HoudahSpot 5

Powerful File Search for Mac

Screenshot: Find files using on Mac

Find Files. Fast!

Use HoudahSpot to find important documents, correspondence, photos, image files and more.

  • Start with a simple search
  • Refine it by adding and combining criteria
  • Search several folders at once. Exclude others
  • Add and sort by any of the hundreds of columns available
  • Preview files and text matches

HoudahSpot shows search results in a convenient and easy-to-use interface that keeps all the important details at your fingertips.

Customer Voices

  • Loving the new HoudahSpot 5.0. It consistently finds things that no other search app can find.

  • I love HoudahSpot - way, way better than Spotlight as a search app for @Apple Mac computer.

  • HoudahSpot may be the most helpful application I own.

  • I am a new user of HoudahSpot and wow, just wow!

  • There’s nothing else like it [HoudahSpot] for Mac users by a long margin.

  • HoudahSpot is the best-designed and most useful application I’ve ever used.

  • If there is one utility that is indispensable for me on the Mac, HoudahSpot is it (locates files on disk).

  • HoudahSpot is absolutely both a necessity and critical in making my workflow life manageable!

  • A smarter, better, faster way to find files.
    Finder works for easy things - HoudahSpot does the heavy lifting.

  • For me a true killer app since years – helped me so often finding long missed info fast and easy.

  • This is the most-used app on my MacBook Pro.

  • The ‘HoudahSpot’ app is simply amazing! I was literally speechless at how good it was.

Start using HoudahSpot today!

Download Free Trial

What you need.
When you need it.

HoudahSpot takes all the tedium out of file search. Use HoudahSpot to locate hard-to-find files and keep frequently used files within reach.

  • Word processing files containing “invoice” or “estimate”
  • Image files named “logo” that are 512 pixels wide
  • Files created, modified, or opened in the last 7 days
  • Any file ‐ source code, invoice, letter ‐ mentioning a particular client

HoudahSpot is an essential tool for professionals and power users who work with thousands of files. HoudahSpot picks the needles out of the proverbial haystack.

Screenshot: Find Apple Mail messages
Screenshot: Find files using multiple criteria

Powerful File Search

  • Find files by name, text, file extension, author, recipient, image resolution, etc.
  • Combine criteria to quickly narrow in on the files you need
  • Customize columns in the search results list
  • Filter the results to see only relevant files
  • Set up templates for recurring searches

HoudahSpot is a powerful desktop search tool. It builds upon macOS Spotlight to get you to your files in no time.

HoudahSpot 5.1 requires macOS 10.13 or later.
It is fully compatible with macOS 11.0 Big Sur.

Feature Highlights

Quick Search Field

Find files by typing just a few words.

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

Screenshot: Quick search field

Refine your Search

Add criteria to narrow down your search to the exact files you are looking for.

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

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

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

Screenshot: Refine search by combining criteria


Search several locations at once. Specify which subfolders to include and which to exclude.

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

Screenshot: Search multiple folders

Search Results

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

Add and sort by any of the hundreds of columns available. See file paths, folder sizes, image dimensions, etc.

Arrange search results in groups by kind, date, size, or application.

Save your perfect setup of criteria, locations, and display options as default for new windows.

Screenshot: Customize columns in results

Preview & Info

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

A concise summary shows the most relevant properties of found files. These include file size and modification dates as well as image dimensions, video duration, etc.

The Info pane also shows detailed file properties and metadata as indexed by Spotlight. Use this information to filter search results or to create new search criteria.

Screenshot: View file info and size

Folding Text Preview

Quick Look and Text Preview let you peek inside found files without having to open them. HoudahSpot’s Text Preview has the unique ability to highlight text you searched for.

HoudahSpot 5 can “fold” the preview to show only text close to highlighted matches. This makes it easier to see the context in which the text was found. You may even be able to pick up the information you are looking for right from the preview.

Screenshot: Power user file search


Save searches as templates. These serve as blueprints to create new searches.

HoudahSpot comes with a set of sample templates. The “My Music” template is set up with useful criteria for finding audio files: composer, lyricist, genre, bit rate, etc.

Templates also allow for quick 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.

Screenshot: Save common searches as templates

Power User Features

  • Enter advanced queries in the search field
  • Copy result lists 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.
Screenshot: Power user file search

What's New in HoudahSpot 5

  • Recent search attributes
  • Recent search values
  • Recent search locations
  • Recent result columns
  • Compact mode: more space for drag-and-drop
  • Vertical layout: details below results
  • Enhanced grid view: file info next to icon or thumbnail
  • Text Preview: see only relevant paragraphs
  • Faster file tagging: keyboard shortcuts
  • Faster file tagging: favorite & recent tags
  • Fewer windows: start over in the current window
  • Finder extension: toolbar item to search current window
  • Finder Quick Action: search selected folder
  • Support for macOS Mojave Dark Mode
  • Support for the MacBook Pro Touch Bar
  • Tab Expose: show overview of all tabs
  • Search dates by month and year
  • Quicker criteria setup: duplicate existing
  • Keyboard shortcuts to duplicate search criteria
  • Search field: search by name, text content, or any text
  • Filter search results by name, path, or parent folders
  • Use regular expressions to filter search results
  • Easier to customize default setup
  • Reorder Snippets, Templates, and Tags sections in sidebar
  • Organize search templates into folders and submenus
  • Search names by words or word prefixes
  • Find by example: set criteria to match selected files
  • Click tags in the Info pane to edit
  • Add columns from context menu in Info pane
  • Filter search results from context menu in Info pane
  • Reveal selected file in Fork Lift
  • Send selected file to Default Folder X
  • Search bar: search by name, text content, or any text
  • Start a HoudahSpot search from Alfred
  • Start a HoudahSpot search from LaunchBar
  • Start a HoudahSpot search from PopClip
  • Print search results as list or contact sheet

HoudahSpot 5.1 requires macOS 10.13 or later.
It is fully compatible with macOS 11.0 Big Sur.

Vous et Votre Mac. Review MacBreak Weekly Macworld review MacBreak Weekly
MacUpdate.com: 4.8/5 based on 141 customer reviews
34 USD