Unless I change it every time, the search criteria in finder are set like this by default: like this

Is there a way to change it? Most of the things I usually search for are not like the ones filtered in.

I have seen this question. The difference here is I want to eliminate the search criteria completely.

  • 1
    How are you initiating a search in Finder?
    – grg
    Sep 4, 2017 at 10:39
  • 1
    Cmd+F shortcut @grgarside
    – simone
    Sep 4, 2017 at 11:04

1 Answer 1


As long as SIP is disabled in your machine, you should be able to edit /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/Resources/default_smart.plist to change the default search criteria.

Try this:

  1. Make your desired default search in Finder and then save it like you would normally save your search.
  2. Go to the saved searches folder (unless you saved it somewhere else) ~/Library/Saved Searches/
    • In newer OS versions the Library folder inside the user folder should be hidden, so just use the Go to Folder method in the top menu in Finder Go > Go to folder... and paste the path there.
  3. Open your .savedSearch file with TextEdit.app
  4. Copy & Paste all the contents of that file to that default_smart.plist file: /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/Resources/default_smart.plist
    • You can locate this file with the Go to folder... method as well.
    • You may want to make sure you got a copy of that original default_smart.plist beforehand...

Then test out the search.

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