Find Any File
- Convenient folder view for results
- Can search in other users' home folders ("root" mode)
- Saveable queries
- Fairly fast
- Can be launched in place of Spotlight with ⌘F
- Localized in the following languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Swedish, Czech
Download v1.8.6 for older PowerPC Macs)
Download alternatives and previous versions here
You may try out Find Any File without paying in advance. Simply download and run it.
If you keep using it, though, I'm asking for a small compensation (US$ 6) for my efforts.
New in version 1.8.6:
- Much faster on network volumes (Windows Shares, NAS).
- See complete list of changes.
New in version 1.8.5:
- Does not show the .faf files from previous searches any more.
New in version 1.8.4:
- Portuguese localization.
- "Open Recent" menu to re-open previously performed searches.
- Pressing Option or Command key while clicking "Add Choice" adds a new choice immediately.
- Bug fixes.
New in version 1.8.3:
- Restores columns in Results window if they got misaligned.
- Corrected french text "Traitement des données".
New in version 1.8.2:
- Fixed search for Creator and FileType codes.
New in version 1.8.1:
New in version 1.8:
- Lots of new search criteria (words, wildcards, labels).
- Improved filtering (show only invisibles, hide trash).
- You can now change the labels of selected items.
- Many bug fixes (e.g. no more long startup delays for some users).
- See complete list of changes.
If you have purchased FAF in the App Store, you can download and use the version from this website just the same, and you do not have to purchase it again.
Find Any File
Find Any File is a program for Mac OS X that lets you search for files on your disks.
- Contrary to Spotlight, it does not use a database but instead uses the file system driver's fast search operations, where available. This lets you search for file properties such as name, dates, size, etc., but not for file content (use Spotlight or EasyFind for that).
- Find Any File can find files that Spotlight doesn't, e.g. those inside bundles and packages and in inside folders that are usually excluded from Spotlight search.
- Finally, it is quite fast. A search only takes a few seconds on an internal hard disk or SSD. Try for yourself!
Find Any File doesn't replace Spotlight, but it complements it greatly:
- If you search for content, such as in e-Mails, PDFs, Word docs etc., use Spotlight.
- If you search for files by name, size or date, use FAF, as only then you can be sure that everything available is found.
A few words of caution:
- Do you search network volumes? Then be aware that this will only be fairly fast if you can mount the server via the AFP protocol (which applies to most NAS, and to servers running Linux or OS X) but not when mounting via SMB (the protocol preferred by Microsoft Windows). (See the FAQ, under What kind of disks do support "fast search"?)
- Want to search just a folder and its contents? Don't be tempted to let FAF search that folder specifically, because that may be slower than letting FAF search the entire volume. Give it a try! (See also the FAQ, under What does it mean when "(slow)" appears?)
Not convinced yet? Read this review of FAF at MacWorld.com
Find Any File has a few gems that other search tools do not offer:
Better results: It offers an alternative hierarchical view for the found items. You can switch to it using Command-2 or click on the right little icon at the top of the results window:
Note that the search above revealed hundreds of hits. If you'd look at that many results in a flat list, it would be hard to browse. With this new hierarchical view, however, you can directly look for the results in the folders that interest you.
- Find everything on your disk: If you hold the Option key (alt) down in the Find window, the Find button turns into Find All. If you click on it then, you are asked for an administrator password - and then Find Any File will restart with root permissions, being able to find really any file on your Mac's volumes, including files in other users' home directories (something that Spotlight won't do). Note that this will only work on local disks, not on network mounts, though.
- You can save your entered searches to files (they'll have the extension ".faf"). You can then double click them in the Finder to have them start the search immediately, or use the saved search as a preset.
Have you just installed or launched a program for the first time and like to see what it modified or added to your disks? Here's a way to do that (it excludes .DS_Store files from the results because they're not really relevant to this question).
Searching for files only inside your Music folder that are neither in AAC nor in MP3 format and which are at least a megabyte in size? So you could enter two Name criteria as follows, along with a minimum size. Also note that the search is limited explicitly to the Music folder.
Or you might want to find all Numbers documents created in 2009 only.
To learn more about Find Any File's many features, see the manual.
Alternatives to Find Any File
While I appreciate hearing from a happy user, especially if he sends me some money for it, even Find Any File is neither perfect nor to everyone's taste. Therefore, I like to refer you to some other programs that offer similar features. I hope one of them suits your needs. If not, you can always ask me, maybe I can help :)
There's a free and simpler clone of FAF called iFileX.
If you like to search for data inside files, and Spotlight doesn't do it for you, have a look at EasyFind by DEVONtechnologies. It offers search options in a different way, displays results a bit neater and has a single-window interface which you might prefer.
If you want to search for specific text in a large set of files inside a directory, I recommend TextWrangler.
To see which files, applications and folders occupy the most space on your disk (FAF can't search for app sizes, only regular file sizes), consider DaisyDisk.