How can I search the entire system?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by SebZen, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. SebZen macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2009
    On some occasions when I attempt to uninstall some files I have to dig deep into the system - places where apparently Spotlight doesn't search -, is there a dedicated search tool that is more robust than Spotlight?
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    Spotlight should get everything. Quicksilver is great for searching.

    But AppZapper probably will do what you want to be done.
  3. NoSmokingBandit macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2008
    you can tell spotlight to search system files by clicking the little "+" that pops up under the search box. Its a choice somewhere in the menu.
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    AppZapper still isn't up to 100% though. I've found it leaving libraries and files behind in some of my test zaps.

    Another reason Tiger had a better Spotlight search. It's really annoying to add all those '+' to find what you really wanted.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Spotlight does not search or provide results from all directories. For instance you want to look for a file that could be in your ~/library folder by default spotlight won't provide any results. If you however navigate to the Library folder and then initiate the search being sure to select the library folder instead of the mac It will provide results from the Library folder.
  6. SebZen thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2009
    Yeah, I use AppCleaner and that is the problem. It leaves a lot of extra files behind, most of which I found in Library/Preferences folder.

    I also downloaded the Razer DeathAdder Mac driver and now don't use my mouse any more so I decided to uninstall it (it comes with its own uninstaller) but there is still a process open, so I want to search for it and delete it manually.

    I can't seem to be able to add any folders to Spotlight though. I went there and I can only add folders to privacy options, which will limit those folders.
  7. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    I don't think they meant in the Spotlight System Preference pane.

    When you do a search you have the little '+' sign which allows you to add search parameters. (My biggest use is for images.) You can include System files that way.
  8. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
    Cleanapp is good at finding old files and leftover files. Be careful it even list critical files as old files!
  9. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    This is possible in a Spotlight search window.

    1. Type your search word/phrase in the Spotlight Menu.
    2. Choose "Show All"
    3. Click the + beside "Save
    4. Click the "Kind" drop-down menu and choose "Other..."
    5. Choose "System Files"
    6. Choose "Show" instead of "Don't Show"

    Note: If you click the checkbox in the "Other..." dialog beside "System Files", it will show up as a permanent option in the dropdown menu.
  10. SebZen thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2009
    That did it :D Thank you
  11. mysterytramp macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Find Any File was written exactly for this problem. Really nice piece of software.

  12. jw2002 macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2008
    There are quite a few locations and file types that Spotlight does not search by default. This behavior can be overridden to some extent by following this hint.

    If in doubt of Spotlight results, there is always the UNIX ``find'' command which is dependable but slow.
  13. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    open terminal

    mdfind (what you are searching for)

    Select desired results and type open then push command v.

    RM -f in place of open if you want to delete it

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