In the dialog of "About this Mac", started from below the Apple menu item, the Storage 'tab' says there are 42.43 GB of Movies.

Ok, how do I find all those files that the system categorizes as movies?

In other words - how did OSX find them?

I can't find them anywhere.

Is there a Terminal ls -al | grep [something] that I can fire off from the root folder to help me find them?

  • 1
    Just to let you know, even though different variants do seem to work, I changed the mdfind command line format to that which is shown in it's man page. Jan 31, 2016 at 3:16

2 Answers 2


In a Terminal, use the following command:

mdfind "kMDItemKind == '*movie'"

This will output the fully qualified pathnames of files in which the metadata stores used by Spotlight classify it as some type of movie.

Example output from a movie taken on my iPhone and transferred to iPhotos on my Mac, one of the lines outputted by mdls is:

kMDItemKind = "QuickTime movie"

"QuickTime movie", which have a .mov extension was just one of extension types that showed as "$some_type_of movie". So you will probably see other file extensions as well.


An alternative to the command line is Spotlight UI itself:

a Spotlight search in Finder (cmd+F) should come up with the same results, as "About This Mac > Storage" did.

In the search criteria set "Kind is Movie", click the plus sign towards the right of this line and add another two criteria (found under "Other" in the criteria options): "System Files are included" and for good measure "File Visibility Visible or Invisible".

Spotlight criteria used

Here these search results show the same amount of space used as given under "Storage" in "About this Mac".

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