Search with Spotlight on Mac
Spotlight can help you quickly find apps, documents, emails and other items on your Mac. With Siri Suggestions, you can also get news, sport scores, weather conditions, stock prices and more. Spotlight can even perform calculations and conversions for you.
Siri: Say something like: “How many centimetres in an inch?” or “What does parboil mean?” Learn how to ask Siri.
Search for something
On your Mac, click the Spotlight icon (if shown) in the menu bar, press Command-Space bar, or press (if available) in the row of function keys on the keyboard.
You can drag the Spotlight window anywhere on the desktop.
Tip: If the Spotlight icon isn’t in the menu bar, add it using Dock & Menu Bar preferences.
In the search field, type what you’re looking for — results appear as you type.
Spotlight lists top hits first; click a top hit to preview or open it. Spotlight also suggests variations of your search; you can view those results in Spotlight or on the web.
In the results, do any of the following:
Show a preview: Press the Tab key. Depending on the type of item selected in the results, you can interact with it. For example, select an app to list recently opened files, then click a file to open it. Or click the Play button to hear a song. Or click a button to purchase an app from the App Store.
See results of a suggested search in Spotlight: Click an item preceded by the Spotlight icon .
See results of a suggested search on the web: Click an item preceded by the Safari icon .
Open an item: Double-click it. Or select the item, then press the Return key.
Show the location of a file on your Mac: Select the file, then press and hold the Command key. The file’s location appears at the bottom of the preview.
Copy an item: Drag a file to the desktop or a Finder window.
During downtime, or if you reach the time limit set for apps in Screen Time preferences, app icons in results are dimmed and an hourglass icon is shown. See Schedule downtime.
Get calculations and conversions in Spotlight
You can enter a mathematical expression, currency amount, temperature or measurement in the Spotlight search field and get a conversion or calculation right in the search field.
Calculations: Enter a mathematical expression, such as 956*23.94 or 2020/15.
Currency conversions: Enter a currency amount, such as £100, 100 yen, or “300 krone in euros.”
Temperature conversions: Enter a temperature, such as 98.8F, 32C or “340K in F.”
Measurement conversions: Enter a measurement, such as 25 lbs, 54 yards, 23 stone, or “32 ft to metres”.
Tip: Press the Tab key to show additional conversions in the preview area.
You can exclude specific folders, disks or types of information (such as email or messages) from Spotlight searches. See Change Spotlight preferences.
If you want Spotlight to search content only on your Mac and not include results from the web, you can turn off Siri Suggestions for Spotlight.