How I Use Smart Folders to Gather All files on Mac OS X

Let me tell you a secret, don’t tell my mom but I am a `bit messy with files on my iPad. What I mean is that I sometimes save files everywhere without organizing them. If you are like me then I am sure you would love the idea of using Smart Folders in your Mac OS X.


A Smart Folder is more like an index gathering files by type and keywords, pointing you to the actual files. Smart Folders don’t actually store the files that match your search rules in a separate folder; your files remain where you originally saved them. So now that you know what Smart Folders are, let’s quickly see how to use them.


1. Go to File > New Smart Folder in Finder. You could also use the keyboard shortcut Command+Option+N.


2. Enter your main criteria in the search field and hit Enter. In this example, we’ll look for all photos created in the last year on the Mac.

3. Click the plus (+) sign next to the save button to add more search criteria.

 Smart Folders to Gather All files on Mac OS X

4. Use the dropdown boxes to refine your search. For example, you can search by date, filename, file contents, and many other search attributes.

5. Click the plus sign to add additional search criteria. You can also click the minus button to remove a criteria from the search.

6. Click Save to finish creating the Smart Folder.

7. Give your Smart Folder a name and click Save.

As soon as you save, your Smart Folder will gather any files that match your search criteria. You can find all your Smart Folders in the Saved Searches Folder under your username > Library or in the Finder sidebar if you enabled that option when you saved the folder.