Find Any File (FAF)

Key Features

  • Convenient folder and icon views for results
  • Can search in other users' home folders ("root" mode)
  • Saveable queries
  • Fast
  • Can be launched in place of Spotlight with ⌘F
  • Localized in the following languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Czech, Swedish

Download v1.9.3 (for 10.6-10.8)

Download v1.8.6 (for PPC Macs)

Download other versions here

Find Any File is Shareware

You may try it out without buying first. Simply download it.

If you keep using it you are expected to pay for it, though.

New in version 1.9.3:

  • Fixes "Name equals" on APFS volumes.
  • Applications can be chosen again with "Pass Results".
  • Improves performance with file icons in "Preview Grid" mode.

New in version 1.9.2:

  • Several crashing fixes.

New in version 1.9.1:

  • Critical fix for searching APFS disks.

New in version 1.9:

New in version 1.8.9:

New in version 1.8.8:

New in version 1.8.7:

New in version 1.8.6:

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.
Concerned about Apple's upcoming 64 bit requirement?

Worry not. While macOS reminds you that FAF will need to be updated for 64 bit, the current FAF version will still work in macOS 10.13 and 10.14.

I have started a complete rewrite of FAF that will address the 64 bit requirement. If you like to give it a try (it may still have some bugs), then go here.

Have you purchased FAF in the Mac App Store?

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 (FAF)

Find Any File is a program for Apple's Mac OS X that lets you search for files on your disks.

Find example

Find Any File doesn't replace Spotlight, but it complements it greatly:

A few words of caution:

Not convinced yet? Read this review of FAF at MacWorld.com

See a video of Andy Ihnatko recommending FAF on the MacBreak Weekly 506 show


Find Any File has a few gems that other search tools do not offer:

  1. Better results: It offers an alternative hierarchical view for the found items. You can switch to it with cmd+2 or click on the right little icon at the top of the results window:

    Hierarchical results example

    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.

  2. Image Preview: If you're looking for pictures, the image preview browser is helpful as well (new in version 1.9):

    Image preview example
  3. 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 in root mode, 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.
  4. 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.

Search Examples

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):

Find recent changes

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? You would enter two Name criteria as follows, along with a minimum size. Also note that the search is limited explicitly to the Music folder:

Find inside music folder

Or you might want to find all Numbers documents from 2015:

Find docs of 2015


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 (s)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 :)

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 a few extra search options (e.g. wildcards), displays results a bit neater and has a single-window user interface which you might prefer. However, note that it has troubles with APFS volumes (Apple's new disk format since macOS High Sierra).

Another great and fairly new file search tool is ProFind. It has a lot of features I had long planned for FAF but never got to, such as: Caching the file system contents for faster lookup and AppleScript support. It still lacks a few features that FAF offers, so there's still a reason for me to go on with FAF 2 :)

And if you want to search for specific text in a large set of files inside a directory, try BBEdit.

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.