Finder won't locate file in user, library, preferences

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by hemmick reef, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2012
    I wanted to locate an Adobe Illustrator preference file in my iMac (OSX 10.8.3) with Finder to back-up.

    It found the old backup on my desktop but not the current one in:
    Users/Name/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator Settings/en_GB/Adobe Illustrator Prefs

    I double checked and the file was there.

    Why can't finder locate it?

  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    It is seen as a hidden/system file by the OS, thus:

    To find system files via Finder, that can't be found via Spotlight:
  3. Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The easiest way to get around this is to go to ~/Library (hit cmd+shift+G) go to that folder. Enter the search string and then select Library for the search location.

    OSX chooses not to search hidden or system files as Apple doesn't want you in there any ways.
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2012
    Thanks but I don't seem to have the choice of 'other' can it be accessed elsewhere?
  5. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Strange. Do you have an admin account on the Mac? What about the method maflynn posted? Can you make a screenshot of your Finder search options and attach it to your next post?
  6. macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Are you saying that you know the file exists at that filepath, but Finder search (Spotlight) doesn't find it?
    As said, Spotlight doesn't find hidden files or system files like prefs unless you tell it to. You need to include system/hidden files in your search, as shown in the videos. Also many websites should show you "how to include system files in a Spotlight search" if you Google it.

    You're manually backing up individual pref files? Why not just use Time Machine or other automated backup process to backup everything?
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2012
    I found it thanks :)

    I was just typing the name into the top right search field. When I tried 'cmd F' it gave me the 'other' options and I found the file.

    I am using time machine but I also like to keep a separate backup of Illustrator's preferences etc. up on the cloud.

    Thanks again.

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