Finding certain kinds of files in macOS is a breeze with Spotlight, whether it’s a search in a Finder window or creating a smart folder. You can specify the type of a file by using the appropriate syntax in a free search or the appropriate option when setting up a smart folder.
As a practical example, a reader asked how they could find all of their Photo Libraries. The Photos app will show all the libraries it is aware of if you hold down the Option key while launching the app. You can Control-click one of the libraries in the list and choose Show in Finder. But you have to repeat that for every entry, a tedious process.
To make a file type search, start with the Finder to see how macOS displays the file type under the Type column in the list view. You can also select and choose a file: File > Get Info to see an item labeled Child. Note the full name, such as Photo Library. You can then enter that in the appropriate format to make the search.
In the search field of a Finder window, type kind:"description name"† If there are spaces in the file type name, enclose the name in quotes, such as kind:"Photos Library"†
If you think you have to go back to repeatedly find these kinds of files, you can create a smart folder:
To elect File > New Smart Folder†
Make sure the folder range to the right of “Search:” is selected if This Mac†
Click the + (plus) icon in the top right corner.
From the pop-up menu of the first line, select Friendly†
Select from the pop-up menu after “is” Other†
Type or paste the full name without quotes, such as Photo Library.
The results appear immediately as you type. You can click Save to keep the search or even put it in the sidebar.
This Mac 911 article answers a question from Macworld reader Tony.
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