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How to Find a File on a Mac

Apple computers are renowned for being simple to use, as this exercise in searching for a lost file demonstrates.


  • Step 1: Click the magnifying glass Click on the magnifying glass icon found along the top strip in the upper right hand corner of your screen.
  • Step 2: Open the Spotlight window Open the Spotlight window and type the file name or some part of it there.
  • Step 3: Read the drop down menu Read the drop down menu that appears. Categories such as "Definition," "Documents," "Folders," and "Messages" on the left list their contents on the right.
  • TIP: Spotlight is not case sensitive and will instantly attempt to connect anything in your computer that might contain a clue.
  • Step 4: Pass cursor over "Top Hit" Pass your cursor over 'Top Hit' or any files on the list. When the yellow dialogue box appears, it displays the path back to the file you need.
  • Step 5: Click on file Click on the file you’re searching for, which opens up on the desktop, or scan the folders, which reveal their paths. Click and a finder box locating the folder and file will open on the desktop.
  • TIP: You can make files easier to find by marking them with a project name or tag.
  • Step 6: Use the hard drive Highlight the hard drive icon for your files or your assigned category under 'Places,' if you’re unable to find them any other way. Open folders and files here one by one.
  • FACT: Apple Computer took its name from Apple Corps, the Beatles' company.

You Will Need

  • An Apple computer
  • A Mac OS X operating system

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