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Find any file on your Mac without the file name – OS X Tutorial

Check out this quick tip and learn how to find your files fast and learn exactly where they’re located with this useful function. It only takes five minutes.

Finder - Sidebar Searches Tutorial - 5-minute beginner's tutorial
Finder - Sidebar Searches Tutorial
Sometimes, when you’ve been using a file or folder just yesterday, you suddenly can’t find it or remember where you saved it.
If you also don’t really remember the name of the file, finding it with Spotlight may be impossible, meaning you may have to spend hours looking for what you need. Luckily, there’s an option in the sidebar of every Finder window that enables you to find recently used files, or those of a certain type, quickly and easily. If, for example, you created and saved a document yesterday or the day before but can’t find it, you can discover it by clicking on the Yesterday tab in the Search For drop-down menu. This is at the bottom of the Finder sidebar; click the small arrow next to the name to show all the options. From here you can scroll through everything you opened yesterday to find the thing you need, or search within the category to select what you need quickly.

Finder - Sidebar Searches Tutorial - Step By StepFinder - Sidebar Searches Tutorial - Step 1

Step 1: Open ‘Search For’
The Search For option is always at the bottom of your sidebar. Clicking the little arrow next to the option will reveal its drop-down menu, and from here you can select the search parameter that you want.

Finder - Sidebar Searches Tutorial - Step 2

Step 2: Lost and found
When you’ve found the item you were after, you can see a preview using Quick Look or the Cover Flow view. At the bottom of the window it’ll show you the folder path for the file, so you can note its location.