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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Feb 20, 2013
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    2
    Spotlight / Find / can't find??
    HI all, iMac osx 10.7.5 - when I use either Spotlight or command-F (find) it finds a bunch of junk except the one file I KNOW exists on my computer - no matter what search criteria I use "this mac" "all my files" it will not find it 90% of the time. My old G5 and earlier Macs always found the file - - I'm doing something wrong, yes? Thanks -

  2. #2

    toMACsh's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 30, 2009
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    Wisconsin
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    Mac Mini (Late 2014) 2.6GHz Intel Core i5 Memory: 8GB 1600MHz DDR3
    Depends on where the file is. Spotlight will not find things in the System Library, for example.

  3. #3

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
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    49,412
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Sierra
    Spotlight is not very robust at finding files that may be hidden in sub folders or several levels down. Download and install the free "Find Any File app" from here and use it instead.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC
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    20,911
    Specs:
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    An alternative thought is that perhaps you need to rethink your organizational system so that files you need to access aren't so obscurely hidden that you need a find utility to get to them.

    This can take several different approaches. I happen to like the "General to specific" folder hierarchy (as an example, my 2009 tax returns are in Documents -> Taxes -> 2009) or for example adding a short name to certain kinds of files so that they turn up quickly in searches (adding -work to work files, for example).

    Broadly speaking, everything you might want to create should be easily findable in your Home folder, under either Documents or other media types (folders already provided by Apple) and then in a few sub-folders below that. For example, I have folders in Documents such as Travel, (Creative) Writing, Invoices and so forth. My needs are certainly different from yours, but so far I've only needed to create maybe a dozen broad-category folders (Kids, Medical, Legal -- that sort of thing) and use sub-folders within those broad categories to get more specific. This helps me feel (and has been proven in practice) that I can lay my mouse on any document I want within a very few clicks.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Feb 20, 2013
    Posts
    2
    Thanks for the solution!
    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    Spotlight is not very robust at finding files that may be hidden in sub folders or several levels down. Download and install the free "Find Any File app" from here and use it instead.
    Thanks for the Find Any File - it works, greatly appreciate it!

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