To search Apple Support, type in a few descriptive words in the search field and press Return (Enter) on your keyboard for a list of relevant results. By default, the search engine will look for matches using any combination of the words in or words related to your search query, not necessarily all the words in your search. The Apple Support site also lets you restrict search results by product or document type, and determine whether the search results include older, archived documents as well as current ones.
To search, simply type a few keywords or ask a question. Examples:
- How do I reset my iPod?
- Mac OS X sharing files
Find synonyms with natural language searching
By default, your search results include documents with your exact search terms and also related terms and synonyms. For example, if you type How do I install Leopard?, the search will recognize the term "Leopard" has the same meaning as "Mac OS X 10.5" and relates to phrases like "operating system". Your search will not look for matches with common words like "how", "do", and "I" since that wouldn't yield relevant results.
Note: Search is not case-sensitive; you don't need to capitalize your keywords. "MacBook Pro" and "macbook pro" are treated as the same search.
Use quotation marks to search for exact phrases
As with many search engines, you can use the Apple Support Site search to find exact phrases by adding quotation marks to the beginning and end of a specific phrase in your query. The search looks for content containing words that appear together in the order you typed them inside the quotes.
Compare the following examples:
- how to upgrade
- "how to upgrade"
The example without quotation marks may generate results that include "how to," "upgrade," "to upgrade," or other combinations of these words, and content that includes the exact phrase (how to upgrade) may not necessarily appear at the top of the list of search results. The query that uses quotation marks generates only results that include this exact phrase.
You may even enclose just a portion of your query in quotes, and leave the remaining search terms separate. For example:
Leopard printing error "the printing service is not available"
The search results for this query will first list content that includes the exact phrase ("the printing service is not available"), then content that includes the words "Leopard," "printing," "error," and any associated synonyms.
Using quotation marks as needed dramatically improves your search results.
Use boolean operators for more focused results
Boolean search allows you to construct queries that specify exactly which words you do and do not want to see in your results. Use the three operators AND, OR, and NOT as in the following examples:
|Boolean operator||Sample search query||Search results include...|
|AND||iPod AND Mac||... only documents that contain the word “iPod” and also the word “Mac.”|
|OR||iPod OR Mac||... all documents that have either the word “iPod” or the word “Mac” or both.|
|NOT||iPod NOT Mac||... only documents that contain the word “iPod” and do not contain not the word “Mac.”|
Note: The operators must be in all caps (as above) in order to be interpreted as boolean. Additionally, any words containing special characters must be enclosed in quotation marks for the boolean contraint to be carried out correctly.
Learn about search icons
In the search results, next to the document titles, you'll find search icons to help you quickly scan search results and identify the type of information or resource you are seeking.