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Commander One will find any file on your Mac

  • Advanced file search with RegExp
  • Search for text contained in the files
  • Support for Spotlight search
  • Unicode/Hex/UTF8/ANSI search
  • Search for files in archives
  • Mac find file via case sensitive search
File manager for Mac - Commander One

Common places to look for files on Mac

There are several places you can look at to find files on Mac. This list may be useful for you and can save you lots of time:

  1. Downloads: If you are trying to find a file on Mac that you have downloaded from the Internet, this is the first place to go. The Downloads folder can be found on the right side of the Dock. Click it and you will see a list of your downloaded files.
  2. Default folders: MacOS places files of certain types into the corresponding default folders. So if you haven’t specified the exact path to the file while saving the file, try any of the default folders depending on the type of the saved file.
  3. Recent Items: This folder contains files/apps that you have edited or opened recently. There is a chance to find the file you need there. Click the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen, then choose Recent Items from the menu.
  4. Trash: This folder contains files you have deleted. In case if it was done by mistake, you can always restore them. Click the Trash can icon in the Dock to open it after that drag and drop it back to the necessary folder.

Key reasons to use third-party file manager and never lose any file

The main reason to use a third-party file manager on Mac to find file is the simplicity in use as the possibility to search for files through the Terminal is rather geeky, and it requires certain skills that can go beyond the scope of even an advanced Mac user, as you need o know exactly all the commands, slashes, dots, etc. Whereas Spotlight search and Finder not always can provide you with one hundred percent of results and you can spend a lot of time trying to find any file on Mac.

Third-party file managers offer a more advanced sear mechanism for finding files on Mac and you can be sure that you will not lose any files again and all of them would be within your reach and whenever you need them.

How to find files on Mac with Commander One

This file manager offers several modes on how to search files on Mac. With its help, you can search document on Mac easily and never lose it again.

File manager Commander One

So how to find all files on Mac via Commander One?


To search a document on Mac, click the Search file toolbar button and proceed with the necessary configurations.

Search file
You can also use the Spotlight engine to search for files. Go to Command => Search in Spotlight.

To go to a search result click the Go to File button or work with the whole file list by clicking the Feed to Active Panel button.

Besides using Spotlight mechanisms, the app offers a number of convenient features missing in Spotlight, namely:

  • Advanced file system search with RegExp support for more precise search.
  • Search for any files and folders in your Mac's file system, even if the files are in archives.
  • Search for content. Even if you do not remember the name of the document you are looking for, find file on Mac by the words in it.
  • Search for words that differ in meaning based on usage of uppercase and lowercase letters. The matching case can significantly improve the search results.
  • Allows limiting search depth to a current directory or to a certain level.
  • Search for text in Unicode/Hex/UTF8/ANSI files only.

How to find files on Mac using Finder


The easiest and perhaps the oldest way to make Mac file search is to turn to Finder for help. To do this, you need to open this application and enter the query of interest in the search bar located in the upper right corner.

By pressing the Return key, you will see a list of the files that are found on your Mac. The search for text will be carried out inside documents as well. Well, if you want to see the result only among the names of the files, then you must select the item "Name Matches:" in the menu that appears.

You can search for files on Mac by using the advanced search in Finder. To access it, enter your query in the search bar, and then click on the plus sign on the right side of the window.

At this stage, you may encounter a huge number of search results appearing in the search results. After clicking on the "+" button, another line with search attributes will be displayed. There are six basic parameters for searching for files on Mac:

  • a type;
  • last date of opening;
  • last modified date;
  • date of creation;
  • name;
  • content.
But these are only the main parameters containing additional options that users turn to most often. There is also Other - that contains about 200 additional values. Each of them is highly specialized and has a detailed description. By checking the box next to the value of interest and clicking the OK button, you will add the attribute to the base ones and now there will always be quick access to it.

How to find a file on Mac via the OS X Terminal

Terminal window

In fact, searching for files on Mac OS X command line is easy as well. You only need to know three basic search commands, namely: find, mdfind, locate. After entering these commands and specifying all the search parameters, the results of the query will be filled with results showing the full path to the files that most closely match the entered query.

How to search a document on Mac via find command

It is a basic search command not only in macOS but also on all other Unix systems. To find file Mac users should execute find command, however, a number of conditions should be created:

  1. You define the area in which the search will take place.
  2. Then specify the names of the files that you need: find /Users/mariia/Desktop/ -name myfile.txt.

As you see, not so many conditions, however, as soon as they are met, you will see a search results window in the macOS command line, where the full path to the files will be indicated.

You can find out what conditions are available from the command line for find statements on macOS by typing man find, and a complete description of the command appears. As soon as you finish reading it, press Ctrl + Z.

How to find documents on Mac via locate command

Find command functionality is effective when you know the exact location or you have time to wait. Since the search using the find command can take a lot of time as the amount of scanned space in modern hard drives reaches an impressive size.

Therefore, if you need to find system files, you must use the special search command locate. First, enter the following line in the OS X Terminal: Sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

A special daemon will be activated in your system, which will index your system and allow you to work with the locate command.

Finding files on Mac via locate command is done through system files only. It means that the user files will not be included in the search index: locate NAME.

Note, that try to find a file on Mac via locate command without creating a special base.

How to search for files on Mac via mdfind command

This command is a search algorithm on OS X systems without a graphical environment only. Yes, mdfind is Spotlight, only without the pretty buttons and with more difficult-to-understand settings. While using mdfind command search is configured according to certain parameters, with the indication of metadata. At the same time, the command is not devoid of simple and understandable functionality on how to search document on Mac: mdfind mysearch.

However, such a search is too broad, and therefore the use of flags is welcomed in the mdfind command.

How to find files on your Mac using Spotlight search

If you want to quickly find file on Mac, then, first of all, you need to use the built-in search of macOS, namely - Spotlight. The Spotlight window can be invoked from the menu bar on the right magnifying glass icon. The list of results will be compiled not only from data located on the Mac but also from the Internet search. All data will be displayed in the left side menu Spotlight, which is convenient to surf using the up and down keys or by scrolling the mouse wheel.

By the way, if you scroll down the list, then there will be an option to view all content in the Finder or on the Internet.

Tips for finding files on Mac

You can try finding files on Mac by using the following tips and tricks:

  1. Rename and move the file after finding it. It is highly recommendable to rename a file with an easy-to-remember name and move it to a related folder so you can find it more easily in the future.
  2. Open the last application used to edit the file. Sometimes while editing the file its version can be saved within the corresponding app and you can restore its version by selecting File > Open Recent from the menu.
  3. Different search terms. Try using different terms while searching for a certain document. Perhaps you have used other file names while saving the document.


As you can see, there are several ways to find files on Mac. Choose one or use several, it is all up to you. The most important is to find a file and never lose it again. Hope this article was informative.

Frequently Asked Questions

Launch Terminal on Mac find file by name by executing the following command find / -name
In the Finder, choose Finder > Preferences, and then click Sidebar. That’s where you’ll need to mark the checkbox All my files.
In Finder access extended attributes, enter your query in the search bar, and then click on the plus sign on the right side of the window and choose the type of file you need to find.
There are several ways to search a document on Mac, namely, third-party apps, like Commander One, via Finder, viaSpotlight, via Terminal.
You the following command to find folder on Mac in the Terminal: mdfind kind:folder "name of the folder".
Launch Spotlight and type the following: created: xx/xx/xxx.
The fastest way to find any file on Mac is to use a third-party app like Commander One, which has an advanced search and you will find a file with ease.

Commander One

This dual panel file manager for Mac is fully compatible with MacOS 10.10 and later. Requires 58.68MB of free space, latest version 3.3(3508). Released 4 Sep, 2021.

4.5 rank based on 90+ users, Reviews (15)
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