HOW TO: Use Spotlight in Mac OS X ?

When you start using the new Mac OS organizing data and applications is not a big deal. You can easily find and access the data. But when the applications and the internal storage increases it is hard to manually search and find everything you need. In order to get the desired information quickly on your Mac we have a feature called “Spotlight“. It is a quick search feature, which helps to search the entire mac applications and data within a fraction of second. This instant search technique starts searching the entire computer within a moment you start typing the word on the search box.


Spotlight is a one of the best desktop search technology, which display the search results in an organized way. When you search for a particular keyword it will search in all the applications, files, folders, documents, emails, contacts, etc. Not only on the keywords, you can use spotlight for searching specific file extensions in your Mac. For example, you can search for files with an extension of .JPG from the spotlight search which will display all the .JPG files on documents, emails, files, folders, applications, etc. Also you can type the file name along with the extension to narrow down your search.

How To Effectively Use Spotlight On Mac ?

Spotlight is an excellent search feature available for most of the Apple’s default application on Mac. Finder on Mac use the same spotlight features to search contents and application in the internal hard drive. Not only in Finder it is also available for system preferences and various other applications on Mac. So you can easily search and find the content belongs to that particular application instantly using this search feature.

The Spotlight search is kept in the desktop for the convenience of users. Instead of going to that specific application to search the content you can easily search from the desktop. For example if you want to search a mail you can do that from desktop using Spotlight. Just type the email id or the subject or the name of the person to find that particular mail right from your desktop.


You can adjust the settings of Spotlight search in System Preferences of your Mac. Otherwise you can click on the Spotlight preferences option at the end of every search results. Using Spotlight Preferences you can change the settings on displaying search results. Also you can reorder the categories of search results in Spotlight preferences.

Once you finished typing the keyword, if you didn’t get your desired content you can use “Show All in Finder” option to see the complete search results for that particular keyword.

You can use the “Command + Space bar” button to open the spotlight search in your desktop. In spotlight search, if you want to search some specific areas like Home folder or a particular user account, just click one of the button below the toolbar to tell Spotlight where and what to search. These are the spotlight search techniques to find the desired content on your Mac instantly.

Use Spotlight on Mac OS here after to access files and do more with it. Try this feature on  your Mac and share your experience with us in the comment box. Thanks for reading, have a great day !

About the Author: Robin C

Security Consultant, Engineer, Technology Enthusiast and Blogger.

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