Search Beyond The Spotlight
Unhappy with Spotlight because it does not find files that you know to be there? Use FAF to find every file on your disks, including those usually hidden. By file name, date, size, and even plain text content (but not text in Word and PDF files, see note below).
• Recover a file whose name you partially remember?
• See what files got changed in the past 5 minutes?
• Find all the large files on your disk?
• Uninstall software that leaves files in hidden places where Spotlight doesn't look?
• Search with regular expressions?
Find Any File (FAF) is the perfect tool for these tasks.
You can even search on disks that are not indexed by Spotlight, including network server (NAS) volumes.
Find Any File can find files that Spotlight doesn't, e.g. those inside bundles and packages, and inside system folders that are usually excluded from Spotlight search.
Contrary to Spotlight, it does not use a database but instead searches the data on disk directly. This lets you search for file properties such as name, creation and modification dates, file size, even plain text inside files.
Another useful feature is its hierarchical results view (see screenshots). It lets you view the found items within their respective folders, making it often much easier to browse through 100s of found items.
•• Note about text search ••
FAF can not search file content other than plain (unformatted and uncompressed) text - and even that is comparatively slow, so don't expect this to be a good replacement for Spotlight when you need to find text in your documents.
For searching text in Mails, Word, Excel, PDF and similar files, Spotlight is still the best tool (whose results can be enhanced with Tembo and HoudahSpot, also available in the App Store).
•• Here's what users say about FAF ••
“FAF goes where Spotlight's can't easily reach.”
“As the administrator for about 50 school Macs, I often need to look for some file misplaced by a novice or, while troubleshooting a system, I often need to search for obscure operating system files. Find Any File is in my arsenal of tools when things files or folders go astray.”
“I use it when I want to find a specific kind of file or to see and eliminate or compare the double and redundant files. I surely use it 4-5 times a week.”
“I keep FAF as an icon in the toolbar of every Finder window. When I have to actually find something, I use FAF instead of the Finder.”
• Searching on new version of Google Drive is possible now.
• The toolbar options for "Invisibles", "Package Contents" and "Trashed" are now using symbols instead of text in order to use up less space. If you hover over the symbols with the mouse, you can still read their meanings.
• Results now show the file names as they appear in Finder, including translated names and hidden extensions. To see the original (native) file name, use the View menu command "Show Untranslated File Names".
• You can't accidentally choose single keys as Hot Keys any more, unless you also press cmd (⌘), option (⌥) or ctrl. Though F-keys can still be used without modifiers.
• Fixes all reported crashes, freezes and issues.
Ratings and Reviews
Find Any File makes getting a specific file’s location much easier than the default OS X find. I usually have multiple volumes mounted and I’m impressed it’s as fast as it is. I just found out I can set two volumes to be searched without searching any of the others by dragging their icons from the Finder to the “Find Items” section in the search box, then select File -> Save as Default Search, and now those two volumes can be selected independently of all the others.
I don’t think it finds files faster than Spotlight, which someone else wrote, because you’re just never going to beat pre-indexed searches, but it’s very fast and at least I know when FAF is searching in realtime as opposed to an index, it’s finding everything at that point in time. I’m not always sure about how up-to-date Spotlight’s index is at any given time (on the start-up volume, yes; but for recently mounted volumes, that’s where I’m not sure it’s been indexed).
Saving default searches is vastly easier than using OS X’s save search function.
Developer responded to my question about how to search some but not all volumes nearly instantaneously, so for the price, definitely worth five stars.
Fast, easy to use, very very useful
There are times when one wants to find a file anywhere on a disk. Find Any File makes this very easy and quick.
For example, as I’ve migrated from machine to machine sometimes there are little helper apps, or files in non user spaces that have hung around long past their useful life. I noticed on my new Macbook Pro the fans were not operating correctly. Years ago when I put an SSD in my iMac I purchased a fan control program to make sure the device stayed cool as the SSD was a non standard apple component. When I moved to a Macbook Pro I had long forgotten about that utility….until I noticed one of the fans wasn’t operating correctly. After a little research I remembered the old program, but couldn’t remember the name, so I searched for the word “Fan” with Find any file. The components came up, I recognized them for what they were and deleted them. Problem solved.
I use Find any File on all my machines, I don’t use it very often, but when I do, it saves me time and pain over and over and over again.
Really Find ANY File
I know you are frustrated as macOS find is not finding a file you know exists (or does it? maybe you are losing your mind. or maybe you 3 year old deleted the file forever). Well no more firstration. Find any file is quick and does what find is supposed to do… Really find any file. I might use Cmd-Space for a quick find but I will end up spended more time scrolling throught he results (there is no results ordering in Cmd-Space) but really Cmd-Space is beter as an app luancher than a file finder.
Today I looked for a spreadsheet which is knew exsited… Cmd-Space no luck (and this was something modified in the past few month and in my documents folder). Find Any File, in a couple seconds found it, I sorted by date, scrolled back and their it was.
Find Any File does really find any file, which is what you really want and need. Super awesome tool.
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- Thomas Tempelmann
- 8.7 MB
- Requires macOS 10.11 or later.
English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
- Age Rating
- © 2005 Thomas Tempelmann
Up to six family members can use this app with Family Sharing enabled.