Spotlight has become an integral part of the Mac experience. If you have a ton of files and less than ideal organization skills, then this app will be your savior. iPhones and iPad have Spotlight too, and it’s incredibly useful. Most Mac, iOS and iPadOS users will be familiar with Spotlight searches. Spotlight can easily do a system-wide scan for files and apps. But you might not know about Spotlight’s other useful features and that’s why we’re here to help. In this article, we are going to teach you how to use Spotlight search on Mac, iPad, and iPhone and make use of its full capabilities.
Today, we are going to take a look at all the Spotlight features, its shortcuts and how you can change its preferences. Let’s jump right into it.
How to Use Spotlight On Mac
Spotlight on Mac is an extremely powerful yet versatile tool. You can search for files, programs, and emails, but a lot of people are familiar with that function. In this section, we are going to discuss how you can use Spotlight to search for file-types, locations and even do conversions.
Launching Spotlight on Mac
To use Spotlight search on Mac, you can do either of the following things:
- Press Command + Spacebar.
- Click on the search symbol on the upper left corner of the menu bar.
Spotlight Search Features
After launching Spotlight, you can do a lot of different things that will help you find whatever you want quickly.
- The first feature is obvious. You can find basically anything you want. You can search for “emails from John” or “chrome” to open up Chrome. Then, you can use the arrow keys to browse through the results.
- To find a specific file type, you can use the “kind:” keyword followed by the type of file. Eg: to find audio files, you can use “kind:audio”.
- You can also use Spotlight to find the location of a file or a folder. Type the name of the file you want and select the appropriate result. Pressing Command will show you the location of the file at the bottom of the preview. Press Command+R to open the file location.
- To see all the search result in the Finder app, just scroll to the bottom of the results and double-click on Show all in Finder.
- Did you know that you can do simple calculations using Spotlight? For example, type in “3*6” and you will get the result in the result field.
- If you want to know the meaning of a word, you can simply type in a word and then click the result in the definition section.
- Spotlight can also do conversions. For example, simply type in “32 oz to grams” and you will get your result.
- Spotlight can also fetch you context-based information. For example, typing in a movie’s name will tell you the showtimes of that movie and its location. You can also find out how the weather is going to be like by simply typing in “weather” and you can also search for restaurants near you. You can also use Spotlight to fetch flight times by simply searching for a flight name.
- The Spotlight will also give you relevant web articles based on your search.
Customizing Spotlight Search on the Mac
To protect your privacy from someone else using your computer, you can also customize your Spotlight searches. You can also hide certain results from prying eyes.
- Click on the Apple menu and open up System Preferences.
- Select Spotlight.
- Here, you can select or remove the categories of results.
- To hide items from Spotlight, click on the Privacy tab at the top.
- Click + to add the private items and then click Choose. The selected items won’t show up in your search results.
How to Use Spotlight on iPhone and iPad
Spotlight on iOS and iPadOS offers a lot of features that are similar to Spotlight on Mac. To launch Spotlight on iPad and iPhones, all you have to do is:
- Swipe left from the Home screen.
- Swipe down on the app grid. This will only let you find apps, contacts, and messages.
- Swipe left from the Lock screen.
Spotlight Search Features
Spotlight search features on the iOS and iPadOS devices are extremely similar.
- You can swipe down from the app grid if you want to quickly search for an app. Simply tap the result to launch the app. You can also find contacts, notes, email, and nearby restaurants.
- Swiping left from the home screen will give you a lot of information without even asking for it. Here, you can find the frequently opened apps under Siri suggestions. You can also quickly access nearby restaurants, bars among other things. You can also get relevant news articles.
- Spotlight also lets you do conversions on different currencies and SI units, just like how it is on the Mac version.
- You can also do simple calculations instead of opening up the Calculator app.
Customizing Spotlight Search on the iPhone and iPad
To customize your search preferences, just follow these instructions:
- Open up Settings.
- Open Siri & Search.
- Tap on the app that you don’t want to show up on the search.
- Toggle off Search & Siri Suggestions.
That’s all you need to know about using Spotlight Search on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. I hope that this article helped you get more out of Spotlight.
If you have any doubts or suggestions, please let me know in the comments section down below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.