I was on Windows few years back, and in that I could search any file or folder by typing out it's name inside Windows explorer. But I don't find a similar functionality in Finder on Mac. What I mean is that once I am inside a folder which has lots of files, I want to search for a specific file by typing its name. For e.g. if I want to search for a file named hello.png, I will type h, and then Finder will highlight the first file starting with h. But if I immediately type e after that, Finder then highlights the first file starting with e, and not he. So is it possible to search this way in Finder?

I know that I can simply type the file name in Spotlight and I will find it, but this does not work when selecting a file from browser. For e.g. when you want to upload some file, a Finder dialogue opens wherein you have to select one file. Here, a 'search as you type' feature will be very handy.

EDIT: Updating my OS to 11.1 somehow fixed this issue. But thanks to all those who helped to review this!

  • @Tetsujin I understand what you're indicating now. Even in Windows I never just started typing, I always clicked in the search bar first. I continued doing that on my Mac. I'm deleting my comments. Thanks!
    – fsb
    Jan 14, 2021 at 17:21
  • I updated to 11.1 today, and it's working as expected now. But somehow it wasn't working this way until yesterday. So maybe this was a recent fix? And sorry for the confusion guys, I should have checked once again today after updating my OS.
    – darKnight
    Jan 14, 2021 at 17:26

1 Answer 1


You're not typing fast enough.

It only waits maybe half a second, maximum, before discarding your 'h' request then starting over with your 'e'.

Here's a gif to demonstrate. If you watch the keyboard you can see what's being typed & what it selects.

enter image description here

  • Oh wow. Didn't know you can search like that!
    – X_841
    Jan 14, 2021 at 17:23
  • I'm working on a gif to demonstrate… few mins...
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 14, 2021 at 17:23
  • @Tetsujin: Thanks for your answer. However, updating my OS somehow fixed this issue. I will close this question.
    – darKnight
    Jan 14, 2021 at 17:32
  • 3
    You can't delete it now it has an answer - aside from that, it's still going to be useful to future searchers. We already got two people who didn't know you could do this ;))
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 14, 2021 at 17:36

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