Smart Folder. What is it?


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 11, 2005
East Coast
I have been a Mac user for some time now, yet I still don't fully understand what a Smart Folder is. Could someone please help me out with this? Your help is much apprecaited.

James Philp

macrumors 65816
Mar 5, 2005
A folder that has a spotlight search associated to it.
This search can have multiple criteria attached to it - just like the smart folders in iTunes.


Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
Bergen, Norway
A smart folder is really just a search that is saved (and updated "live"). So if a file meets the search criteria you set, e.g. contains "Christmas" or "Santa" and file type is doc than the smart folder will show all the Word files on your computer containing those words (but the files will remain at their original location). New .doc files you add containing any of those words will automatically show up in your smart folder.

Apple's explanation:
Organically Organized
Thanks to the speed and flexibility of Spotlight, you will discover countless new ways to organize your files. Take the results of a search and save it as a Smart Folder that automatically updates as you add or remove documents from your Mac. Smart Folders contain files grouped together based on search criteria instead of physical location, so the same file can appear in multiple Smart Folders without moving from its original saved location on your system. No need to duplicate, shift or update files: Spotlight Smart Folders keep everything organized for you.
Edit: Beaten by seconds... I knew I shouldn't have found that link... :p