How to Add System Files to Finder Search Results

search in system files

If you search from the Finder, it is possible to add various search results from the System and Library folders.

Start by including “System files” as search criteria. To do so, do the following:

  1. Choose Command plus F to launch a search window.
  2. Go to the Kind menu. It will pop up on the screen. Pick Other.
  3. Choose “System files.” The option will appear for you.
  4. Agree by pressing OK.

Start looking for the system files:

  1. Begin another search process by entering a word in the Finder’s search field.
  2. Select “System files.” After that Kind pop-up menu, select “are included.”
  3. Then, pick the search scope with the field having system files. A user may select This Mac. It will allow scanning Mac from A to Z to discover the required term. The process of scanning will cover /System and /Library folders.

For instance, a user may search for the specific font like Garamond in the /System/Library/Fonts. It is enough to add all system files in the search field and specifying that you wish to scan the entire system (This Mac option).

How Can One Narrow the Searches in Spotlight/Finder on macOS Sierra?

finder search filter

It is possible to apply some different approaches to concentrate the scope of the searching process and results in Spotlight/Finder.

Expert advice: In case you wish to remove the files from the Spotlight results, change the options in its preferences correspondingly.

Include criteria in the search. It is possible to look for the certain types of items, or for files developed on a certain date. How could you do that?

  1. Begin the search in Spotlight/Finder window.
  • If you use Spotlight, pick its icon on the menu. Type the desired term. Double-click Show All in Finder. You will see the Finder search bar then.
  • In case you prefer working with Finder, type the target word in the search field and push the Return button.
  1. Select the plus button on the right. It is located below the search field.
  2. Pick the far-left show-up menu. After that, select or include the search criteria.

For instance, if you wish to look for just a specific kind of files, select Kind; to detect any element with the name that has a certain word, pick Name.

If you want to include criteria, Other option is for you. Pick every feature you wish to add. One of the examples could be the copyright details. To view such info, pick Copyright in the menu with attributes. Confirm by clicking OK.

  1. Select criteria from the rest of the showing menus.

For instance, select another appeared menu once you choose Kind. Decide between Image or Document. Other option will help to include a type.

  1. Add/Remove the search criteria as required. For this, click the plus button. There is a minus button as well. They are titled respectively: Add and Remove.

The file has to correspond to all chosen criteria to show up in the results. Let’s say, if a user selects a criterion that specifies detecting elements with letter B at the beginning that were recently developed, you will see only the results that match those set criteria.

If you wish, it is possible to save the selected criteria for further use. Pick Save. The search will be stored in a Smart Folder. Choose the Add to Sidebar option as well.

Another option is searching for metadata attributes. The majority of files have metadata. It tells about the contents, history, and other features. Imagine you view a photo taken by your camera. Metadata for this image will then display such details as the model of your device, the aperture, and the focal size. Do you need this information? If yes, just select FileàGet Info.

Do you wish to apply metadata in a search?

  • Body kind: document in case a user looks for the word “body” in all documents.
  • Kind: music by:”bon jovi” if you want to find all tracks by Bon Jovi on your Mac.
  • Meeting date:Wednesday displays the meetings a person should have on Wednesday.

If you wish to look for the data by the type of items, apply keywords to narrow the search in apps, bookmarks, or contacts. It is enough to type “kind:[type of item]}” at the end of a search. Example: a user has to look for the images of San Francisco. Thus, he has to type “San Francisco kind: images.” Interested in emails that recall the name of Billy Jordan? Type “Billy Jordan kind: email” then.

Type of itemKeyword









kind:mail message

kind:mail messages

Calendar eventskind:event










Preferenceskind:system preferences








Other specific keywords exist to help with your search. Decide whether you need to find something associated with the particular author, tag, title, etc. To apply a keyword, just type it followed by a colon before the search file.

If you wish to apply AND, OR, NOT in order to specify the results, use a minus. It stands for AND NOT.

Observe some examples of what a user may enter when using Boolean operators:

  • author:miranda OR author:mirindasearches for items authored by Miranda or Mirinda: it is helpful if you do not know how to spell the name correctly.
  • kind:message date:7/30/15-11/21/15 NOT date:8/14/16 looks for the emails dated from 30th of July 2015 through the 21st of November 2016, excluding the messages dated 14th of August 2015.