20 Things You Can Do Faster With Spotlight

The Spotlight menu can sometimes do things faster than using the specific app or window meant for a task on your Mac. You can access system settings, look up words, run Shortcuts, get information, create new contacts and events, and much more.

Comments: 27 Responses to “20 Things You Can Do Faster With Spotlight”

    Jim Goddard
    3 weeks ago

    Wow, a lot of additional features and spotlight. Thank you so much.

    Brenda Rosenthal
    3 weeks ago

    I love your videos.! Being a new Mac desktop user I have watched at least 20 videos to try and get more proficient in using the Mac. Of all the videos yours are truly the best. Thanks.

    Bob Rabner
    3 weeks ago

    Great video. Very insightful. I was doing a real time comparison to Alfred, which has been my go to for a while now. I was actually surprised to see I would need the powerpack purchase in alfred to do many of the things Spotlight does by default. What are your thoughts on the Spotlight Alfred comparison?

    3 weeks ago

    Bob: I don't use Alfred. I've never seen a compelling reason to install it or any of its competitors on my Mac.

    Fran
    3 weeks ago

    I think this is one of the best videos ever to help us save time while using our Mac... Thank you so much.

    Eric
    3 weeks ago

    Thanks Gary. I'll be putting a lot of those features to use from now on.

    nick
    3 weeks ago

    Great stuff Gary. I looked for the CMD-R shortcut that shows the file location in System Settings > Keyboard > Shortcut > Spotlight and it's not listed there. Just wondering where it comes from. Thx

    Jeff Cunningham
    3 weeks ago

    Thanks! so many keyboard stroke savers - amazing.
    but airline flights, math calculations and a few others didn't work as demonstrated.
    could it be some Settings I don't have correct?

    3 weeks ago

    nick: I don't think there is a matching setting for it in System Settings.

    3 weeks ago

    Jeff: Did you check in System Settings, Siri & Spotlight to see if you have turned them off?

    Jim Terrinoni
    3 weeks ago

    Yes, definitely useful. For me, the Command-R within Spotlight to get to the file in the Finder along with getting to Folders quickly is very valuable. Thank you Gary. Keep up the superior communications.

    Thomas Greenbank
    3 weeks ago

    Thanks, mate. This was one of the most info-packed videos I've seen in ages.

    Dally Messenger III
    3 weeks ago

    Brilliant Gary. For me, it will be a game-changer. Always looking for stuff.

    Alan Renton
    3 weeks ago

    I'm not a regular user of Spotlight but I will be now, I had never realised it was so versatile. Good work.

    Marin Tudor
    2 weeks ago

    Feeling like coming out of dark ages. Thanks

    Geoff
    2 weeks ago

    I have tried to drag a photo thumbnail from Spotlight to the desktop, but the thumbnail will not drag.

    Bernardo de Brito e Cunha
    2 weeks ago

    I've been a PC user for some 45 years, but decided to change to Mac one year ago. It was an entire new world and the doubts were piling out. Your site was definitely the most helpful I have come across and still keep on learning, even though I'm still (and very often) at a loss. Invaluable or 5 stars, that's what I think of your info and help. And I'm only a free user: imagine if I had made a subscription!!!

    2 weeks ago

    Geoff: From which Spotlight section? Was it Photos From Apps (your photos)? Or was it something else (like images from the web). If from Photos, perhaps that particular image was not downloaded locally, but in iCloud Photos?

    Geoff
    2 weeks ago

    I just tried to drag a thumbnail that I'm certain is on my computer. It didn't drag.

    (Thanks for the very quick response!)

    2 weeks ago

    Geoff: All I can suggest is to try more things: other photos, other Finder locations. Learn more about what the problem could be and narrow it down.

    Geoff
    2 weeks ago

    Just tried it with a simple Text Edit document. That dragged from Spotlight to the Desktop.

    Thanks for the assistance.

    Jonathan
    2 weeks ago

    I am trying to use the arrow keys on my Mac keyboard to turn off the Bluetooth slider directly in Spotlight and canā€™t get this to work. This is important to me because the Bluetooth on my Mac Studio intermittently becomes unresponsive and the only way to reengage it is to toggle Bluetooth off and back on. I use a Magic Mouse so I have no mouse functionality without Bluetooth but I do have the ability to maintain keyboard functionality via the lightening cable.

    Jonathan
    2 weeks ago

    Gary when I try to reproduce your calendar entry example (which would be incredibly useful) I run into the following problem. When I type 9am just like in your example, I get the option to add a new event at 9am tomorrow in Spotlight. But when I then type "space1/" the "1/" appears as the name of the event. And then when I press "15" the calendar entry disappears entirely in Spotlight. Any insight into what Im doing wrong? Its a pretty straight forward example.

    Jonathan
    2 weeks ago

    Gary my bad on my Calendar question. I followed your example too closely. We're in February so specifying the date for an event for a date that has already passed in the current year doesn't work but adding the year as 2025 (I/20/2/25) does. Dah. I am going to use this feature a lot. Thanks.

    2 weeks ago

    Jonathan: I don't think you'll be able to use the keyboard to toggle off Bluetooth in Spotlight. You could always make a Shortcut to do it in the Shortcuts app. But in your situation have you tried turning the mouse off and on instead of Bluetooth?

    Jonathan
    2 weeks ago

    Gary, yes I have. Sometimes turning the mouse on and off works, sometimes connecting and then unconnecting it to the Mac via a lightening cable works but there are times when neither of those actions work so I have to resort to either toggling Bluetooth off and on or just restating the Mac.

    Michael Nohe
    2 weeks ago

    Very helpful, as always.

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