Spotlight is a very useful search engine that goes beyond expectations to find a file or folder that may be located on any part of your Mac. Although many users go to Finder to perform a search, Spotlight offers a more in-depth search capacity with many shortcuts that can save you time.

You can improve the outcomes of your searches on Mac while saving time by using shortcut keys in Spotlight. If you would like to know how to perform searches using Spotlight keyboard shortcuts on Mac, this tutorial will show you how.

Use these Spotlight Usage 7 Navigation Keyboard Shortcuts

Performing the search is a vital part of using the Mac. You can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate and interact within the Spotlight search results. Here are some of the most commonly used shortcuts for Spotlight:

  • Open first search item – Use the Return key for the item
  • Open to the location of the first search item in Finder – Use the Command+ Return shortcut keys
  • Navigate through the Search Results – Use the Arrow Up and Arrow Down keys to search through a list
  • Get information on a search item – Use the Command + I shortcut keys
  • Show the path or location of a search result – Use the Command + Option shortcut keys while hovering over the search result
  • Show the Quick Look Preview of Spotlight Results – Use the Command key; or, for mac OS 10.7 or later, hover over the search item with your mouse cursor.
  • Jump across categories in the Search Results – Use the Command + Arrow Up or Command + Arrow Down keys.

More Basic Keyboard Shortcuts for Spotlight

There are also a few shortcut key combinations that you can use to open and close different features or applications in Spotlight. Here are a few of those keyboard combinations:

  • Open the Spotlight Menu – Use the Command + Space shortcut keys
  • Open Spotlight in Finder – Use the Command + Option + Space shortcut keys
  • Clear the Spotlight search box – Use the Escape key
  • Close the Spotlight Menu – Press the Escape button twice

More Basic Tips for Using Spotlight

Several shortcut key combinations have been mentioned here to help you improve the Spotlight search experience on Mac. However, there are more tips available to help you master Spotlight on your Mac. Using search operators to improve your results for a specific file or a date is one way to enhance the search. You can also Toggle Dark Mode and Light Mode from Spotlight on Mac. You can also find any screenshots with a search or open website URLs from any location on Mac using Spotlight.

Here are a few more tips that you can use in Spotlight that save time and enhance the use of the tool:

  • Limit your search of images to .jpeg only in Spotlight – Press the Command + Spacebar to bring up Spotlight. Type kind: jpeg filename
  • Obtain a definition in Spotlight: Type the term you want to define and then hover over Look Up to view the definition.
  • Launch an App: Type the name of the app you want to launch. Press the Return button and the app should open up.

Contact Apple Support

If you were not able to use any of the shortcuts presented in this tutorial, you can contact Apple Support or the Genius Bar for assistance.