Find Any File (FAF)
Developer: Thomas Tempelmann
Current Version: 1.9.2
Last Updated: 3 months ago
Download Size: 11.6 MB - Download
Unhappy with Spotlight because it does not find files that you know to be there? Use FAF to find every file on your disks, including those usually hidden. By file name, date, size (not by content, though!)
• Recover a file whose name you partially remember?
• See what files got changed in the past 5 minutes?
• Find all the large files on your disk?
• Uninstall software that leaves files in hidden places where Spotlight doesn't look?
Find Any File (FAF) is the perfect tool for these tasks.
You can even search on disks that are not indexed by Spotlight, including server volumes.
Find Any File can find files that Spotlight doesn't, e.g. those inside bundles and packages, and inside system folders that are usually excluded from Spotlight search.
Contrary to Spotlight, it does not use a database but instead searches the data on disk directly. This lets you search for file properties such as name, creation and modification dates, file size, even plain text inside files.
Another useful feature is its hierarchical results view (see screenshots). It lets you view the found items within their respective folders, making it often much easier to browse through 100s of found items.
Finally, it is fast. Not as fast as Spotlight, but it usually only takes a few seconds to locate all searched items on a disk.
•• Note ••
FAF can not search file content other than plain (unformatted) text - and even that is rather slow, so don't expect this to be a good replacement for Spotlight.
For searching text in Mails, Word and PDF documents, and similar files, Spotlight is still the best tool (whose results can be enhanced with Tembo, also available in the App Store).
•• Here's what users say about FAF ••
“FAF goes where Spotlight's can't easily reach.”
“As the administrator for about 50 school Macs, I often need to look for some file misplaced by a novice or, while troubleshooting a system, I often need to search for obscure operating system files. Find Any File is in my arsenal of tools when things files or folders go astray.”
“I use it when I want to find a specific kind of file or to see and eliminate or compare the double and redundant files. I surely use it 4-5 times a week.”
“I keep FAF as an icon in the toolbar of every Finder window. When I have to actually find something, I use FAF instead of the Finder.”
Note about 64 bit apps: While FAF is currently a 32 bit app, it will still work on macOS 10.13 and 10.14. A new 64 bit version is in the works, so don't worry.
Fix: No more OutOfBounds error when clicking past the last preview icon.
Fix: No more occasional freeze-up when quitting FAF.
Fix: The FAF Hotkey app gets removed properly on High Sierra when disabling the Hot Key in FAF's Preferences.
Fix: The menu option Automatically Refresh can now be (un)checked at all times.
Fix: Empty criteria are ignored when creating a name for Save and for the window title.
Most Helpful Reviews
This should be on every Mac - I’ve quickly come to consider this app a “must have” on any Mac. The fact that Spotlight won’t find files within bundles like the iMovie and iPhoto libraries, or not within Time Machine backups means that for me Find Any File is a lifesaver. Great app, simple design, and the one time I had issues I contacted the developer and he responded immediately (turned out to be a Mavericks bug and was able to work around it for now until Apple fixes it).
I don't get it - What does this do that Spotlight doesn't do? I agree that the Spotlight interface is weak, but it searches file contents, not just names. And when you search in spot light (choose search by file name in the spot light window that opens after you choose "show all") for "tin can" it returns all file names that contain "tin" and "can", not just those containing "tin can". For example it finds files named "white can red tin" but this doesn't.
More Reviews for Current Version
Excellent Spotlight Alternative - Very versatile. Has such options as ‘contains’ , ‘begins with’, ‘ends with’, ‘does not contain’, just to name few. And if you have multiple hard drive connected you can limit your search to just a single drive, or expand to include ALL DRIVES. Besides that, it doesn’t just search by file name, but can also search by Creation Date, or Modification Date, and also can be limited to only Folder Names. What’s REALLY nice is that it also looks in things like Web History and other places that you normally can’t search. Find Any File beats Spotlight, hands down.
One of the few trusted apps... - ...I’ve been using over several years. Not every day, but particularly after I’ve uninstalled an application and there still are littered remains throughout Mac OS, some which can cause hipcups (too technical to explain). Newbies need not apply, since spotlite functions well enough for finding normal documents, images, etc. The is a powerful app that can cause newbies trouble if they are just messing around. A great app but caveat emptor.
Apple should buy this company - It’s faster, better and more precise than Spotlight.
Good Stuff - Works reliably and as advertised. Intuitive and like the warnings.
One of the best utilities for the Mac - More reliable than Spotlight and it searches ALL files on your Mac.