Spotlight Search is a powerful tool on a Mac that allows you to quickly find files, folders, and applications. But how exactly do you use it? This guide will walk you through the process, step by step.

Understanding the Concept of Spotlight Search

On a Mac, Spotlight Search is a system-wide search functionality that helps you find almost anything on your computer. Whether you’re looking for a specific file, a folder, or an application, Spotlight Search can help you find it quickly and easily.

Using Spotlight Search

Using Spotlight Search is as simple as pressing a keyboard shortcut. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open Spotlight Search: Press Command + Spacebar. This will open the Spotlight Search bar in the middle of your screen.
  2. Start Typing: Begin typing the name of the file, folder, or application you’re looking for. As you type, Spotlight Search will provide suggestions based on your input.
  3. Select the Result: Use the arrow keys to navigate through the results, and press Enter to open the selected file, folder, or application.

Troubleshooting Spotlight Search

In newer versions of macOS, the Command + Spacebar shortcut may be assigned to Siri by default. If this is the case, you can change the shortcut for Spotlight Search or Siri in your System Preferences. Here’s how:

  1. Open System Preferences: Press Command + Spacebar, type ‘System Preferences’, and press Enter.
  2. Go to Keyboard Settings: In the System Preferences window, click on ‘Keyboard’, and then select the ‘Shortcuts’ tab.
  3. Change the Shortcut: In the left-hand column, select ‘Spotlight’. Here, you can change the shortcut for ‘Show Spotlight Search’. If you want to change the Siri shortcut, select ‘Siri’ in the left-hand column and change the shortcut there.


In conclusion, using Spotlight Search on a Mac is a simple and efficient way to find files, folders, and applications. By understanding how to use and troubleshoot Spotlight Search, you can navigate your Mac more quickly and effectively.