Finding Files on macOS

Finding Applications, Files, and Folders on macOS

( Things all savvy Mac users should know )

AppleScript – Finding an Application

tell application "System Events"
   set sevAlias to path to it
end tell
tell application "Finder"
   reveal sevAlias
end tell

Spotlight in the Finder – Finding a Hidden System File

You may have to turn on “System files” using “Other…” at the bottom of the parameter menu.

Spotlight in the Terminal:

It's a good idea for any Mac user to have a real find utility on their system.

EasyFind (Freeware)

Find Any File (My personal favorite – $6.00 US)


I may add some more to this later – suggestions are welcome.



I've used EasyFind for years, and it's been really useful. What do you like about "Find Any File"? (I haven't tried it yet.)


Hey Dan,

Find Any File has a better UI than EasyFind in my opinion.

You can filter found results.

You can show results in a hierarchical tree.

Find Any File used to be good bit faster than EasyFind too, although I haven't tested them head-to-head in quite a while.



Finding an Application – a JavaScript variant:

(() => {
    "use strict";


    // appPathFromName :: String -> IO FilePath
    const appPathFromName = appName => {
            path = $.NSWorkspace.sharedWorkspace

        return path.isNil() ? (
            `Application not found as spelled: "${appName}"`
        ) : path.js;

    return appPathFromName("TaskPaper");

Great suggestions above. I'll add HoudahSpot which is fast and feature-rich. As a bonus, if you have Setapp, it's included.

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The only trouble with HoudahSpot is that it's dependent upon Spotlight indexing, but that said I've owned a license for it since v1.0. I use it all the time.

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