13 Must-Know Spotlight Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac
Spotlight is the powerful built-in search engine on Mac. Not only will it find just about any file or folder buried on your file system or attached drives, but it also doubles as a fantastically quick application launcher, dictionary lookup tool, and so much more.
If you aren’t using Spotlight on a regular basis yet you really should start doing so, and perhaps it’s just a matter of learning some great tips and shortcuts to help get you started.
With that in mind, here are 13 (11 original keystrokes + 2 bonus) helpful keyboard shortcuts and tricks to assist you in getting the most out of the excellent Mac search feature.
4 Basic Spotlight Shortcuts
These are the most basic shortcuts to use Spotlight:
- Open Spotlight menu – Command+Space
- Open Spotlight in the Finder – Command+Option+Space
- Clear Spotlight search box – Escape
- Close Spotlight menu – Escape twice
7 Spotlight Usage & Navigation Keyboard Shortcuts
These shortcuts are for interacting and navigating within Spotlight search results:
- Open first search item – Return
- Navigate search results – Arrow Up and Arrow Down
- Open to location of first search item in Finder – Command+Return
- Get Info on search item – Command+I
- Show Quick Look Preview of Spotlight results – Command key or hover with the Mouse cursor (Mac OS X 10.7 and later only)
- Show path/location of search result – Command+Option while hovering over search result
- Jump categories in search results – Command+Arrow Up or Command+Arrow Down
2 Spotlight Bonus Tricks
Not quite keyboard shortcuts, but these are a few amazingly useful tricks that many users don’t know Spotlight can do:
- Launch an App – Type the app name and hit Return to launch it
- Get a Definition – Type a word to define and hover over the “Look Up” option to see the definition
Remember each these tips and you’ll be mastering Spotlight in no time, speeding around your Mac like never before!
Don’t forget that you can use search operators to improve results by looking only for specified file types or dates, and much more. They can really help to narrow down results and find exactly what you’re looking for.
We have plenty more Spotlight tips if you’re interested too, check them out.