How to Limit Finder Search to Current Folder on Mac

Especially when searching for a specific file or folder, I want the search to be as precise as possible. The search bar in every Finder window is set to search the entire system, which seems a bit odd, to say the least. However, somewhat hidden in Finder preferences is the option to limit the search to a valid folder on macOS. If you haven’t discovered this little-known Mac feature yet, now is the time to unravel it. Here is how you can limit the Finder search to the current folder on Mac.

Restrict Finder Search to Current Folder on macOS

Wondering if your Mac will let you customize the Finder search bar? Well, this feature has been around for a long time in macOS/OS X. So even if your Mac is running older versions of macOS, you can restrict the search within the stock file manager. The good thing is that it doesn’t change Spotlight preferences, so your system-wide search setting won’t be affected. Having said that, let’s get started!

  1. start finder application on your Mac.

2. Now, click on finder menu in the upper left corner and select Preferences

Choose Preferences from the menu

3. Next, click on Developed tab.

Click on the Advanced tab

4. Under “While searching” click on, Drop down menu.

Click on the drop down menu

5. Finally, “Search Current Folder” choice.

Select Search current folder

Come in! From now on, the file manager will be limited to only looking inside a valid folder instead of watching the entire system.

Customize Finder Search on Mac

So you can tweak the Finder search on your macOS device to only look in a valid directory. It’s very useful for narrowing down the search when you’re following a particular file. Therefore, it not only saves time, but also increases efficiency. What’s your take on this hack and where does Apple’s file manager stand against popular competitors? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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