It'd be great if I could enter some name in Spotlight, for instance myproject, and then open a folder with the Finder.

Is that possible?

enter image description here

I have added too many folders to "Favorites". So, a shortcut > folder binding would be very helpful for me.

Thanks for any kind of tips!


OS: 12.5.1 (21G83)

1. mdutil -avs results:

    Indexing enabled. 
    Scan base time: 2022-09-07 12:53:28 +0000 (1111482 seconds ago), reasoning: '(null)'
    Indexing enabled. 
    Scan base time: 2023-02-04 15:32:31 +0000 (-11858061 seconds ago), reasoning: '(null)'
    Indexing enabled. 
    Scan base time: 2022-09-19 09:20:06 +0000 (87484 seconds ago), reasoning: '(null)'

2. Spotlight preference

enter image description here enter image description here

And the privacy list was empty.

I realized that Folder was not selected. Just wondering, if I check this, will the Spotlight indexing every folder on my computer? Is it possible to let it only index a few? Because I have thousands of folders on my Mac and but I only need to search part of them. In other words, It'd be great to convert the Privacy tab to a Whitelist tab.

  • If you select the Folder category in the Preferences window, Spotlight will search for any folder (searching of contents of the respective folder would depend on your selection of other categories in the Preferences window) that is not directly or indirectly excluded via the Privacy window. In addition, my impression (no proof) is that macOS indexes everything on your computer no matter what your Spotlight settings are. Spotlight settings only affect what Spotlight searches for among the existing indices, and displays.
    – Alper
    Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 9:08

1 Answer 1


Spotlight can search for folders. Just write down the exact folder name in the Spotlight search window and, by using the arrow keys, move over to the item matching your search term with the keyword "Folder" next to it and press . Then, the folder will be opened in the Finder.

If you’d rather open the folder containing the one you are searching for, press Command ⌘+R or Command ⌘+ instead.

If the folder you are searching for does not show up in the first few Spotlight search results, press Command ⌘+ until you end up in the “Folders” category which would display the search results that are folders.

Addition as of September 21, 2022

Thx for updating your OP by including the settings I have asked for in a comment to this answer. However, I don’t know how to directly provide Spotlight a list of folders it should include in its results, i.e. a whitelist. I am not sure if this is possible at all. However, I think I may have a solution that works for you:

  1. Create a folder somewhere that you can remember easily later on such as under your home or the Documents directory.
  2. Create a shortcut (alias) for each folder you wish to be able to search via Spotlight and move the aliases to the new folder you just created. (See the “Create and remove aliases on Mac” Apple support webpage if you are not familiar with aliases in macOS.)
  3. Select the Other category in the System Preferences > Spotlight > Search Results window.

If you do these, you should be able to search for those aliases through Spotlight by typing in their names and still have only a small part (most possibly) of the files on your computer, and none of the folders themselves, show up in Spotlight given your settings. Aliases are indexed for searching by macOS because they are files themselves.

When Spotlight displays one of the aliases you created in a search result, it will just open it in the Finder when you press return after moving over the alias’s name. However, it won’t be showing the folders themselves pointed by the aliases, or the files or folders inside, assuming they do not belong to one of the categories selected in the System Preferences > Spotlight > Search Results window.

If including the Other category causes Spotlight to show too many files for your taste, you might be able to alleviate that by excluding one or more high level folders from Spotlight using the System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy window such as the Documents folder under your home directory. Then, of course, the folder containing the aliases should not be placed in the Documents folder.

  • I have a folder named xxxxx and it's an exclusive name, not common at all. I am sure there is only that folder named xxxxx. but even if I type fully xxxxx, it's not showing up in my spotlight search. Commented Sep 18, 2022 at 2:24
  • How about other folders? Do they come up in Spotlight searches when their names are entered?
    – Alper
    Commented Sep 18, 2022 at 3:03
  • None of them were there. Even with "Desktop" or "Downloads" - is it something wrong with my spotlight settings? Commented Sep 18, 2022 at 7:32
  • What is your macOS version? Can you pls 1) type mdutil -avs in Terminal, hit return and update your question to include the result, 2) check if any category is deselected in the System Preferences > Spotlight > Search Results window (if anything is deselected, pls update your question to include a screenshot of the window), 3) check if any folder or volume is included in the list in the System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy window ((if there is anything in the list, pls again update your question to include a screenshot of the window)?
    – Alper
    Commented Sep 18, 2022 at 12:48
  • Your idea is very good. Thanks. macOS should add this feature natively in the future :) Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 4:36

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