Find Any File (FAF)

Developer: Thomas Tempelmann

Current Version: 2.1.1

Last Updated: 7 months ago

Download Size: 7.8 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, and even plain text content (see note below).

• 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?
• Search with regular expressions?

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.

•• 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.”


Release Notes:

• Does not remove Volumes from Login Items any more.
• Fixes a crash when using the Preview Grid view.
• Fixes a rare crash inside [SUUpdater checkForUpdatesInBackground]

Version 2.1 (released 9 Nov 2019)
• Fixes an issue where searching entire volumes could miss some items, especially on fast network volumes such as Helios AFP servers.
• Fixes some Spotlight search issues on Synology NAS volumes (called Universal Search there).
• Searching for text content with non-latin characters (such as the Cyrillic script) does not freeze the app any more.
• The manual (see Help menu, "Documentation") has been much improved, explaining the search options in more detail.
• The Edit commands "Copy" and "Copy Names" have been exchanged to match the Finder's commands better, now called "Copy" and "Copy Columns".
• Fixed: When using the Service "FAF: Search Folder(s)" from the Finder, the search doesn't start on its own any more.
• Fixes a crash when searching for dates.
• English wording for some search rules has been updated to match Spotlight's.
• File names are again painted in their Label colors as it was in version 1.
• Brings back version 1's ability to search for Owner ID and Group ID (hold down the option key when clicking the "Name" popup).
• Fixed: After moving or deleting files, FAF now always updates the results accordingly, even on network volumes.
• Fixes a crash when sorting the column showing the full path.
• Fixes a crash when using "Make Invisible".
• Fixes searching "in Finder selection".
• Brings back all Services in Context menu, like in version 1.
• During QuickLook, using the cursor keys doesn't close the window any more.
• Fixes sorting of Kind column.
• Completes missing localizations in French, Spanish and Portuguese.


Most Helpful Reviews

Version 1.8.8
Review by AndyF8888

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).

Found helpful by 5 out of 5 people
Version 1.9.3
Review by soundneedle

Sooo slow - Alfred finds things so much faster than this overpriced hack

Found helpful by 3 out of 5 people

More Reviews for Current Version

Version 2.1.1
Review by Old_School_CS_guy

Pretty Good, but... - In the final version of the (64bit) realease, the file type search options, changed and they don't work correctly. A big change was put in at the end and then testing stopped. This confused me. Before, many file types could be searched, now only a few and some of those don't even work at all.

Found helpful by 1 out of 1 people
Version 2.1.1
Review by Marstonian

Great Search option - I prefer this to Spotligh as Spotlight has many problems, one of which is sucking CPU cycles out of your machine. This doesn’t do that because it only runs when you want it to. Spotlight is always running. Great utility

Found helpful by 0 out of 0 people
Version 2.1.1
Review by xmarc999

Nicely complements and often surpasses Spotlight - Find Any File does not rely on indexing, yet searches quite quickly. This is an advantage when trying to find newly created files that get dropped into the “wrong” folder (and has not been indexed yet). It also inherently displays the folder hierarchy for found items, making it far easier to open any level of the enclosing folder structure. This is often a multi-step process in Spotlight. Results are displayed in a Finder-like window, with many Finder services available (including “Show in Finder”). FAF will also search the entire hard disk, without excluding various “system” libraries. I still use Spotlight for softball searches, but when the going gets tough, it’s time for FAF.

Found helpful by 0 out of 0 people
Version 2.1.1
Review by MacReza

great tool - does the job of finding applications leftovers perfecty. thanks

Found helpful by 0 out of 0 people
Version 2.1.1
Review by SantaCruzer

Fantastic App! - Having forgotten my "grep" skills, Find Any File can be a life saver and is so much better than Finder/Spotlight!

Found helpful by 0 out of 0 people