Computers are very good at searching. As such, it’s often quicker to have the computer search for something (a file, folder, app, an email…) than to manually search for ourselves.
Spotlight is the feature responsible for searching in macOS. Whether you’re in Finder, or any other app, Spotlight is available to use, either via the Spotlight magnifying glass icon in the menu bar, top right….
…or by using the keyboard shortcut combination: Command + Spacebar.
A Spotlight Search field appears: Type in the first few letters of a file or app you want to open, and once it’s found it, ensure it’s selected and hit the Return / Enter key on the keyboard.
“With Spotlight, you can find apps, documents and other files on your Mac. And with Spotlight Suggestions, you can also get news, sport, films, weather and more.”
(Source: Apple: Use Spotlight on your Mac)
Spotlight is also capable of providing definitions, calculations, conversions and more. Find out about all of Spotlight’s features here.
Using Spotlight, specifically via the shortcut key combination (Command + Space bar) will often be much quicker, and require less effort than drilling down into folders to locate an item. Once you’re in the practice of using Spotlight you’ll get things done faster!
All settings for Spotlight can be found in System Preferences, within the Spotlight System Preferences pane.
Under the Search Results tab you can restrict items included in Spotlight’s search results.
Under the Privacy tab you can add folders to exclude from Spotlight’s search results.
Spotlight works by indexing your files, folders, emails, and the contents of documents. It continues to update this index in the background. It’s an essential tool, and having the means to invoke a search using the Command + Space shortcut help you to get things done faster.