- Created by AdrianC, last modified on Jul 05, 2019
Unlike a PC, a Mac doesn't identify files based on the file extension (the 3 letters after the dot in a file name). Instead, a Mac looks at the contents of the file and the program to which it has been associated.
Primarily, the two types of files you'll need to search for are company files and lock files.
As long as the program associated with these files has not be changed, you can use the Mac’s Spotlight feature to search for files.
First, click the magnifying glass icon in the top-right corner of the screen. This will show the Spotlight search box.
Type “AccountEdge” into the search box, then click Show All in Finder.
The Finder window appears, and the results will be displayed. By default, they'll be displayed in Last Opened date order.
If you click the Kind heading, the results will be sorted, and you can look for AccountEdge Company File or AccountEdge Company LockFile.
Searching for the entire type of file will not always be helpful. As shown below, searching for “AccountEdge Company File” will still show a number of results because the words are found inside other files on the system.
You can narrow down the search results by specifying what you're searching for. For example, if you enter “Kind:AccountEdge” It will only search for files with ‘AccountEdge’ in the kind of file.
Often you'll need to search for a specific file, but multiple copies of that file may exist on the system. You can further filter the results by looking for files only opened within a number of days. To do this, click the + icon near the finder Search box.
You can add as many filters as required and set options to refine the search results to get what you need.
If you have multiple results and you still can't find the file you need due to similar names or times, only by opening the file and checking its contents will you be able to determine what data it contains.
When you select a file in the search results, at the bottom of the list you can view the exact location of the selected file.
Unfortunately, using search on a Mac will not search every location on the computer's hard drive.
For example, in all of the above results, AccountEdge Network Edition files were not part of the results. This is because Network Edition files are in the Library folder of the host computer, e.g. Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/AccountEdge NE/Databases
The Mac will not search there unless you specifically tell it to. There is no way to make the Mac search everywhere.
To search specific locations
Open a new finder window and go to the location you wish to search, eg, the Library folder.
Type your primary search time into the search box.
Change the Search location from This Mac to Library.
You can then use the + button to set additional filters as required.