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How to find any file on macOS

A Mac showing files against an illustrated background.
Illustration by Samar Haddad / The Verge

Finding files on your Mac drive can get tricky — especially when you’re not sure exactly what it is you’re looking for. Apple being Apple, file management “just works” most of the time, but that’s not always the case if you need to hunt down something that’s buried deep.

There are a couple of ways to look for files on macOS: a quick and simple way and a more comprehensive and advanced way. If neither of those work, you’ve got third-party tools you can turn to as well. (If you can’t find what you’re looking for after you’ve exhausted all of those options, it might be time to admit that the file isn’t actually there.)

The quick and easy method: Spotlight

Spotlight is the quickest route to finding a file.

You can use…

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