Mac App Store Tips

os-x-10-10-app-store-2Troubleshooting the Mac App Store

If an app purchased on one Mac does not open after being copied to another Mac

On the other Mac (where the app was copied, not purchased):

  1. Delete the app that will not open.
  2. Open the Mac App Store.
  3. Ensure that you are logged in to the Mac App Store with the same account that purchased the app.
  4. Select the Purchases view from the top of the Mac App Store window.
  5. Find the app and click the Install button beside it.
  6. The app will be installed on the Mac you are using.

If you are unable to find an app you purchased from the App Store

Apps you purchase from App Store have an icon added to your Dock and are installed in the Applications folder. To locate them:

  1. Open the Finder.
  2. Choose Applications from the Go menu.
  3. Locate your app in the Applications folder.

If the Mac App Store application was removed after installing the Mac OS X v10.6.6 Combo Software Update

First, confirm that you haven’t simply removed the App Store icon from your Dock:

  1. Open the Finder.
  2. Choose Applications from the Go menu.
  3. Locate App Store in the Applications folder.

If you cannot find the app, confirm that it isn’t in your Trash by clicking on the Trash icon on your Dock and looking for App Store in the Trash contents. If it is listed in the Trash contents, follow the steps in this article under Step 1, “If you change your mind…” to return the App Store to your Applications folder.

If the Mac App Store has been fully removed from your computer, visit AppleCare Support Downloads to download the Mac OS X v10.6.6 Combo Software Update package. Double click the file that downloads to run the Software Update. The Mac App Store will be replaced in the Applications folder and in your Dock.

If nothing happens after clicking Buy when purchasing an app

Select the Purchases view at the top of the Mac App Store window. Look for your purchased app. If it is listed under Purchases and says Installed next to it, check your Dock or Applications folder for the app. If the app’s listing under Purchases says Install next to it, click the Install button. The app will then be downloaded and installed into the Applications folder. You will not be charged again for the app.

If the app is not listed under Purchases, your previous attempt to buy was not completed and you were not charged for the app. Navigate to where you tried to purchase the app earlier and click the Buy button for the app. This will charge your account for the app. If you delete the app and wish to to reinstall it later, you can use the Purchases view to reinstall it without being charged again.

If downloading an app is interrupted

Once an Internet connection is reestablished, your purchased downloads should automatically restart. The Mac App Store may alert you that there was an issue with the download and ask if you’d like to restart the download(s). Confirming will restart all pending downloads.

Note: The download time will vary according to the file’s size and your Internet connection speed.

Additional Information

  • You can find additional information by choosing Help > App Store Help from within the application.
  • Additional articles and support resources for the Mac App Store are available here.

If you forgot your Apple ID password

Use these steps to reset it and regain access to your Apple ID.

Reset your password

First, follow these steps:

  1. Go to My Apple ID and select “Reset your password.”
    What's an Apple ID screen
  2. Enter your Apple ID, then select Next. If you don’t remember it, choose Forgot your Apple ID.
    Enter your Apple ID screen
  3. After you enter your Apple ID, there are three ways you can reset your password. Choose an option below:

Answer your security questions

  1. Select “Answer security questions,” then select Next.
  2. Select your birth date, then select Next.
  3. Answer your security questions.
  4. Set a new password and select Reset Password.

Use email authentication

  1. Select “Email authentication,” then select Next. Apple will send the email to your primary or rescue email address.
    Confirmation screen
  2. Open the email and select the link to reset your password.
  3. When the My Apple ID page opens, set a new password and select Reset Password.

Didn’t get the email?

Use two-step verification

  1. Enter your Recovery Key.
    Verify Your Identity: Step 1 of 2
  2. Choose a trusted device. We’ll send your device a verification code.
  3. Enter the verification code.
  4. Set a new password and select Reset Password.

If you permanently lost your recovery key or access to your trusted device, you can’t reset your password.

Get help

If these steps didn’t help you reset your password, contact Apple Support.

What’s next?

After you reset your password, we’ll ask you to sign in with your new password the next time you use your Apple ID. If you want to, you can update your email address or change your Apple ID.

How to browse and purchase from the Mac App Store

Learn how to browse and purchase from the Mac App Store.

With the Mac App Store you can buy and download apps directly on your Mac. To download and purchase apps from the Mac App Store, you need to sign in with the same Apple ID you use on the iTunes Store. If you don’t have an Apple ID, you can create an account at My Apple ID (appleid.apple.com).

Note: If you have an existing credit balance on your iTunes Store account, that balance will be shared across the iTunes Store and Mac App Store.

Browsing for apps

If you already know what you’re looking for, you can search for the app name using the Search field in the upper-right corner of the Mac App Store. Your search results will be displayed after you press Enter or Return. You can also browse apps by categories such as games and productivity,

You can sort your search results by Relevance, Most Popular, Release Date, and Customer Rating using the Sort By function located just below the Search field. You can read app descriptions, user reviews, and view screenshots for any app.

Purchasing an app

When you find an app that you like, click Buy (you may be asked to sign in with your Apple ID). For more information about Apple ID, please see this article. When you click Buy, the app will begin downloading automatically, and the app icon will be added to your Dock with a progress bar below the app icon. Once the app is done installing, the progress bar below the app icon will go away.

Hide and unhide purchases in the Mac App Store

Learn how to hide and unhide your Mac App Store purchases.

Hide your purchases

If you hide an item you purchased in the Mac App Store, you won’t get update notifications for it, and you won’t see it on your Purchases page. If you’re using Family Sharing, hidden items will also be hidden from your family members.

Use these steps on OS X Mountain Lion or later:

  1. Open the Mac App Store.
  2. Choose Store > Sign In, then enter your Apple ID and password.
  3. Click Purchases.
  4. Right-click the item that you want to hide and choose Hide Purchase. A prompt will ask if you’re sure that you want to hide the item.
  5. Click the Hide Purchase button. The item will fade. The item below it, if there is one, will replace it in the list.

Use these steps on OS X Lion:

  1. Open the Mac App Store.
  2. Choose Store > Sign In, then enter your Apple ID and password.
  3. Click Purchases.
  4. Locate the item that you want to hide.
  5. Click the X to the right of that item. The item will fade. The item below it, if there is one, will replace it in the list.

Unhide your purchases

  1. Open the Mac App Store.
  2. Choose Store > Sign In, then enter your Apple ID and password, if you’re not already signed in.
  3. Choose Store > View My Account.
  4. Enter your Apple ID password, if prompted.
  5. From the Account Information page, click View Hidden Purchases.
  6. From the Hidden Purchases page, locate the app you want to unhide.
  7. Click the Unhide button.

 

 

Finding your purchased apps

Finding the apps you’ve purchased from the App Store is designed to be easy—read below to find out how.

Apps purchased via the Mac App Store

When purchased via the Mac App Store, apps are installed in the Applications folder. Icons for purchased apps are automatically placed in the current user’s Dock. There is also a purchases tab in the Mac App Store where you can see all of your Mac App Store downloads.

Apps purchased on another household Mac

Apps purchased on another Mac can be installed on other Macs in the household by opening the Mac App Store on each destination Mac and signing in with the same Apple ID as you used to purchase the apps originally. Selecting the Purchases view at the top of the the Mac App Store window will display all apps which have been purchased with that account. Apps not yet installed on the current Mac will show an “Install” button next to the app name and description. Clicking the Install button will install the selected app on the current Mac without charging the account again. The apps installed in this manner will be placed on the current user’s Dock and installed in the Applications folder.

Sharing apps with other household Macs via File Sharing

Apps which have been shared with other Macs in your household via file sharing/copy should be manually placed in the Applications folder on the the computers they were shared or copied to. The first time you open a copied app, it will require the user to authenticate with the Apple ID which was originally used to purchase the app.

 

 

How to resume interrupted downloads

If a Mac App Store download is interrupted, the App Store will automatically restart or resume your download. Follow the steps in this article If your download does not automatically resume.

Follow the steps in this article If your download does not automatically resume, or if you see this alert:

The application could not be downloaded.

The application you tried to download could not be
downloaded. Check your internet connection and try
again.
To resume your download:

  1. Open the Mac App Store.
  2. From the Store menu, choose Sign In.
  3. Enter your Apple ID and password.
  4. Click Purchases to get to your Purchases Page.
  5. Click the Resume button next to the app name.

Update OS X and App Store apps on your Mac

Use Software Update to keep OS X and Mac App Store apps up to date.

Automatic Updates

Your Mac notifies you when updates are available for OS X or software you’ve purchased from the Mac App Store.

Always Update

In OS X Yosemite, you can tell your Mac to automatically install updates as needed. The first time updates are ready, Yosemite gives you the option to always update automatically.

the Always Update notification banner in Yosemite

If you click Turn On when you see this notification, your Mac installs OS X and app updates overnight as they become available. Your computer automatically restarts as part of the update process when needed. The next morning when you log in, your apps and windows re-open just the way you left them. This way your computer is up to date and ready to continue where you left it.

Notifications

If you don’t turn on Always Update, your Mac lets you know every time updates are ready to install. You might see a notification in the Apple menu, a badge on the App Store icon, or an alert telling you that updates are available.

the Apple menu shows you how many updates are pending divider the App Store icon shows you how many updates are pending divider Notifications tell you when updates are ready to install.

When you see a Software Update alert, Click Update, Install, or Restart to install the updates that are ready. You can click the banner to dismiss the alert without updating and see the list of updates that are available and their descriptions.

For updates that can be postponed, a Later button appears in the alert. If it’s not a convenient time to install your updates, click Later to tell OS X to remind you about the update at another time. Click and hold the Later button to see additional options, like “Try Tonight” and “Remind Me Tomorrow.”

Check for Updates

OS X Mountain Lion, Mavericks and Yosemite

You can use these steps to manually check for updates, or to see more information about available updates:

  1. Choose App Store from the Apple menu.
  2. Click the Updates button in the toolbar at the top of the App Store window.

The Updates pane of the Mac App Store

Updates to OS X and software that you purchased from the Mac App Store are listed in the Updates pane of the App Store window. OS X updates appear at the top of the updates list. If more than one OS X update is available, you can click “More…” to see the complete list, along with descriptions of each update.

  • Click the Update button next to a item to update it.
  • If more than one update is available, click the Update All button to download and install all the updates that are listed.
  • A list of items that have already been updated in the last 30 days are shown at the bottom of the window.

You can monitor the process of an update from this window, or pause and resume updates if you want to continue downloading an item later.

Earlier versions of OS X

In earlier versions of OS X, choose Software Update from the Apple menu to manually check for OS X updates. Follow the onscreen prompts to install any updates that are available. If you’ve installed software from the Mac App Store, open the App Store app and check the Updates pane for updates to your purchased software.

Choose Software Update from the Apple menu to update your software

If you can’t connect to the Software Update server

If you’re using your iPhone as an Instant Hotspot, OS X doesn’t check for updates automatically. If you need to install an update while you’re using your cellular data connection, open the Updates pane of the Mac App Store to manually check for and download updates.

If you are using your Mac at a business or school, ask your network administrator if you’re using a proxy server. Software Update uses HTTPS to create a secure connection to Apple’s Software Update servers. Make sure you have a working Internet connection by opening http://www.apple.com in Safari. Your administrator can configure a proxy server to allow allow a secure connection to Apple’s Software Update server if needed.

Using standalone installers from Apple Support

Sometimes you might want to download a standalone installer instead of using Software Update. For example:

  • If you think you might need the same download again later
  • You want to install the same software on multiple computers
  • You have a faster Internet connection available from another computer
  • You have no Internet connection on the computer that needs the update

You can get standalone installers for many Apple software updates from the Apple Support website. Carefully read the download description before using a standalone installer. It lets you know if you need to apply other updates first. It also helps you determine if your Mac is compatible with the related download.

Find apps

There are several ways to browse for apps on App Store. If you’re looking for a specific app or kind of app, use search to find it quickly.

Browse apps, purchases, and updates

Click a button in the toolbar.

  • Featured: Browse new and noteworthy apps.
  • Top Charts: Browse the most popular apps.
  • Categories: Browse apps in specific categories, such as Photography. (You can browse apps in a particular category by choosing an item from the All Categories pop-up menu in the Quick Links section. The Quick Links section is located in the right part of the window shown when you click Categories.)
  • Purchases: View apps you purchased.
  • Updates: View updates to apps you installed on your Mac and updates to OS X.

Search for apps

Type text in the search field at the top right of the App Store window, and then choose an item from the list or press Return to display results.

How to create a Mac App Store account

Learn how to create a Mac App Store account.

In order to purchase and download from the Mac App Store, you’ll need to have an Apple ID. If you have used the iTunes Store, then you can sign in to the Mac App Store using the same Apple ID you use on the iTunes Store. If you don’t have an Apple ID, you will need to create one before you can begin using the Mac App Store.

Note: The payment information on your iTunes Store account will be the same as the Mac App Store. If you have a store credit balance on the iTunes Store, that balance will be shared with both the iTunes Store and Mac App Store. The balance will be updated upon you making a purchase from either store.

Creating an Apple ID for use on the Mac App Store

  1. Open the Mac App Store.
  2. From the App Store menu, choose Store > Create Account
  3. Once you have read and agree to the Terms and Conditions, click Agree.
  4. When prompted, you’ll need to enter your email address and password, your email address will be used as your Apple ID.
  5. Once you’ve created your password and filled out all of the required fields click Continue.
  6. You’ll now be asked to enter your payment and billing information. Once you’ve completed entering your payment information click Create Apple ID.
  7. A verification email will be sent to the email address you provide. You will need to check for an email from Apple, and click the link to verify your email address.
    "A verification email has been sent to you... Check your email and follow the link to finish creating your Apple ID."

 

Share files, folders, and other services

os-x-10-10-finderYou can set up your Mac to share files, folders, and other services with users on your network. You can also share your screen, or share a printer connected to your Mac.

Use the information on this page to help you choose which services to share, and whom to share with.

DVD or CD sharing

If you install the DVD or CD Sharing Setup software, users of other computers should be able to access your DVD or CD drive. This can be helpful if the other computer doesn’t have an optical drive, or if you want to provide access to your optical drive to other computers on your Ethernet or wireless network.

Share your optical drive with another computer

You can share discs in your computer’s DVD drive with other computers on your network.

  • Open Sharing preferences if it isn’t already open (choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Sharing), then select the DVD or CD Sharing checkbox.

    Open Sharing preferences for me

  • To be notified when a computer tries to access your optical drive, select “Ask me before allowing others to use my DVD drive.”

Screen sharing

You can let others see what’s on your screen; open, move, and close files and windows; open apps; and even restart your Mac.

Screen Sharing pref pane

You can let others view your computer screen on their own Mac. While your screen is being shared, the user of the other Mac sees what’s on your screen and can open, move, and close files and windows, open apps, and even restart your Mac.

  1. Open Sharing preferences if it isn’t already open (choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Sharing).

    Open Sharing preferences for me

  2. Select the Screen Sharing checkbox.

    If Remote Management is selected, you must deselect it before you can select Screen Sharing.

  3. To specify who can share your screen, select one of the following:

    • All users: Anyone with a user account on your Mac can share your screen.

    • Only these users: Screen sharing is restricted to specific users.

  4. If you selected “Only these users,” click Add  at the bottom of the users list, then do one of the following:

    • Select a user from Users & Groups, which includes all the users of your Mac.

    • Select a user from Network Users or Network Groups, which includes everyone on your network.

  5. To let others share your screen without having a user account on your Mac, click Computer Settings, then select one or both of the following:

    • Anyone may request permission to control screen: Before other computer users begin screen sharing your Mac, they can ask for permission instead of entering a user name and password.

    • VNC viewers may control screen with password: Other users can share your screen using a VNC viewer app—on iPad or a Windows PC, for example—by entering the password you specify here.

    If this computer’s screen is shared only by other OS X users, turn off these options and add accounts for the other users.

File sharing

You can share files with other Mac computers:

Share your Mac with everyone, or restrict the sharing service to allow specific users access to only certain folders.

File Sharing pref pane

You can share files and folders with others on your network. You can share your entire Mac with everyone, or allow specific users access to only certain folders.

  1. Open Sharing preferences if it isn’t already open (choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Sharing).

    Open Sharing preferences for me

  2. Select the File Sharing checkbox.

  3. To select a specific folder to share, click Add  at the bottom of the Shared Folders list, locate the folder, select it, then click Add.

    The Public folder of each user with an account on your Mac is shared automatically. To prevent a folder from being shared, select it in the Shared Folders list and click Delete .

  4. By default, any user set up on your Mac in Users & Groups preferences can connect to your Mac over the network. A user with an administrator account can access your entire Mac.

    To give only specific users access to a folder, select the folder in the Shared Folders list, then click Add  at the bottom of the Users list. Then do one of the following:

    • Select a user from Users & Groups, which includes all the users of your Mac.

    • Select a user from Network Users or Network Groups, which includes everyone on your network.

    • Select a person from your contacts. Create a password for the person, then click Create Account.

  5. To specify the amount of access for a user, select the user in the Users list, click the triangles next to the user name, then choose one of the following:

    • Read & Write: The user can see and copy files to and from the folder.

    • Read Only: The user can view the contents of the folder but can’t copy files to it.

    • Write Only (Drop Box): The user can copy files to the folder but can’t view its contents.

    • No Access: The user can’t see or copy files from the folder.

  6. OS X allows guests to access shared folders on your Mac. To turn off guest access, deselect “Allow guests to connect to shared folders” in the Guest Account pane of User & Groups preferences.

Open Users & Groups preferences for me

Printer sharing

If you have a printer connected to your Mac, you can let others on your network use it.

Printer Sharing prefs

You can share your printer with another Mac or with a UNIX computer. The computers must be on the same local network as your Mac, and the Mac users must have Mac OS X v10.4 or later.

Printer sharing is for non-network or non-wireless printers that typically are plugged in directly to your computer. You don’t need to share network, wireless, or AirPrint compatible printers because they are already shared on your network.

  1. Open Sharing preferences if it isn’t already open (choose Apple menu > System Preferences and click Sharing), then select the Printer Sharing checkbox.

    Open Sharing preferences for me

  2. Below Printers, select the printer you want to share.

    When you share a printer, all users on your network (“Everyone”) can use it by default. If you want to restrict access to specific people, continue with steps 3 and 4.

  3. Click Add  at the bottom of the Users list, then do any of the following:

    • Select a user from Users & Groups, which includes all the users of your Mac.

    • Select a user from Network Users or Network Groups, which includes everyone on your network.

    • Select a person from your contacts. Create a password for the person, then click Create Account.

  4. When you add people to the Users list, access to the shared printer is reset to No Access for users on your network (“Everyone”). To provide access to Everyone again, click the triangles, then choose Can Print.

To remove a user, select the name, then click Remove . You can’t remove Everyone.

Remote login

If you allow remote login, you can use Secure Shell (SSH) to log in to your Mac from another location.

Remote login pref pane

If you allow remote login, you can use Secure Shell (SSH) to log in to your Mac from another computer.

You can’t use Telnet to log in to your Mac.

Set up Remote Login

  1. On your Mac, open Sharing preferences if it isn’t already open (choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Sharing).

    Open Sharing preferences for me

  2. Select Remote Login.

    Selecting Remote Login also enables the secure FTP (sftp) service.

  3. Specify which users can log in:

    • All users: Any of your computer’s users and anyone on your network can log in.

    • Only these users: Click Add , then choose who can log in remotely. Users & Groups include all the users of your Mac; Network Users and Network Groups include people on your network.

Log in from another computer

To log in from another computer, open Terminal (or another SSH app) on that computer, then type:

ssh username@IP address

For example, if your user name is steve, and your computer’s IP address is 10.1.2.3, open Terminal on the other Mac and type:

ssh steve@10.1.2.3

Don’t know your user name and the IP address for your Mac? It’s easy to find them. Open the Remote Login pane of Sharing preferences; your user name and IP address are shown below the “Remote Login: On” indicator.

Open the Remote Login pane of Sharing preferences for me

Allowing remote login to your Mac can make it less secure. For more information about keeping your Mac secure, see Protect your Mac.

For more information about using the ssh command, type “man ssh” at a Terminal shell prompt.

man page for ssh

Remote Management

If your Mac is remotely managed using Apple Remote Desktop, turn on remote management in Sharing preferences.

Remote Management pref pane

If you are sharing your screen and Mac using Remote Desktop, use Remote Management instead of Screen Sharing in Sharing preferences.

  1. Open Sharing preferences if it isn’t already open (choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Sharing), then select the Remote Management checkbox.

    Open Sharing preferences for me

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Select “All users” to let all users on your network connect to your Mac using Apple Remote Desktop.

    • Select “Only these users,” click Add , then select the users who can share your Mac using Apple Remote Desktop.

  3. Click Options, then select the tasks remote users are permitted to perform.

  4. Click Computer Settings, then select options for your Mac. If people connect using a VNC viewer, you need to set a password.

Apple Remote Desktop is available from the App Store. For help setting up and using Apple Remote Desktop, see Remote Desktop Help.

Open App Store for me

Remote Desktop Help

Remote Apple events

Set your Mac to respond to events sent from other computers on a network.

Remote Apple Events pref pane

Your Mac can accept Apple events from apps running on other computers. An Apple event is a task being performed on a Mac, such as “open this document” or “print.”

With remote Apple events turned on, an AppleScript program running on another Mac can interact with your Mac. For example, the program could open and print a document that’s located on your Mac.

  1. Open Sharing preferences if it isn’t already open (choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Sharing).

    Open Sharing preferences for me

  2. Select the Remote Apple Events checkbox.

  3. Specify who can send events:

    • All users: Any of your computer’s users and anyone on your network can send events.

    • Only these users: Click Add , then choose who can send events. Users & Groups include all the users of your computer; Network Users and Network Groups include people on your network.

For more information about AppleScript, see the AppleScript website.

Internet sharing

Share your Internet connection with other computers on your local network.

Internet Sharing pref pane

You can share your Internet connection with other users on your local network.

  1. Open Sharing preferences if it isn’t already open (choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Sharing).

    Open Sharing preferences for me

  2. Select the Internet Sharing checkbox.

  3. Click the “Share your connection from” pop-up menu, then choose the Internet connection you want to share. For example, if you’re connected to the Internet over Ethernet, choose Ethernet.

  4. Select how you want to share your Internet connection in the “To computers using” list. For example, if you want to share your Internet connection over Wi-Fi, select Wi-Fi.

    If you share your Internet connection using Wi-Fi, deselect the Internet Sharing checkbox, click Wi-Fi Options, give your network a name and password, then select the Internet Sharing checkbox again.

If your Internet connection and your local network use the same port (Ethernet, for example), investigate possible side effects before you turn on Internet sharing. In some cases, sharing your Internet connection disrupts the network. If you use a cable modem, for example, you might unintentionally affect the network settings of other ISP customers, and your ISP might terminate your service.

Bluetooth sharing

If your Mac is Bluetooth enabled or you have a Bluetooth USB adapter connected to your Mac, you can share files with other Bluetooth enabled computers and devices.

Bluetooth Sharing pref pane
  1. Open Sharing preferences if it isn’t already open (choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Sharing).

    Open Sharing preferences for me

  2. Select the Bluetooth Sharing checkbox and set the following options:

    • When receiving items: Choose Accept and Save to save all items sent to your Mac; choose Accept and Open to open the items; or choose “Ask what to do” to decide what to do each time a file is sent. If you don’t want to accept any items sent to your Mac, choose Never Allow.

    • Folder for accepted items: Choose the folder in which you want to store accepted files. The default folder is the Downloads folder. Choose Other to select a different folder.

    • When other devices browse: Choose Always Allow to let devices browse your Mac, or choose Ask What to Do to manually decide what to do each time a device tries to browse your Mac. If you don’t want other devices to browse your Mac, choose Never Allow.

    • Folders others can browse: Choose the folder on your Mac that other devices can browse. The default folder is the Public folder. Choose Other to select a different folder.

To set options for what happens when others try to send you files or browse your Mac using Bluetooth, open Bluetooth File Exchange, then choose Help > Bluetooth Help.

Open Bluetooth File Exchange for me

Share the contents of the Clipboard with another Mac

Transfer information between the Clipboards of the two computers

When you’re sharing one computer’s screen with another computer, you can transfer information between the Clipboards of the two computers. For example, you can:

  • Copy text and images from documents on one Mac and paste them into documents on the other.

  • Select and drag text and images from one Mac to the other.

  • Copy a link from your web browser and paste it into a web browser on the other Mac.

  • Copy text from a document on one Mac and drop it on the desktop of the other Mac to create a clipping.

  1. Start a screen sharing session with a Mac on your network. See Share the screen of another Mac.

  2. Choose Edit  > Use Shared Clipboard.

 

Spotlight Tips

Search with Spotlight

Spotlight helps you quickly find anything on your Mac, including documents, emails, apps, songs, contacts, and more. It also provides Spotlight Suggestions from sources like Wikipedia, Bing, Maps, news, and iTunes so you can get more information right in Spotlight. Search results have rich, interactive previews so you can play song previews, get directions, send email, make phone calls, and more from results.

Note:   Spotlight Suggestions may not be available in all regions.
Spotlight menu showing search example
  1. Click the Spotlight icon  in the menu bar, or Press Command (⌘)-Space bar.

  2. Enter your search. Results appear as you type; you don’t need to press Return.

    Here are some of the items you can search for:

    • Items on your Mac, such as documents, emails, apps, songs, movies, contacts, events, and reminders.

    • Items in the iTunes Store, iBooks Store, or App Store, such as songs, albums, movies, TV shows, books, and apps.

    • Locations near you, such as stores, restaurants, parks, and landmarks.

    • Wikipedia entries for people, places, and more.

    • Movies playing in theaters near you.

    • News for current events.

    Note:   If you turn off Spotlight Suggestions and Bing Web Searches, Spotlight searches only for items on your Mac.
  3. Click a search result to preview it in Spotlight. You can also use the arrow keys to scroll through the results.

    • Perform actions in result previews: Click items or links in the previews.

      For example, to preview a song from an album on iTunes, click the Play button next to the song. Or, to get tickets for a movie playing near you, click the movie times.

    • Open a result: Double-click the result, or select it, then press Return.

    • See all results from your Mac in the Finder: Scroll down to the bottom of the results list, then double-click Show all in Finder.

With Spotlight, you can also get unit and currency conversions, quickly open apps, and get calculations and definitions.

  • Get currency and unit conversions: Convert dollars to euros, feet to meters, pounds to kilograms, even hectares to acres. Enter the units or currency you want to convert, such as 100 dollars. The top result shows the conversions.

  • Open an app: Enter the app’s name in Spotlight, then press Return.

    Spotlight learns from your searches, so if you enter “s” and open Safari, the next time you enter “s,” Safari is the top result.

  • Get a calculation: Enter a mathematical expression in Spotlight, such as 956*23.94.

  • Get a definition: Enter a word or phrase, then click the result below Definition.

Note:   If you deselected categories in the Search Results pane of Spotlight preferences, you won’t see those results from those categories in Spotlight. If you used the Privacy pane of Spotlight preferences to exclude any folders or disks from searches, Spotlight results won’t include items in those folders and disks. For more information.

Spotlight keyboard shortcuts

Quickly search with Spotlight using keyboard shortcuts.

Open Spotlight to start a search

Command (⌘)-Space bar

Complete the search using the suggested result

Right Arrow

Move to the next search result

Down Arrow

Move to the previous search result

Up Arrow

Move to the first search result in the next category

Command (⌘)-Down Arrow

Move to the first search result in the previous category

Command (⌘)-Up Arrow

Show the path of a search result on your Mac

Command (⌘)

Open the selected result

Return key

See a file or app in the Finder

Command (⌘)-R or Command (⌘)-Double-click

Open a Finder window with the search field selected

Option-Command (⌘)-Space bar

To choose different shortcuts, open Spotlight preferences—choose Apple menu > System preferences, click Spotlight, then choose shortcuts from the pop-up menus at the bottom of the pane. You can also click the pop-up menus, then press the keys you want to use.

If you use multiple input sources and have designated Command (⌘)-Space bar and Option-Command (⌘)-Space bar as shortcuts for switching between input sources, you should change the Spotlight shortcuts.

Find specific types of items when searching

If you’re looking for a specific type of item on your Mac, such as an email or image, you can specify it when performing a search. To specify the type, add the text “kind:[type of item]” at the end of your search. For example, to search for your images of New York City, enter “New York City kind:images.” To search for your email messages that mention Anne Johnson, enter “Anne Johnson kind:email.”

You can use these keywords in Spotlight, Finder, and Open dialog search fields.

Type of item
Keyword

Apps

kind:application

kind:applications

kind:app

Contacts

kind:contact

kind:contacts

Folders

kind:folder

kind:folders

Email

kind:email

kind:emails

kind:mail message

kind:mail messages

Calendar events

kind:event

kind:events

Reminders

kind:reminder

kind:reminders

Images

kind:image

kind:images

Movies

kind:movie

kind:movies

Music

kind:music

Audio

kind:audio

PDF

kind:pdf

kind:pdfs

Preferences

kind:system preferences

kind:preferences

Bookmarks

kind:bookmark

kind:bookmarks

Fonts

kind:font

kind:fonts

Presentations

kind:presentation

kind:presentations

Narrow down search results

When searching in Spotlight or the Finder, you can add criteria to a basic search, perform Boolean queries, and search items’ metadata.

Add criteria to a search

You can focus a search by adding criteria to a basic search. For example, you can search for particular kinds of files, or for items created on a particular date.

  1. Click the Spotlight icon  in the menu bar, then enter your search.

  2. Double-click Show All in Finder at the bottom of the search results list to open a Finder search window.

  3. Click Add  on the right side of the search window, below the search field.

  4. Click the far-left pop-up menu, then choose your search criteria.

    For example, to search only a certain type of item instead of all items, choose Kind. Or to search for any item whose name contains a particular word or phrase, choose Name.

  5. To add more choices to the far-left pop-up menu, choose Other, then select each attribute you want to add.

    For example, to search copyright information, select Copyright in the list of attributes, then click OK.

  6. Add or remove search criteria as needed by clicking Add  or Remove .

To appear in the search results, an item must match all your criteria. For example, if one criterion specifies searching for items whose name begins with S and you add a criterion to search for items created today, the search results include only items created today whose names begin with S.

Perform a Boolean query

A Boolean query uses AND, OR, and NOT (known as Boolean operators) to narrow search results. You can also use a minus sign (–), which means AND NOT, to exclude items when you search.

Here are examples of what you might type in the search field when you use Boolean operators:

  • author:tom OR author:thom searches for items authored by Tom or Thom, if you don’t know the exact spelling of his name.

  • trip -france searches for items that contain the word “trip” but not “france,” so results might include photos from a trip to Spain but not to France.

  • kind:message date:6/29/14-7/25/14 NOT date:7/14/14 searches for email messages dated from 6/29/14 through 7/25/14, but excludes those dated 7/14/14.

Search for metadata attributes

Most items contain metadata that describes the item contents, how it was created, and other attributes. For example, when you take a digital photo, information such as the camera model, the aperture, and the focal length are among the many attributes automatically stored in the file as metadata. To view metadata for a file, select the file, then choose File > Get Info.

Here are examples of how you might use metadata attributes in your search:

  • trip kind:document searches for the word “trip” in documents only.

  • author:tom searches for all items written by Tom.

  • meeting date:tomorrow searches for meetings you have planned for tomorrow.

  • kind:images created:5/16/14 searches for images created on a specific date.

  • kind:music by:“glenn miller” searches for music by Glenn Miller.

  • modified:<=6/29/14 searches for items modified on or before a specific date.

You can also search for specific types of items, such as apps, contacts, or bookmarks.

Spotlight preferences

In Spotlight preferences, choose the categories that appear in Spotlight search results. If you want, you can also keep Spotlight from searching specific folders or disks.

To open Spotlight preferences, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Spotlight.

Open Spotlight preferences for me

Search Results pane

Choose which categories appear in Spotlight search results: Select the categories you want to include, deselect those you don’t.

By default, Spotlight results include Spotlight Suggestions, Bing Web Searches, conversions, documents, folders, music, and more.

If you don’t want your Spotlight search queries and Spotlight Suggestions usage data sent to Apple, you can turn off Spotlight Suggestions by deselecting the Spotlight Suggestions and Bing Web Searches checkboxes. You can also turn off Location Services for Spotlight Suggestions in Security & Privacy preferences. If you turn off Location Services on your Mac, your precise location will not be sent to Apple. For detailed instructions and information, see About Spotlight Suggestions.

Change the order of results: Drag the categories until they’re in the order you want.

Privacy pane

Keep Spotlight from searching locations: Click Add , then locate the folder or disk you want to exclude. You can also drag folders or disks into the list.

Remove a folder or disk from the exclusion list: Select the folder or disk, then click Remove .

If you add a Time Machine backup disk to the privacy list, you will continue to see messages that Spotlight is indexing your backup disk. This indexing is necessary for Time Machine to function properly and can’t be disabled. Spotlight does exclude from searches any items you store on your backup disk that are not part of a Time Machine backup.

Important:   If you add certain files and folders to the privacy list you may not be notified when updates become available for some apps. If you add your entire internal disk to the privacy list, you won’t be notified about any updates.

Show Spotlight search and Show Finder search window shortcuts

Show Spotlight search: Click the pop-up menu, then choose the keyboard shortcut you want to use to open Spotlight.

Show Finder search window: Click the pop-up menu, then choose the keyboard shortcut you want to use to open a Finder search window.

When you use the shortcut, a Finder window opens with the search field selected.

If a yellow alert triangle appears next to the shortcut you select, then the shortcut is already being used. Click the triangle to open Keyboard Shortcuts preferences and view all the keyboard shortcuts set on your Mac.