macOS has an efficient way to help you search for files and folders in your memory. You can perform searches that contain specific words or other criteria to find the items you are looking for. What makes finding things even easier is the Smart Folders feature built into the Finder.

Smart Folders, as the name suggests, is a type of folder that allows you to quickly find the items you are looking for. But in saying this, a smart folder is not in reality a folder. It’s more of a search with certain criteria that you have saved on your machine.

A set of smart folders on the Mac desktop

While it’s so useful, it’s not widely used and you’re missing out on not taking advantage of this feature.

Creating a smart folder on MacOS

Creating a new Smart Folder on a Mac is a breeze. All you have to do is click on an option in the Finder and you’ll have the window open to create and save your new Smart Folder.

  • To get started, make sure you’re inside a Finder window. Then click File top menu and select the option that says New smart folder.
File menu -> New Smart Folder ” class =”wp-image-7280″ srcset =” 680w, -smart-folder-300×105.png 300w,×28.png 80w” sizes =”(max-width: 680px) 100vw, 680px”/></figure>
<p>Instead of the usual folder name prompt, you’ll get a screen asking you to define criteria for your smart folder.  Here you can specify the criteria that will be applied and only files that meet the criteria will be displayed here in this folder. </p>
<li>Click on <strong>+</strong> plus sign to add a criterion and then use the drop-down menus to specify the actual options.</li>
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New Smart Folder window
  • After specifying the options, you need to save the folder. Click on Save button on the screen, enter a name for your smart folder, select where you want to save it and click Save.
Save As window for New Smart Folder
  • You can tick the Add to sidebar option if you want the folder to appear in the sidebar of Finder windows.
  • Once the folder is saved, you can open it like any other folder and it will display all files that meet the criteria of your Smart folder.

If you are completely new to this type of folder and want some tips, here are some useful uses of Smart Folder you could try.

Find recently created files with Smart Folders

If you often need to access recent files on your Mac, you can create a smart folder that automatically fetches all your recent files with just one click.

New smart folder that recovers recent files
  • Create a new smart folder as you normally would. When the screen to ask for folder criteria appears, enter the following and press Save.
Search > This Mac 
Created date > is > within last > 2 > days

You can edit “2” on any number of days you wish.

  • Save the folder and when you launch it, it will display the files that were created in the last 2 days on the whole Mac.

Find large files with Smart Folders

If you are running out of memory space on your Mac, you can use Smart Folder criteria which will list all the large files that are on your Mac.

This way you can find large files that take up a significant portion of your storage space but are located deep in nested folders on your computer.

New smart folder that finds large files
  • Create a new smart folder and use the following criteria for it.
File Size > is greater than > 1 > GB
  • It will list all files larger than 1 gigabyte on your Mac. You can then get rid of all these large files that you no longer use on your machine.

View the downloaded app files

Most of the apps you download for your Mac from various sites come as a DMG package. Once you have such an app installed and it starts appearing in Launchpad on your Mac, you no longer need these DMG package files.

You can create a smart folder to find such files and then delete them from your Mac.

New smart folder that allows you to view downloaded apps
  • For Smart Folder criteria, select the following:
File extension > is > dmg
  • It will find and list all the dmg files that exist on your Mac. You can then get rid of those files by moving them to the Trash.

Find duplicate files on your Mac

Not only do duplicate files create unnecessary clutter, they also take up valuable memory space on your Mac.

So it is important to find such files and permanently delete them from your Mac.

Smart Folder that allows you to find duplicate files

As most of the duplicate files have numbers like (1), (2), etc. At the end of the filenames, you can use the criteria below to find duplicate files on your Mac.

  • Press and hold the Option button and click + (plus) sign to add a criterion. Then select the other options as follows:
Any > of the following are true 

Name > contains > (1) 
Name > contains > (2) 
Name > contains > (3)

You can continue with these numbers to find as many duplicate files on your Mac as possible.

Find unused apps on Mac

There may be some apps that you have installed on your Mac but you no longer use them. Here’s how you can find such unused apps on your computer with Smart Folders.

Smart Folder that allows you to find unused apps
  • Enter the following criteria and save and start Smart Folder.
Kind > is > Application 

Last opened date > is > before > 19/08/2017

The Smart folder above will list any apps you haven’t opened after August 19, 2017 (or whatever date you choose to enter). This gives you a clear idea of ​​the unused apps on your Mac.

Find photos taken on certain devices

If you want to recover a list of all the photos that have been captured on a certain device, such as a OnePlus device, you can do so using a Smart folder on your Mac.

Smart Folder that allows you to find photos taken on a OnePlus device
  • Use the following criteria to find all photos taken using a OnePlus device on your Mac. If you don’t find one or more of the options mentioned below in the drop-down menus by default, click Other option in the drop-down menu and enable those options.
Kind > is > Image > All 

Device make > matches > OnePlus

It will scan the EXIF ​​data of your images and show you the images where the device manufacturer matches OnePlus.

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