 'review' or 'finished', etc.

Now, if you click on the Smart Search folder, you will see all files with for instance 'to do' in the file name, in your external drive.

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