View Full Version : search all files by date

02-10-2017, 04:09 PM
Hi! I’m trying to search all of my files by date. I want to search both my internal HD and all connected external HD’s. Basically, I just want to find out what is on my newest external hard drive and internal hard drive that hasn’t been backed up yet on older external Hard drives. I have a few questions: Could anyone please offer advice?

1. What do I search in the finder to see all of my files (including videos etc) in all locations? Do I search in “all my files”, “Macintosh hd” or something else?

2. How can I see this entire search by date? I want to filter like “only files after September 21st 2016. I figure that searching all files by date and and adding all of those files added after I last updated the older external hard drive is the best way to do this

3. Are there any applications/software which make this easier? Its a bit intimidating trying to get everything backed up right without missing anything and without wasting a bunch of space on duplicates. Many files weren’t well organized and I just want to make sure its all backed up well now.


02-10-2017, 05:43 PM
This sounds more like an unnecessary "make work" project that may not even provide you with the results you're expecting.

Why not just use a good backup application like Carbon Copy Cloner (or Super Duper!)???

Anyway, or you can just use the Get Info and do a comparison or even a modified Finder search using command + F, i.e.:

Or, and some won't be surprised here if I mention using Find Any File.app: :Blushing:

- Patrick

02-10-2017, 11:51 PM
Most of your files should be in your Home folder. In Finder, it's the one in the sidebar with a little house for an icon. You should not put anything in any other place. However, if you want a current backup, that would also include certain application configuration files, mostly plists, that have the latest information of the configuration of the application, or your Preferences for that application. Those could be anywhere on the drive, but most will still be in that Home folder for you.

So, if all you want is to see the dates of your files, use Finder in the list view and click on the "Date Modified" column header to sort them by date. Clicking on that header will sort them in ascending date (oldest first) and descending date (newest first). From there you can see which files have been modified.

But as Patrick says, that is a major bit of work to get hat all sorted out and to get every folder checked for what has changed. You would be much better served using a true backup software application, even Time Machine (free with the OS) that does EXACTLY that, backs up what changed since the last backup, or CCC as Patrick pointed to, that does the same thing, or ChronoSync that also will keep two locations synced with all changes.