Apple Mac: How to Work With Smart Folders

You can identify Smart folders by their purple color and cog icon. Otherwise, Smart folders look just like regular folders on your Mac, but instead of files and other items, they display Spotlight search results. So if you open a Smart folder, you won’t be able to see the contents inside the folder. You’ll view items elsewhere in the directory structure, instead. Even if you try, you can’t add items to Smart Folders. You use them to search for items elsewhere on you system.

Apple Mac: How to Work With Smart Folders

Working with Smart Folders and using the Spotlight search box, you can narrow Spotlight searches even further. This technology exists within Finder and in some Mac OS apps, although they can be named differently, as Smart Mailboxes, Smart Playlists, and so on.

How to Make Smart Folders

Making Smart Folders is easy. Besides, the Mac OS comes with pre-loaded with a few Smart Folders. To access to these folders, open a new Finder window. Then look in the sidebar for the new Search For area. You’ll see Today, Yesterday, Past Week, All Images, All Movies, All Documents. All these elements are Smart Folders.

If you want to create a new Smart Folder, choose File – New Smart Folder from the Finder menu bar. Use the first drop-down menu option to choose a category, such as Kind, Last Opened, Created Date.

When you create a Smart Folder, look also at the Other option. This menu opens a list of options that can be added to the drop-down menu. It’s worth taking time to investigate offerings to add, as there are many of them, from aperture values to video bit rates.

Use the Add (+) button to add multiple search terms to narrow the results. For example, you can create a Smart folder that contains files about the secondhand electronics you have purchased the last month.

When you are finished, save the Smart Folder and access it in Finder. To save the newly created folder, click Save button on the right side of the New Smart Folder Window.

To add the Smart Folder to the Search For area in the Finder‘s window setbar, select the Add to Sidebar check box in the Save dialog box.

Altogether, you can create multiple Smart Folders which search for Microsoft documents, PDF files, large or small images, documents you’ve worked this week, search for photographs taken with certain cameras. In fact, by looking through the Other folder, you’ll find lots of inspiration for many Smart Folders.

Some Smart Folders You May Need

Among the most popular smart folder many users create and use are the following:

  1. A smart folder where all the huge files are. You can select and place there files that are larger than 1 G or 700MB, or just 500MB and so on. Of course, you can change the value to whatever you want.
  2. A smart folder which helps find and delete .DMG Installers. These files tend to stack up a bit. So if you find your downloads folder is constantly clogged up, you should start taking the trash out automatically by creating a special smart folder for these installers.
  3. You can create a smart folder where all the Apps you haven’t opened in a while will show. You may define and specify your own time period as the folder has multiple time periods. Thus this folder will help you do a bit of cleaning by seeing at a glance what programs you haven’t used for a long-long time.
  4. A nice suggestion found in the net: See All .MOV files But Exclude .MP4 Files. The second part of this filter can be achieved by holding down the Option key while pressing the “+” button. The “+” then becomes three little dots. Click on that, and you will get what you see above. Note that this just an example, as you can use this approach for any media or filetype, such as .JPEGs instead of .PNGs, .DOCX instead of .RTF and so on.
  5. Another very useful smart folder suggested by a Mac guru: Filter by (multiple) tags. If you right-click on a file, and choose Get Info, you are able to tag the file with keywords. If you prefer to filter a smart folder by only certain tags (like photos you want printed in one go or unfinished work you want to get back to) then you can create a filter to do so.
  6. Fine-Tune recently created documents list: If you work a lot, it may be useful for you to see all of your recent work in one folder. You can create a smart folder and specify there a custom time period and make it more specific to your needs by focusing on certain file types (like .XLS spreadsheets) while ignoring everything else.
  7. A smart folder that helps find iPhone photos in OS X Photos. Like iTunes, OS X new Photos app also employs smart folders as smart albums. These work in an identical manner, allowing the user to run a custom query for specific attributes. One handy smart album filters by camera type in order to show the user only your smartphone images.


How to Turn Folder On Your Mac Into Smart Folder.  Mac OS X Tutorials and App reviews from HowTech
Mac OS X Tutorials and App reviews from HowTech. Uploaded on June 20, 2016


This post currently has one response

  • Sorry, but I didn’t understand a word from this text. These smart folders are for IT experts only.

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