How to Include System Files in OS X Searches [Quick Tips]

By default, whenever you search for anything in OS X, whether it be via a Finder window or by Spotlight, your searches will only include files, documents and applications you have access to. Still, if you’re a sort of tech geek, you’ll sometimes want to include system files in your searches and sort them either by name or content.

These system files include fonts, preference files, cache files and other files that the normal Mac user wouldn’t really need to use/edit. On the other hand, seeing that you’re here reading this article, you may need such files to be included in your searches so that you can clear out unwanted files or system files you suspect are disrupting PC activity.

You should know you can’t really change Spotlight’s search behavior, but you can include system files in your Finder window searches.

1. In a Finder window, press “Command + F” on your keyboard to open up a new search window.

2. Make sure “This Mac” is selected, so that Finder searches through files throughout your Mac.

3. Click on the Plus icon below the Search field:System-Files-OSX-Plus

4. Select “Other” from the first drop-down menu:

System-Files-OSX-Other

5. In the opening window, scroll down and select System Files.

System-Files-OSX-System-Files

6. Make sure the “are included” option is selected.

System-Files-OSX-Included

That’s it. Now, you can easily search for system files from inside Finder windows in OS X.

Be sure to let us know in the comments below whether this method worked for you or not.