Search .plist files

Discussion in 'macOS' started by n-evo, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. n-evo macrumors 65816

    n-evo

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    #1
    Prior to OS X Lion I was able to look for .plist files by enabling "System Files" while searching in Finder. Enabling the same thing in OS X Yosemite or El Capitan won't produce any results, while I know for a fact the file is there. When searching for "com.charlessoft.pacifist.plist" nothing I type from "charlessoft" to "pacifist" to the entire file name "com.charlessoft.pacifist.plist" will give any search results. The Finder window just stays blank, even with searching for System Files enabled while searching inside the ~/Library folder. It's kinda frustrating.

    So my question is simple: how can I make Finder show the preference and support files I'm looking for simply by searching like how it used to be in Mac OS X Tiger through Snow Leopard?
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    Use "Easyfind":
    http://www.devontechnologies.com/products/freeware.html

    Personal experience:
    I have spotlight turned completely off -- no "indexing" mucking with my drives.
    I use EasyFind and/or another app named "Find Any File" for all searching.
    They will find things spotlight would not...
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    California
    #3
    Starting with Mavericks some of those library and system folders don't turn up in Finder search results for some reason.

    I use the app iFileX for system searches like that.
     
  4. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

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    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    Apple has excluded system and other similar files from the spotlight searching, I always use a Terminal for searches like the OP wants.

    Code:
    MacUser2525:~$ locate charles
    /Applications/Pacifist.app/Contents/Library/LaunchServices/com.charlessoft.pacifist.helper
    /Applications/Pacifist.app/Contents/Library/LaunchServices/com.charlessoft.pacifist.helper_10.6
    /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.charlessoft.pacifist.helper.plist
    /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools/com.charlessoft.pacifist.helper
    
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #5
    OP is searching from Finder and the issue is, starting with Mavericks like I mentioned, those files no longer come up in a default Finder search. They did prior to Mavericks.
     
  6. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

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    #6
    Yes and as I stated Apple has excluded them files in spotlight from that OS on so if you want to find them then Terminal is still working like it should with the locate command...
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #7
    I think I am not explaining myself well. It is not a Spotlight problem. The files are indexed in Spotlight and do display if you search from within the folder, so they are indexed. But for whatever reason, a Finder search of all files when outside the target folder does not show the files. It is a weirdness introduced with Mavericks.

    See this thread and my post #9 in the thread.
     
  8. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #8
    @Weaselboy: I have the same problem from 10.6.8 thru 10.9.x. It seems that this happens if spotlight and/or the Finder has not enough free memory to load the spotlight indices (from my connected disks with a lot of indexed files, i.e. large indices).
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #9
    I've been seeing this since Mavericks on a bone stock rMBP with a half full flash drive and plenty of available memory, so I think it is a change made with Mavericks. I wonder if your issue is something else going on related to the free memory like you mentioned?
     
  10. n-evo thread starter macrumors 65816

    n-evo

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    Amsterdam
    #10
    That doesn't work either. The preferences files won't show up regardless of searching within ~/Library/Preferences or outside it with searching for system files enabled or disabled. They won't show up in any case.
     
  11. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #11
    I can search preference plists if I search in the preference folder on the latest beta of 10.10.5. Still pretty useless that it only shows results there.
     
  12. n-evo, Aug 11, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015

    n-evo thread starter macrumors 65816

    n-evo

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    Aug 9, 2013
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    #12
    Can you explain how because I can't even get that to work.

    Needless to say this new OS X behavior is really frustrating. There's simply no easy way left to quickly get rid of an app and its support files without getting a third-party solution.
     
  13. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #13
    I posted this above, I will repost:

    Why don't you just download EasyFind and try to search for ".plist" ???

    Do this, and I predict that you will be very pleasantly surprised!
     
  14. n-evo thread starter macrumors 65816

    n-evo

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    #14
    I'll definitely look into that Fishrrman, thanks for the suggestion. I do however find it completely insane I have to resort to a third-party app for something this simple and which used to be possible. I mean, what purpose does searching for System Files have if it doesn't actually include those system files?

    I'm still hoping there might be a Terminal command or something that fixes the issue so I can search from within Finder again.
     
  15. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #15
    I agree it was a stupid change and I can't think of a good reason for it. I have never found a work around other than just using a third party app. Even aside from this issue, I find third party apps like those mentioned here easier to use anyway.
     
  16. n-evo thread starter macrumors 65816

    n-evo

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    Amsterdam
    #16
    I just had the chance you try out EasyFind and it gets the job done. Thanks! It doesn't seem to find apps though.

    It still annoys me this isn't possible anymore in Finder.
     
  17. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #17
    OP wrote above:
    "I just had the chance you try out EasyFind and it gets the job done. Thanks! It doesn't seem to find apps though."

    - Open Easyfind
    - On the right, select the volume you want to search
    - In the text entry box, enter the name of the app you're searching for with ".app" appeneded to the name. Example: to search for Pages enter "Pages.app".
    - What happens now?
     
  18. n-evo thread starter macrumors 65816

    n-evo

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    #18
    Well the thing what I want to achieve is just type "Pacifist" (per example of course) and get all app and support files from said app. If I were to type "Pacifist.app" I wouldn't get any of the support files.
     
  19. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

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    Mar 17, 2007
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    Canada
    #19
    So what you really want then is something like AppCleaner, it seems to find all them files for deletion when you use it to remove the .app.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. n-evo thread starter macrumors 65816

    n-evo

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    #20
    Do those still work? I think the change in Spotlight starting with OS X Lion killed some of them like AppZapper
     
  21. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

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    Canada
    #21
    Well the screen shot shows you it does work, running Mavericks here.
     
  22. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #22
    I don't know why EasyFind is not finding the app for you, but I use iFileX exactly like you describe to remove apps and I just type in the name of the app (Pacifist in your example) and it finds every file with the word in the title.
     

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