Find Any File is Shareware

You may try it out without buying first. Simply download it.

If you keep using it you are expected to pay for it, though.


Find Any File (FAF)

Key Features

  • Convenient folder and icon views for results
  • Can search in other users' home folders ("root" mode)
  • Queries can be saved for easy re-use
  • Can be launched with a self defined keyboard shortcut

New in version 2.4:

Hidden Preferences in Find Any File

FAF offers a lot of customizations that were added to fulfill specific user requests.

These special options are not exposed in FAF's Preferences window because they would overwhelm the average user with features that are probably never needed.

Instead, these options can only be seen or modified with Terminal commands or, more conveniently, with the program Prefs, which is also by me, and free.

To change a hidden preference, first find and open the ID "org.tempel.findanyfile" in Prefs Editor.

Browse through the list of items, each of which has a name (key), a type and a value. Do not change the type. If you made an error, use Undo (cmd-Z) to revert your changes.

Note that if you modify a setting with Prefs Editor, and FAF does not immediately react to the changed setting, try quitting and relaunching FAF, as some settings are only recognized at startup of the program.

Also keep in mind that, as long as you keep the Prefs Editor window open you can Undo your changes with cmd-Z, in case you think you messed something up. So, after changing a setting, keep the window open and test if the setting has the desired effect in FAF, before you close the Prefs Editor window, so that you can undo the change and retry, just in case.

Explanation of the preferences, in alphabetical order

Add slash to dirs in saved paths
If YES, a slash is added to every path that is a directory when Results are saved to a .paths file.
Enabled "Find All" (root mode) by default. See the manual, Automate "Find All"
Avoid SparseBundle Contents
Whether to look inside .sparsebundle directories (default: NO). These directories usually hold no individual user-relevant files and can make searches much slower, especially if they're Time Machine backups.
Beep when nothing found
Whether to sound a system beep if a search finds nothing
Choosing iCloud Drive searches all iCloud folders
Whether to include all iCloud folders, including the app specific folders (YES) or just the user-visible iCloud folder (NO).
Close All only closes same type of windows
What happens if "Close All" (from the menu) or cmd-option-W is used: YES closes only same type windows (e.g. only Find or Result windows), NO closes all windows.
Confirmation threshold …
How many files are affected before a confirmation prompt is shown (0 means never)
Content Search Decoder enabled
Whether to decode compressed (.zip) files when searching for text content. If NO, only file names will be seen in zip files (including .docx etc.).
Content Search Decoder ignores extensions
You can add file extensions here that shall not be decoded during text content search.
Content Search multiline
Whether to treat the file content as text with line delimiters (YES) or as a single line with binary "garbage" in between (NO).
Content Search uses JIT
Whether to speed up content search by JIT-compiling it. May be disabled if if it's causing trouble (including crashes). If you find that this is the case, please let me know so that I can fix this.
Content Search Regex mode
How "Text Content matches RegEx" shall handle UTF-16 text in the checked files. 0: Check only as UTF-8, i.e. binary as entered, 1: Check also as UTF-16 BE (Big Endian), 2: Check also as UTF-16 LE (Little Endian).
Copy includes file references
Whether the clipboard contains a file references when copying rows from the Results. Can be turned off because some apps misbehave on Paste if file references are included.
Internal use
DFX currentSet
Internal use (for root mode)
DFX enabled
Whether to include menus from Default Folder X, if installed.
DFX folder limit
Limits the number of recent items shown from Default Folder X.
DFX folderSets
Internal use (for root mode)
Internal use, controlled by right-clicking into FAF's Dock icon
Whether to update the Finder Selection every time FAF is brought to front. If you experience long delays whether you switch to FAF, turn this off.
Finder selection gets front window
Whether the Finder Selection in FAF relates to the frontmost Finder window (YES) or to the selected item inside the front window (NO). Changing this may affect performance determining the Finder Selection.
0: automatic (system wide behavior), 1: tabs are preferred, 2: tabs are avoided
Fixed Font Name
Defines the font name for mono spaced text (e.g. for dates in the Results list).
If YES, only generic icons are used in the Results - may improve performances, especially on network volumes.
Hidden Volumes
A list of volume names that shall not appear in the popup menu for choosing the search location. Hold down the option (⌥) key to make them visible in the menu regardless.
Highlight found names
If YES, the file names in the Results highlight the searched name fragments in light blue.
Internal use
Internal use
Set this to YES to see more dialogs that would usually not appear. Useful when localizing FAF.
Default is NO. If set to YES, the expert rules are always shown, and a few more details are shown during a search, such as the used find mode ("cats": CatalogSearch, "enum": regular dir scan, "rcur": recursive dir scan, "find": using the find tool).
Name Ends With includes extension
Note: Not used any more in v2.4.2 and later because there's now distinct rules for either mode ("Name" and "Name without Extension").
Whether the rule "Name ends with" shall check only the name part without the extension (0), only the end of the name including the extension (1), or both (2).
Narrow Search Window
Set to YES if you want the Find window to be as narrow as possible. This will prevent multiple rules from aligning with each other, using less horizontal space.
Nothing found sound
You can specify a system sound name that gets played when nothing is found
Notify when nothing found
If YES, a notification bubble is shown when nothing is found.
If YES, opening (double clicking) a .faf file (Saved Search) will only open that search and will not restore any Find windows left open when quitting FAF the last time. If NO, the other windows will get restored and the opened .faf file opens in a new window on its own.
Is set by the setting "Close windows when quitting" in the Preferences window.
If YES, FAF restores the Find windows that were open when FAF was quit last time. If NO, a single Find window with the saved defaults gets restored each time.
Various settings stored by macOS, e.g. to remember certain default window positions
Path rule applies only to parent path
Whether the full path (NO) or only the parent path (YES) of an item (file, folder) is to be considered when matching with the "Path" rule.
Whether to check for updates and important news (mainly to warn about serious bugs or when Apple removes the app from the App Store for some unforseeable reason, which has happened to other apps before).
Prefer recursive scan method
FAF can use different methods when scanning a folder and its contents. By default (NO) it uses the macOS function [NSFileManager enumeratorAtURL:…]. If set to YES, a more conventional recursive (depth-first) method is used, which behaves slightly different and may be useful to some Scripts (who can temporarily enable this mode on their own).
Preview grid has frames
Whether the Preview mode in Results frames every item.
Preview grid spacing
How many pixels the items are apart in Preview mode.
Previous search
Internal use. Used to remember the latest search.
Recent Search Locations
Remembers recent search locations, as shown in the location popup menu in the Find window.
Recent Search Locations Limit
How many items are remembered in the "Recent Search Locations" preference (see above).
Recent Searches
Remembers recent searches, and shown in the File menu.
RecentSearches Limit
How many items are remembered in the "Recent Searches" preference (see above).
Remember Find window frame
Whether to remember and restore the location and size of previously closed Find windows. Used when opening a new Find window. If NO, Find windows will all open in the top left corner.
Remember previous search
You can set this to NO in order to keep FAF from storing the last search in its preferences. Disables the "Restore previous search for new windows" feature.
Remember Results window frame
Whether to remember and restore the location and size of Result windows. If NO, Results windows will all open in the top left corner.
Restore previous search for new windows
If YES, new Find windows will restore the latest search. If NO, new Find windows restore the explicitly saved Default Search instead. You can still use the File menu to reload the Default Search (cmd-option-O) or the Previous Search (ctrl-option-O).
Result double click reveals items
If YES, a double click on an item in the Results reveals it in Finder, otherwise it opens them.
ResultsFilter diacritics mode
Whether to be diacritics sensitive in the Filter field in the Results window. 0: yes, 1: same as used during search, 2: no.
Internal use
Internal use
Root delete mode
How the "Delete Immediately" command is processed. 0: Using [NSFileManager removeItemAtPath:], 1: Using the /bin/rm unix command.
Root uses launchd
Whether commands requiring root permissions use the modern launchd or the classic on-demand method via AuthorizationExecuteWithPrivileges.
Save .faf paths using tilde
If YES, directory paths within the home directory are referenced by ~ instead of using the full path with the user's name.
Saved Search Format
How searches are saved to ".faf" files. Default is the modern "json" format. Empty string means to use the older format used by FAF v1.x.
Show Pro options
By default, the "File Server Settings" window only shows the Pro option such as SSH login if a Pro license is installed. By setting this to YES, the Pro options are shown regardless.
Search /System/Applications along with /Applications
If YES, searching the Applications folder explicitly will include the macOS system volume's pre-installed Applications as well. Turn this off if you do not care to find files that are part of the macOS system installation.
Search skips dataless
If YES (default), offline files are not downloaded when searching for text content. If NO, then any file who content shall be search will first be downloaded if they're stored only in the cloud at that time. This can cause long delays and apparently freezes. Use with caution!
(Note: Text search always happens after all other rules have been applied. E.g, if you add a "Kind is Plain Text" rule, the content search will only be performed on them, and only those would then be downloaded.)
Search with find tool
(Requires a Pro license) If YES, searches that require a directory scan use the faster find command.
If the search is performed on a server volume, FAF will attempt to log in to the server via ssh if it responds on the SSH port (default 22) and then run the find command locally on the server.
Internal use
Separate saved paths by NUL
If YES, saved Results (as .paths files) will not use LF (Line Feed) as path separators but NUL characters. Useful when dealing with file names that contain line break characters (very rare but possible), and then the .paths file is passed to a unix tool that has the option to use NULs as separators, too.
Server Features
Used with Spotlight and SSH access on network volumes. It's a dictionary, with the keys being the address of each server, and the values being another dictionary with the following keys and values
type: The make of the server, e.g. "synology" or "QNAP". This is used for special handling with using Spotlight queries on the server.
use ssh: If YES, FAF attempts to login to the server via ssh in order to run the find command locally on the server. (Requires a Pro license)
ssh port: The SSH port of the server.
ssh user: The user name to use to login to the server (the password gets safely stored in Keychain once it's entered when FAF prompts for it).
has iregex: Whether the server's find tool understands the -iregex primary.
Server Host Aliases
This is a dictionary for defining alternative addresses for a server, which in turn can reduce the number of redundant entries in "Server Features" and "Server Volumes".
The key is an alternative address, and the value is the address to be used in the two other preferences. For instance, if a server can get addressed both via its name "server.local" and an IP address such as, and the preferred address for the other preferences is its name, then the key here would be the IP address and the value its name.
Server Volumes
Specifies, for each remote volume name, the path where the volume is located on the server. Used with the find command running on the server.
For instance, for a WD My Cloud NAS, the volumes are all under /shared/. Therefore, if a My Cloud volume called "MyNAS" is mounted on the Mac, an entry with the key "MyNAS" and the value "/shared/MyNAS" has to be made here.
Share Statistics
Whether to include some use statistics when checking for updates.
Show '(slow)' indicators
Whether to show "(slow)" in the Find window's locations popup menu in order to indicate which volumes support Fast Search mode. Kind of obsolete nowadays. Was more useful in the past when HFS was the dominant file system on macOS.
Show child count
If YES, the Tree view mode in the Results shows how many found items are in each shown folder.
Show distinct volume members
If YES, the found items, when shown in Tree view mode, are showing to belong to their actual volumes, instead of their volume group. Not very useful unless you know what you need this for.
Show label color in name field
Whether to draw names in Results based on (one of) the item's tag colors.
Show raw names
Internal use, set by the View menu item "Show Localized File Names".
Show search time
If YES, the time a search took is shown in the Find window.
Size shows Finder units
Whether to show sizes like the Finder does ("512 bytes" and "12.2 KB") or FAF's own briefer way ("512" and "12.2 K").
Sound when something found
Which system sound to play if the search found something.
Set in the Preferences window. 0: Spotlight not used, 1: Spotlight results are included, 33: Only Spotlight results are used (no regular search). By adding (binary 'or') 2, logging to the FAF.log file is enabled.
Spotlight initial wait
Minimum wait time in seconds for Spotlight results on non-network volumes.
Spotlight initial wait on network volumes
Minimum wait time in seconds for Spotlight results on network volumes.
Spotlight subsequent wait
Additional time given whenever Spotlight reports more items found.
Spotlight Volume Types
Specifies the type of network volume. Is usually automatically determined. Known values are "qnap" and "synology". FAF needs this information in order to work around bugs on those NAS system when including Spotlight results.
Spotlight Volumes
A dictionary using the volume's path as the key, with the value being: 0: default behavior (use Spotlight if generally enabled), 1: do not use Spotlight on this volume, 2: use only Spotlight (no regular search) on this volume. To add a new entry to the Dictionary, first click on the triangle on the left so that it points downward ("opened"), then select the row, then click the [+] button (or press the Return key), then switch to "Number" (cmd-4), enter the path to the volume (e.g. "/Volumes/MyNAS") into the Key field and click "Add". Once added, select the added row and press the Tab key twice to edit the value, where you can now enter 0, 1 or 2.
Internal use by Sparkle program updater
Tie Results window to Find window
If YES, each Find window uses a dedicated Results window, and re-uses that in subsequent searches instead of opening a new window each time.
user's settings
Internal use, needed for "Find All" (root mode)
View dateFormat (not present by default but can be added, with String type)
Specifies a custom date & time format, using the RFC 3339 notation. Example: yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss
View dates use GMT
If YES, dates will be shown within the GMT time zone instead of local time.
View dateStyle
Date format (short = 1, medium = 2, long = 3, full = 4)
View relativeDate
If YES, relative dates (today, yesterday etc.) are shown in the Results
View timeStyle
Time format (short = 1, medium = 2, long = 3, full = 4)
Volumes list mode (not present by default but can be added, with Integer type)
Determines whether the volumes in the locations menu of the Find window are shown by their default appearances (0) or as individual members of their respective volume groups such as System and Data (1). which allows you to search only on individual members instead of all members of a volume group.
Write statistics to log file
If YES, search times are written to the FAF.log file
Internal use