Tag Archives: Spotlight

How to use Smart Folders on your Mac

SmartFolderIconXIf you haven’t yet used Smart Folders in OS X, then you may be missing out on a critical time-saving feature of the OS X Finder. Smart Folders are essentially canned searches, where you can save custom search queries and quickly restore them. They are relatively simple concept, so┬áthe real question of how to use smart folders really boils down to: How do you search your Mac? Continue reading

How to quickly look up maps, movies, and more in OS X

SpotlightIconXOften when you need to look up some details about a topic at hand, you open a Web browser and search for it using your preferred search engine; however, there are a few services in OS X that give you quick access to information about words you might be thinking about, or words that you might be reading. For instance, if a friend sends you an iMessage about watching a specific movie, then you might find that you can look up information about the movie, without needing to switch to any browser. Continue reading

Fix Mail’s smart mailboxes not working properly

MailIconYosemiteXIf you use Apple Mail as your e-mail client, then you might find its Smart Mailbox feature useful for organizing your messages. As with the Finder’s smart folders, the smart mailboxes in Mail give you a quick way to access canned searches so you can only see messages from specific dates, from specific people, or in specific accounts. However, while useful, there may be times when smart mailboxes do not work properly, and may not show the contents you expect. Continue reading

How to use Spotlight as a quick conversion calculator in OS X

SpotlightIconXThe Spotlight search on your Mac allows you to find and preview files on your system, and can be quite convenient for opening applications, or in later versions of OS X, looking up quick bits of information. Spotlight also interfaces with the OS X calculator so you can use it to run quick calculations, but in addition, you can use it to perform a number of supported conversions, including currency, area, length, speed, and mass. Continue reading

Faulty Spotlight plugins may cause incomplete searches

SpotlightIconXThe Spotlight search in your Mac offers a quick way to find files; however, there may be times when even though Spotlight shows search results, it does not update so new files you add to your system are not included. There are several reasons why this may happen, including a damaged Spotlight index, in which case forcing OS X to rebuild your index is the easiest solution; however, there may be instances where even upon rebuilding, you only get a small subset of expected files in a search result. Continue reading

Fix Smart folders not showing proper contents in OS X

FinderIconYosemiteXSmart folders in OS X allow you to group files and folders by a number of different criteria, including name, type, size, content, and hundreds of similar attributes that are stored in the files’ metadata tags. This feature can be exceptionally convenient; however, there might be times when your smart folders do not work properly, and may show incorrect files, show only a small subset of files, or not show any files at all. Continue reading

Spotlight search may expose private information to spammers

SecurityIconXTech site Ars Technica is reporting a new security issue with OS X, where spammers may be able to gain access to personal information through the use of Spotlight search.

The problem, as outlined by German security publication Heise Online and IDG News, allows IP addresses and perhaps other private information to be viewed through the use of Spotlight searches, stemming from a security feature to prevent the loading of unwanted images in e-mail communications. Continue reading

How to determine when your Spotlight index needs to be rebuilt

SpotlightIconXThe Spotlight index in OS X is the database used for quickly accessing file information on your Mac. While this is primarily used for finding files on your system, there are several other services that use Spotlight’s information, and if there is any damage to Spotlight then you might see odd problems and behaviors dotted throughout your system. Continue reading

How to use Spotlight as more than a simple calculator

SpotlightIconXIf you ever need to run a quick calculation or two when working on your Mac, then you can do so using Apple’s Spotlight search; however, while you might find yourself using this for basic addition and multiplication, Spotlight’s calculations support far more, and if used properly can be just as if not more valuable than Apple’s included Calculator utility. Continue reading

How to reveal files in the Finder with Spotlight

SpotlightIconXSpotlight allows you to search for all of your files, applications, and other items on your Mac, allowing you to open them directly by highlighting them and pressing Enter, or even dragging them off the Spotlight menu (or window, for Yosemite) for various drag-and-drop purposes in OS X. While you can manage your listed search results in this way, if needed there may be times when you might want to find exactly where the file is on your Mac, or otherwise handle it in the Finder. Continue reading