When I switched from Windows to OS X Mavericks, it took me a few months to learn that the fastest way to open or save documents in an application was to search for the folder they should be in.

Under El Capitan, it seems to be increasingly difficult to find an application that allows me to find a folder name in the Open/Save dialog boxes. Almost every application only allows me to find the names of files, and systematically excludes folders. (One exception is Save As in Office 2016, which allows me to search folder names.) How can I fix this? Am I crazy for thinking this used to work?

P.S. The folders I'm looking for show up find in normal Spotlight searches.

  • Typing in the folder name in the search box (upper right on most Open Save windows) does not show the folder in the found list when searching "This Mac"? Can you add a screenshot? (blurring personal info, of course.)
    – bjbk
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 22:44

2 Answers 2


You can type kind:folder in search bar of your Open/Save Dialog to search only for folders. Alternatively, you can click on + next to Save if you are doing a Save As on the right side to select kind as folders from the dropdown. enter image description here

PS: The search bar containing This Mac Active etc. only appears after you have typed something in the top search bar.


This seems to have started working again. Presumably it was a bug of some kind. I still get erratic searching success from the Open dialog box. Now it's the "all my files" search that fails sometimes, but perhaps I'm not giving it enough time.

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