The finder jumps to file starting which the letter I typed. I typed Z, now I want to see files start with Y. If I type Y it will search for ZY but I want to start from the beginning.

How does the system reset search?

  • 1
    I only just discovered this is a feature a few days ago. I'm pretty sure it wasn't there a few OS versions ago. Does anyone know when it was added? Commented May 20, 2020 at 23:33
  • 14
    It has been there since time immemorial (i.e. it pre-dates OS X). You can try it out in this online emulator of a Mac running System 7: jamesfriend.com.au/pce-js Commented May 21, 2020 at 1:14
  • 1
    @AlexanderO'Mara I've been using this feature on Macs in 1993
    – slebetman
    Commented May 22, 2020 at 5:17

3 Answers 3


As nohillside said, you can just wait a couple seconds for the buffer to reset, but you can also hit escape to clear it.


I usually just wait a second or two, and then type the character(s) I wanted to initially.

  • You're a magician Commented May 20, 2020 at 11:30
  • 1
    Simple, but effective always works best ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 11:31

Press the arrow up or arrow down key to change the currently high-lighted file. Then you can start typing from the beginning again!


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