How to Use Smart Folders on Your Apple Computer

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How to Use Smart Folders on Your Apple Computer


Most hard drives contain huge amounts of data. Efficient filtering of the files quickly becomes a hard piece of work that has to be tackled every time the database changes.

In this article, I will show you how you can filter huge amounts of data in no time with “intelligent folders”.

Using Smart Folders on MacBook

Would you like to filter out all files from your photo collection that were created in May of last year? Or maybe you want to filter out all the Rolling Stones tracks from your music collection that you transferred to your hard drive between January and March?

These and many other everyday tasks are best given to an “intelligent folder”. Once defined, file filters can be applied to the data on your storage medium at any time with a click of the mouse.

What are “smart folders” on the Mac anyway?

Strictly speaking, Apple doesn’t offer you smart folders as classic directories. Instead, it is a virtual folder in which only files are displayed that meet the filter criteria you have specified, such as file type, creation date and the like. If you change the data, the content of the intelligent folder will also be adapted to the new circumstances without you having to do anything.

Create Smart Folders on Mac

  1. Start Finder on your Mac. Then open the “File” menu and click on the “New intelligent folder” entry.
  2. Now enter a search term such as “Apple” in the text input field in the top right corner. The search results are displayed to you as you type.
  3. To add further criteria to the search, click on the “+” sign below the search term on the right in the window.
  4. Now click on “Type” and select one of the other criteria to narrow down the search. You then specify the appropriate restricting parameters after “is”.
  5. If you select the “+” symbol again on the right-hand side, you can define further conditions in order to refine the filter.
  6. After you have determined all the criteria for the selection, tap on “Save” in the upper right corner. Then give the intelligent folder a meaningful name and click on “Save”. The smart folder is then added to the favorites list in the Finder.

Please note in step 4 that the finder provides you with significantly more filter criteria than can be seen in the drop-down menu. To see the complete selection, simply tap on “Other” at the bottom of the selection menu.

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