In OSX Spotlight, how do I find in which folder a document is? It used to be that hovering the mouse over the doc would show the folder. I miss that functionality!

5 Answers 5


You might want to try the following:

  1. Search for and highlight the file in Spotlight as usual.
  2. Hold down cmd (command) and press Enter (return).

This should open the file's containing folder, and works in all recent versions of OS X.

  • 1
    Works for me, I think this should get the correct answer "check", though to see the path without folder, see also the @grgarside answer. And HOW OBSCURE CAN YOU GET, APPLE? Jan 24, 2015 at 14:24
  • Uh, this OPENS the file. That's quite a big difference from actually showing WHERE the file resides.
    – SMBiggs
    Oct 13, 2015 at 15:16
  • 1
    If you hold down the Command button it doesn't open it. Oct 14, 2015 at 7:38

Hold option and command for a second. (Edit: On 10.9 and later, hold command only.) It'll show you the path. Well, part of the path. It's really not as useful as it used to be.

Other than that, command-R (or command-return) will reveal the original file, just as with the previous version.

And, of course, you can Show All In Finder. If you have the status bar showing, it should show the path there as well. (And in a slightly better form.)

  • 1
    In both Mavericks and Yosemite pressing Command on its own should work.
    – ccpizza
    Nov 14, 2014 at 9:39
  • Works, marginally. If the path is bigger than the spotlight window, you're SOL.
    – SMBiggs
    Oct 13, 2015 at 15:17

With OS X Yosemite's new Spotlight search, if you hold down ⌘ with a file selected the path bar will be displayed which shows you the path to the file:

  • Is there any way to open the enclosing folder from that?
    – Justin
    Oct 24, 2014 at 10:34
  • 1
    @Justin Hold command and press return
    – grg
    Oct 24, 2014 at 10:40
  • OK, maybe this one should get the check, or maybe someone should merge the two correct halves of answers. Jan 24, 2015 at 14:26

If you want the path in a copyable form:

  • press + i

You'll get the standard File Info dialog.

Update: In Yosemite, for some reason, the dialog opens behind other windows, so might not be visible. Also the path is displayed as ▸ Users ▸ user ▸ Downloads ▸ somefilename which is not as useful as in previous versions.

Drag and drop

If you need to copy the path for example to terminal, you can drag-and-drop a file from Spotlight directly into the terminal window - you will get the full path inserted at cursor position (same way as if you drag a file from Finder).


If you need the complete path of a file or folder, you can also just drag it from Spotlight into a terminal window or a plain text TextEdit.app window.

  • .. and if your objective is to edit the file in emacs, you can drag it there as well. No need to C-x C-f before dragging.
    – Calaf
    Aug 20, 2015 at 20:45

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