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How To Use Spotlight On Mac Fast And Easy

For all the Mac users out there, you must have experienced the hefty files and other data that weigh your mac book. There must be a pain in your brain if you go on a search for a specific file in the bundles of data.


But you folks are on the safer side as Spotlight on Mac makes it fast and easy for you. Now you can use Spotlight on your Mac book without any hassle.


But first, we need to spot a light on Spotlight to let you all know what it actually is and how you are going to use it.


Keep on reading!


What is the Spotlight?

Spotlight is basically a search feature through system-wide and selection-based queries of Apple’s Mac OS and iOS operating systems. It creates an index of all data on your system and allows users to quickly locate any data on their systems.


It was first announced on June 2004 at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference and released in April 2005 with the Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. A similar feature was announced in 2009 for iOS 3.0.


What Spotlight Can Do?

It is a light feature that lets you find pretty much anything on any corner on your Mac. You can find documents, apps, music, videos, emails, contacts, and any other information through the indexes created by Spotlight.


It helps you find information through the web, perform equations, and now with the help of High Sierra, it can also help you find your information.


spotlight on mac


Access Spotlight

  1. Click the Spotlight magnifying glass in the menu bar.
  2. Or, use the Command – Space bar.
  3. Here, you can search for anything according to your taste and it will come up with the searched file.
  4. Use Up and Down arrow keys to quickly search through the results or double click to the file to open it.

spotlight on mac


Note: You can adjust the search results to be optimized for what you are looking in case if Spotlight does not give you the searched result. If you’d like to keep some data private then you can exclude those files from your hard disk.

Customize Search Results

  1. Click on the Spotlight icon  spotlight on macin menu bar on top of your screen.
  2. Go to System Preferences.
  3. Now click on Spotlight.
  4. Here are the checkboxes which Spotlight will show you as results. If you want to change any file then uncheck this.

spotlight on mac

Search by Type or Location

  1. In order to search by file type use “kind” word with the file type. For instance, you may type “kind: music”.
  2. In order to show the file location, choose the file appeared in the search results, press the file and hold Command. The location of the file will appear at the bottom in this preview.
  3. Press Command-R to open the file’s location.
  4. Double-click the Show all in Finder at the bottom of the result list to see all the results from your Mac.

Search Queries

Type of Items



kind: application

kind: applications

kind: app


kind: audio

kind: bookmark

kind: bookmarks

Calendar events

kind: event

kind: events


kind: contact

kind: contacts


kind: email

kind: emails

kind: mail message

kind: mail messages


kind: folder

kind: folders


kind: font

kind: fonts


kind: image

kind: images


kind: movie

kind: movies


kind: music


kind: pdf

kind: pdf


kind: reminder

kind: reminders


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Customized Privacy Settings

  1. Click the Spotlight icon spotlight on mac
  2. Then go to System Preferences and click Spotlight.
  3. Click the Privacy
  4. Click the plus sign button at the left of the window to add private contents.
  5. Now, click on the specific item you don’t want to appear in the search list.
  6. Tap choose to select that hide that folder.

spotlight on mac

Cut & Paste

To copy-paste any file:


  1. Open the spotlight and search for the specific item.
  2. Select the folder you want to copy.
  3. Go in the Finder where you want to locate the file and press Command + V to paste the item as usual.

Note: Use a keystroke modifier to cut and paste it without making a copy in your Mac.


To cut-paste any file:

  1. Repeat the first two process same as copy-paste.
  2. Press Command + Option + V to cut paste it in the desired location.


Note: Option key modifier is the only difference between which transforms the “Copy” into “Cut”.


Calculations, Conversion & Get Definitions

  1. Enter a word or phrase to get the definition in the Definition result section.
  2. Type any mathematical expression in the search field to get the calculation.
  3. Enter something like 36 lbs. or 25 ft. to meters to convert measurements.

Showtime, Weather Forecast, and Nearby Places

  1. If you want to get the Showtime, enter the movie name. Enter showtime to see what is playing near you.
  2. Enter the weather to get the local weather streaming.
  3. To see the nearby places as per your query, type something like “place to hang out” and click the results in the Map section.

Concluding Remarks

Spotlight is all an all the best tool for nearly all of your queries done at a single place.


Have a Spotlight on Mac and on Mobile as well.

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