How to Find a File on a Mac

By Techwalla Computers Editor

Mac OS 8.5 or later includes Sherlock, a vast improvement over the older Find File command, but you can launch it the same way.

Things You'll Need

  • Mac OS 9.0

Step 1

Click on the Apple menu and select Sherlock. Or, from the Finder, press the keys Command-F.

Step 2

Choose your search criteria. You can search by one or more attributes of the file (name, size, type, date modified, creator and so forth).

Step 3

Choose a location to search. You can search locally or on a network.

Step 4

To search the actual contents of a file for specific phrases, click on the Find by Content tab, then specify the phrase and a location in which to search. If the Find button is dimmed, click Index Volumes (indexing may take a while).

Step 5

Search the Internet by keyword by selecting the Search Internet tab.

Step 6

Click Find to run the search.

Tips & Warnings

  • When you search by name, the search finds all filenames that include the phrase you typed. So a search for 'apple' would find files named 'Aunt Mary's apple pie recipe' and 'Apple Computer stock prices.'
  • In the Sherlock results list, if you click once on the icon of a file, Sherlock will give you its location, no matter how embedded within folders it may be. If you double-click on the icon, the application will launch.