Can I see the history of what I've typed into Spotlight?

If not on default macOS, are there third-party apps that will add this?

I want to be able to look back through things I've searched for, I use Spotlight for things like translations and so on and it' since to be able to refer back to past searches to jog my memory.

3 Answers 3


This isn't possible as far as I can see.

Spotlight does not keep track of your history(in a way that is user accessible anyway).

This might help.


You could write an app that took your input. Logged the input. Have spotlight do a search. You would always have to run this app to have your input logged.

I wrote this applescript to do the job. How to run this app.


on run
 set spotLightInput to the text returned of (display dialog "What is spotlight input?" default answer "")

 log "spotLightInputis " & spotLightInput

 -- write a log file of the query to the user's home folder with name translation.txt
 set unixActualInput to "echo " & (quoted form of spotLightInput) & " >>~/translation.txt"
 log "unixActualInput is " & unixActualInput

  set fromUnix to do shell script unixActualInput
  log "fromUnix is  " & fromUnix

 on error errMsg number n
  log "run spotlight..." & errMsg & " with number " & n
 end try
 tell application "System Events"
  keystroke space using {command down}
 end tell
 log "delaying for spotlight to appear"

 delay 2
 log "typing..."

 tell application "System Events"

  keystroke spotLightInput
  delay 1
  keystroke return
 end tell

end run

There is the Alfred app. If you are familiar with how the command history works on the terminal, it's the same principle.

On an empty alfred search, you can move up in your query history by using the up arrow key (and down to go back).

I'm not sure though if this requires the paid powerpack (although I do recommend it for it's extensibility).

  • Alfred search is not the same as Spotlight search though.
    – nohillside
    Jan 17, 2019 at 7:57
  • @nohillside He did mention though: "are there third-party apps that will add this". But yes, you are right. Alfred is not spotlight. Jan 17, 2019 at 16:44

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