Advanced File Search Utility for OS X Yosemite

Advanced File Search Tool for Mac

Use HoudahSpot to locate hard-to-find files and keep frequently used files within reach.

Start with a simple search. Refine it by adding and combining criteria. Quickly sort through search results. Add columns. Apply filters. Preview files and text matches.

If you've ever had a hard time finding a file before, this is what you've been looking for.

HoudahSpot 4 screenshot

HoudahSpot Features

HoudahSpot is a powerful desktop search software that builds upon Spotlight, which comes preinstalled with OS X.

  • Find files by name, text, content kind, author, recipient, pixel count, etc.
  • Combine criteria to quickly zero in on the files you are looking for
  • Search several locations at once. Exclude others
  • Customize columns in the search results list
  • Preview files and text matches
  • Set up templates for recurring searches

Download Free Trial Buy Now

Quick Search Field

Quick Search Field

Find files by typing just a few words.

HoudahSpot starts the search at your command. Hit Return when you are ready.

Criteria Editor

Refine by Combining Criteria

Narrow down your search to the exact files you are looking for. Refine your search by adding criteria.

Choose from hundreds of attributes to search by: name, text, tags, file size, date created, etc.

Combine criteria into groups using boolean operators to find files that match any, all or none of the criteria in the group.

Search text for words, prefixes or exact phrase. Use “*” as a wildcard for partial matches.

Locations Editor


Search multiple locations. Exclude others.

HoudahSpot can, for example, search your home folder, skip the Library folder, but still show results from the Mail folder, which is nested within your Library folder.



Add and sort by any of the hundreds of columns available.

Customize results display: view as list, icons or thumbnails.

Save your perfect setup of criteria, locations and columns.

Info Pane

Info Pane

Get concise information on your files.

The Info pane, Quick Look and Text Preview help you explore search results and pick the files you are looking for.

The Info pane also shows detailed metadata. Use this to filter search results. Or drag to add to your search criteria.



Create snippets to hold sets of criteria you use frequently.

The sample snippet “Images” contains criteria commonly used when searching for images.

The sample snippet “Word files” contains criteria to match Microsoft Word files by both of the possible Uniform Type Identifiers.



Save searches as templates. They will serve as blueprints to create new searches.

HoudahSpot comes with a set of sample templates. The “Apple Mail Messages” template is set up with useful criteria for finding messages stored by Apple Mail.

Templates also allow access to frequently used files. The “Applications” sample template lists all your applications. “Recent Files” will find files opened or modified within the past 7 days.

Power User Features

Power User Features

  • Enter advanced queries in the search field
  • Copy results as tab delimited text
  • Inspect files by dropping them onto the Info window
  • Automate search using Apple Script
  • Start HoudahSpot searches from third party tools like Alfred, LaunchBar, Butler, etc.

Customer voices

HoudahSpot is absolutely both a necessity and critical in making my workflow life manageable!
The ‘HoudahSpot’ app is simply amazing! I was literally speechless at how good it was.
I have used HoudahSpot 4.0 for about six minutes. I am agog. I am stunned. This is beautiful. And fast.
And I have so wanted a beautiful preview / information panel. Wow!

Ten minutes with HoudahSpot 4.0 and I can tell you - you’re not getting it back, I’m keeping it!
MacUpdate.com: 4/5 based on 79 customer reviews

Download Free Trial Buy Now

HoudahSpot 4 requires OS X 10.10 Yosemite
For earlier versions of Mac OS X, download HoudahSpot 3.9

Download the HoudahSpot Press Kit

System Requirements

HoudahSpot 4 requiresOS X 10.10 Yosemite
with Spotlight indexing enabled

Vous et Votre Mac Macworld review MacBreak Weekly