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Use file and folder paths in Spotlight for Mac

How to use file system paths in Spotlight on Mac

Did you know that you can add file system and folder paths to Spotlight on Mac? This handy trick provides a way to quickly access buried files and folders on a Mac, no matter where they are in the file system.

Of course, if you are an advanced Mac user, you may already be used to the excellent ‘Go To Folder’ Mac feature and keyboard shortcut, but this Spotlight Path feature may be new to some users, and it’s nice to have too. an alternative method of accessing the file system if you happen to have a path ready.

How to use file system paths in Spotlight on Mac

This is pretty straight forward, this is how it works:

  1. From anywhere on your Mac, press Command + Space to open Spotlight (or whatever the Spotlight keyboard shortcut is set to), or click the Spotlight icon in the upper right corner
  2. Enter the file system path in Spotlight
  3. Enter the file system path in Spotlight on Mac for quick access to the file system

  4. Alternatively, you can press return / enter to open the file system path directly in the Finder
  5. File system path opened in Finder from Spotlight

For example, you can quickly access / Applications by typing it into Spotlight and pressing the return key. Or you can quickly access the current user’s home directory by typing “~ /” and pressing return, which immediately opens the user’s home directory in a new Finder window.

You may find this particularly useful if you have copied a file path from the Finder (or elsewhere) and have it on your clipboard, as you can just paste it directly into Spotlight to access the file or folder.

Unlike the similar Go to Folder command that supports tab completion, tab completion does not work when specifying file system paths in Spotlight, so if you want that option, you will stick to Go Folder instead.

If you are the type of Mac user who often uses file, folder and directory paths, you can try this, it is quite useful! And while it’s not a replacement for Go To Folder, it’s just worth tipping this tip into your trick bag.

Similarly, you can also access Spotlight websites and URLs on your Mac, which is another handy feature.

Do you have any other insight into this, or any interesting tips or tricks for Spotlight or navigation of file paths or the file system? Share with us in the comments below.

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