How to Create a Mac Smart Folder to Organize Your Spotlight Search

Mac Smart Folders organize computer files based on the search criteria you’ve chosen by creating shortcuts to the files. What’s more, thanks to the smart folks at Apple, behind the scenes Smart Folders are constantly prowling around your Mac for new items that match your search criteria. In other words, they’re updated in real time.

To create a Smart Folder:

1Click the Save button from inside the Finder window.

Alternatively, in the Finder, choose File→New Smart Folder to create a new Smart Folder. A box pops up asking you to specify a name and destination for your newly created Smart Folder.

2Specify a name and destination for your newly created Smart Folder.

These folders don’t care where the actual files that match your search criteria reside on your Mac. Those stay put in their original location. When you create a Smart Folder, you are, in effect, working on shortcuts of those files.

3(Optional) Select the Add to Sidebar option to easily find the Smart Folder you just created.

There’s already a premade Smart Folder in the sidebar labeled All Documents. But you may want to create a simple Smart Folder containing all the documents you’ve worked on in the past seven days. Give it an original name.