Hot answers tagged

64 votes

Permanently enable to show hidden/system files when searching in Finder

To see hidden files defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -boolean true; killall Finder;
  • 942
47 votes
Accepted

How to make 'grep' work like in Ubuntu?

When the -R option is used, MacOS grep requires you to explicitly give it a directory to search; for example, specify . to recursively search the current directory: grep -R 'networks' .
45 votes
Accepted

How do I get a lone missing app to appear in Spotlight searches?

While this does not directly answer as to why that particular app does not appear in Spotlight, nonetheless as a workaround, try the following: Explicitly exclude the App, via drag and drop from ...
  • 54.4k
30 votes
Accepted

How to search a phrase in Preview of OS X?

Just like you would with a Google search, use the double quotes operator to tell Preview the result must be an exact match. In your case, for example, typing "formation water" should yield the ...
  • 2,701
30 votes

Search not working in Preview.app

I selected the "Table of Contents" in "View Menu" and searched again. It is working. Check the screenshot: Anyway, make sure that your PDF contains texts and not the image of some texts.
23 votes
Accepted

Spotlight "Indexing and searching disabled." message in terminal on OSX. Why?

FINALLY!! I got it working again! Heres what I did: In terminal I ran: locate .metadata_never_index No database existed, so it prompted me to run: sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/...
  • 557
23 votes

Search not working in Preview.app

"BTW, in order to get search working again, you have to close the window (command + w) and reopen on the pdf. Closing Preview all together (command + q) and reopening the pdf doesn't work. This is ...
22 votes
Accepted

Does mdfind allow wildcard searches on filename?

This should work: mdfind "kMDItemDisplayName == test*.pdf" Enclose the pattern in single quotes and add 'c' to match case-insensitively: mdfind "kMDItemDisplayName == 'test*.pdf'c" Here is a list ...
  • 336
21 votes

How Can I Search A Specific Type of File in Mac?

To the best of my knowledge it's not possible via spotlight (tested on Mojave and Monterey). You can only use finder: Start a search with Command+F. Click on the '+' icon on the far side of the ...
  • 310
21 votes

macOS equivalent of the "where" command used in a Windows Command Prompt

The which command prints the most precedent application on the PATH whereas where prints all matching applications on the path. The difference manifests when you have side by side instances of an ...
  • 591
18 votes

How to make 'grep' work like in Ubuntu?

Long term, it's probably best to install the tools based on GNU or run Ubuntu virtually. Both are available for free. brew install coreutils (to run the brew command you need to install homebrew ...
  • 223k
17 votes
Accepted

Why is iOS unable to find my apps?

If you are unable to search for apps you could once find, check your settings to see what apps you prevented Search from searching within. Apple recently changed the behavior of the relevant setting (...
  • 10.9k
15 votes

Finder search doesn't work properly after Yosemite update

Has your spotlight been botched? IN short, finder relies on spotlight to find things quickly. This will take a while (5 or so mins) and make your Mac go into "jump-jet" mode with the fans, but: Drop ...
15 votes

Does Apple provide a web site with content of `man` pages for the command-line commands bundled with Mac OS X?

Hello from the future world of 2022! As benwiggy mentioned below, the short answer is https://ss64.com/osx. It's the only reasonably up-to-date, online-viewable, searchable, and cross-referenced ...
14 votes
Accepted

Weird problems with Safari: search bar and tabs

I had exactly the same (but on Yosemite), and found this (https://discussions.apple.com/message/29693684#29693684) resolved it. Uncheck Use Safari Suggestions in the Search tab in Safari Preferences. ...
  • 256
14 votes

How to fix Outlook for Mac search

Outlook and macOS's Spotlight (the indexing app) have notorious problems working together. With previous version I had success with the Repair tool that you mention. With Mojave & Outlook 2019, ...
  • 7,254
13 votes
Accepted

Spotlight re-indexing takes too long or doesn't work

OK, I solved it, it seems... The Solution Run sudo /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Support/lsregister -kill -seed -lint -r -f -v -dump -...
12 votes

Why do some app spotlight results show the ".app" extension, but not all?

TL;DR Basically, it's a bug or bug fix introduced in macOS 10.13 High Sierra: Spotlight now respects the Finder setting to show file extensions. Disabling that setting removes the .app extension from ...
  • 668
12 votes

F3 on Windows is what on a Mac?

In general, to search for something on a Mac, Spotlight is what's used and can be brought up pressing: Command (⌘)-Space bar Have a look at: OS X Yosemite: Spotlight keyboard shortcuts If in an ...
  • 54.4k
11 votes
Accepted

Disable ESC key yielding list of word suggestions when pressed in Preview in OSX 10.11.2

It's the auto completion from the built in spell checker and after a lengthy search I found the solution in Apples Discussion Forums: defaults write -g NSUseSpellCheckerForCompletions -bool false ...
  • 146
11 votes

Does Apple provide a web site with content of `man` pages for the command-line commands bundled with Mac OS X?

The old online index seems have to vanished. You can however find the source code of manual pages on https://opensource.apple.com/. This site hosts historical versions as well. For example: fputs(3) ...
11 votes

how can I filter out unwanted search results in Alfred (ie node_modules folder, caches)

Go to Preferences -> Spotlight -> Privacy (TAB) Then add the folders you want to exclude to that list.
10 votes
Accepted

macOS equivalent of the "where" command used in a Windows Command Prompt

The macOS Terminal equivalent of the Windows Command Prompt command where is which. Typing which java in my macOS Terminal yields /usr/bin/java, and which git yields /usr/bin/git.
10 votes

Why is iOS unable to find my apps?

Today I decided to give iOS 11.2 beta 4 a try. Though I hadn't read about this specific change, I was thrilled to see that Apple has addressed this issue! There is now a separate 'Show App' setting ...
  • 1,669
10 votes
Accepted

Finder not searching files in ~/Library and /Library

You have to include "System Files" in your criteria to search places like the user Library. To do so, open a search window in Finder cmdF, click on "Kind" and select "Other" and scroll down to "...
  • 4,224
9 votes

Search in a particular folder and subfolder through Spotlight

http://osxdaily.com/2013/03/12/change-finder-search-to-look-in-current-folder-rather-than-everywhere-in-mac-os-x/ From anywhere in the Finder, pull down the Finder menu and choose “Preference” Click ...
9 votes

Xcode doesn't show up in spotlight results, neither search results

I had a similar problem after upgrading to Xcode 8.3. It simply stopped showing up in the spotlight search result. Rebuilding by adding Application folder to the privacy list in spotlight preferences, ...
  • 91
9 votes

Search across all tabs in iTerm2

Source: In a window menu, go to Windows -> Exposé All Tabs. This will show you all open iTerm windows on one screen. All iTerm2 tabs will be shown tiled on the main screen. You can mouse over ...
  • 22.1k
9 votes

How can I find an exact string in file contents across many folders from the command line on macOS?

Spotlight allows this and is my favored tool, despite how painful it is to learn how to do this from Apple's documentation alone. The man page for mdfind is almost criminally negligent for not ...
  • 223k
8 votes
Accepted

Permanently enable to show hidden/system files when searching in Finder

Per the tutorial, CMD-F to bring up the Finder search window. Make sure "This Mac" is selected. Click "Kind", choose "Other...", and double-click the "System Files" entry. Update: if you click the "...
  • 496

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible