macOS File Search Software Utilities Compared

I want to be able find files on my Mac. It’s a constant problem that I haven’t tackled till today, Friday, 29 September 2023.

Raycast 1.59.0

I use Raycast as an app launcher. For some reason, it’s deeply unreliable as a file finder. I get file lists sorted stupidly sometimes. The file I’m looking for is not in the list sometimes. It’s not usable and I don’t know what’s broken about it.

So what to get?

Houdahspot 6.4.1

Houdahspot uses Spotlight’s search index. Presumably exclusively. More on the expensive side at $34 for a single-user license and $52 for a family license. But I do not begrudge them making enough money to actually want to continue developing this thing. I’ll probably buy HoudahSpot soon.

Screenshot 2023 09 29 at 9 10 25 AM

10 October 2023 Update 7:04AM: I bought HoudahSpot. It’s just great. You can search for, for example, “file extension x” and then a list of possible file contents. That’ll save me so much time. On the (very off) chance that anyone else in my family will want a copy, I bought the family license ($52) instead of a single-user license ($34).

Find Any File (FAF) 2.4.1

Find Any File (FAF) looks okay. Doesn’t use Spotlight’s search index, so it seems slower. But it’s got an alright user interface and seems charming and sincere. At first, I didn’t want to give it full disk access. So I didn’t. But then I saw that the creator has a list of other search tools on this page:


Screenshot 2023 09 29 at 9 39 48 AM

The sincerity of that won me over. So I used the tool for a few more minutes and decided to buy it. $8 on the App Store. Done. Will I use it a lot? I don’t know. I’m not trying to have The One True Search Tool. I’ll buy whatever quantity of tools I need. No problem. Anybody who puts that list up and makes a useful app that I can actually see myself using here and there gets my eight bucks. I’ll probably still just use HoudahSpot most of the time because it keeps everything in one window, uses Spotlight (so it’s instantaneous) and lets me edit searches while a search is running. But I want FAF’s maker (Thomas Tempelmann) to get my $8 and I want to own his tool. Easy purchase decision.

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I do have one gripe. Find Any File needs a new icon. This one just brings the product down:

Screenshot 2023 09 29 at 9 12 42 AM

ProFind 1.24

Horrible reviews on App Store. And only like two reviews there in total. Here’s what ProFind looks like:

Screenshot 2023 09 29 at 9 01 39 AM

That ProFind user interface is not dated. It’s modern and just fine. But it’s not as good at presenting advanced options as HoudahSpot, which puts them on a left panel which you can easily collapse or expand. Even if it were not expandable, having them stacked on a left-hand panel works for me like magic.

And ProFind doesn’t have the excellent App Store reviews of Find Any File (FAF). So what differentiates ProFind? Why would I buy it?

Most importantly, though, I couldn’t get ProFind to include local files and iCloud Drive files in one search. So it’s a no-go for me. I reached out to the developer. We’ll see what they say is possible.

Amazon Stars Falling

It is Saturday, 19 August 2023 at 7:42AM.

Amazon just switched to showing one start and the average star count next to it as a number:

Screenshot 2023 08 19 at 7 42 54 AM


Initial impression: It is horrendous. I could previously scan search results and zero in on the listings with better ratings with ease. I could instantly tell how many ratings the average was based upon.

Previously, it showed how many ratings were averaged into the displayed star value. That’s very important. And now there’s just a floating point number showing the average. Yuck.


Wednesday, 23 August 2023 7:48AM Update: Amazon has added a parenthetical percentage of how many of the ratings are 5 stars:

Screenshot 2023 08 23 at 7 48 13 AM

My immediate impression when I started this post four days ago was that Amazon is burying the quantity of ratings that the average is based upon. That is against users’ interests.


Friday, 15 September 2023 at 8:11AM Update: It occurred to me just now to check this. Looks like the good stars and rating counts are back:

Screenshot 2023 09 15 at 8 11 59 AM

Hello, OWC Thunderbolt 4 Dock

Today I installed the used OWC Thunderbolt 4 Dock I purchased for $177 or so on eBay earlier this week.

Ken Rockwell lauds their Thunderbolt 3 dock. Here’s a link to the point on the page where he talks about it. It doesn’t have its own review page on his site.

This is the most recent OWC Thunderbolt dock. It looks like this.


Screenshot 2023 06 09 at 9 34 29 AM


Screenshot 2023 06 09 at 9 34 39 AM

Part Number: TB4DOCK



You have to plug your computer into the front USB-C/Thunderbolt_4 slot. You can’t just plug it into the back. If you plug it into the back, nothing works. Okay, that’s fine.

I plugged it into my 48” LG OLED TV with an Amazon USB-C to HDMI cable. It took perhaps 25 seconds, but the image appeared on my TV. I haven’t yet seen how this works on a reboot or power up from a cold Mac. I use my M1 MacBook Pro 16” with a closed list. I hope this works well with reboots and cold power-ups so I don’t have to open the lid to do initial stuff like logging in, or whatever.

1 July 2023 Update: I noticed yesterday that this dock is charging my M1 MacBook Pro 16”. Yay! So plugging my MBP into the front of this dock to connect to its accessories is doing double-duty to charge my Mac. Nice!