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As a software developer, I often need to look into files within the Library folder.

For quick access, I'd like to be able to see the files in my Spotlight searches.

How can I do that?

  • The answer to this question explains that by default System Files (including everything in the Library folders) are excluded from search. Hopefully someone more experienced will come up with a way to change that behavior. I've been annoyed by this for a long time too. – jan Mar 28 '16 at 2:11
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    I would put a bounty on this, but I don't have enough points to do so. I think a ton of people would benefit from this question being answered. – Fine Man Mar 29 '16 at 23:44
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You can include System Files like those in the Library folders in a Spotlight search, if you use Spotlight within Finder via the search bar in the top right corner of each Finder window.

Just type in your search and click the small + appearing below the search bar. In the opening window search for System files and tick it's box for In Menu and click OK.

Afterwards select System files from the dropdown menu on the left and select are included in the next dropdown.

The process is also described here: How to Search for Hidden, Packaged, and System Files in OS X


If you want a simpler method you can use an alternative for Spotlight like Alfred or LaunchBar. These tools work just like spotlight and can include System files within their search scope besides lots of other features.

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    I suppose this will suffice. Thank you. I hope Apple will implement such option in future updates. – Fine Man Apr 5 '16 at 17:07
  • @SirJony You should really check out those alternatives. I've been using Alfred for years. It's as fast as Spotlight and you can configure it to use Spotlights shortcut. And if you want to explicitely search for files you can just prefix your search with ' and then it will search for files (including system files if you want so) instead of apps, contacts etc. – Ichixgo Apr 7 '16 at 12:48
  • Thanks. I'll look into it. I used to have Alfred before the HUD Spotlight existed. – Fine Man Apr 7 '16 at 15:48

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