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How to open an item in Finder from Spotlight on macOS

Spotlight can find anything if it’s working right. When you search for something, you can use the up/down arrow keys to go through the results that Spotlight shows you, and when you tap the Enter/Return key, the item opens. This means that if the item you selected is a movie/video, it will play in the default video player on your Mac. The item basically opens but if you don’t want to open the item, and are more interested in opening the folder the item is in, you need to change how you select the item. To open an item in Finder from Spotlight, you have to hold down the Command key when you tap Enter/Return.

Open in Finder from Spotlight

The trick to it is old but not many people know about it or use it until they need to. Macworld reports that if you hold down the Command key when you tap the Enter key, it will open a Finder window to the exact location where the selected file is. You can also use Command+R instead of the Command+Enter key.

If you only hold down the Command key and don’t tap Enter, you will be able to see the location of the file at the bottom of the preview pane.

There’s no other way to open the file in Finder. There’s no context menu that you can bring up to open an item in Finder from Spotlight without using a modifier key. You can substitute tapping the Enter key with double-clicking but you still have to hold down the Command key.

When you open an item in Finder from Spotlight, it will be highlighted in the folder. This is more obvious if the folder view is set to the list view. If it’s set to any other type of view, you’re going to have to go through the list to find it. It will still be highlighted so it’s not hard, just a little more time consuming.

Holding down the Command key when you highlight a result in Spotlight does reveal its path but there’s no way to copy the path to the clipboard. You cannot right-click the path when it appears, and there are no other modifier keys that can be utilized to copy the path. If you want to copy the path, you are going to have to open the item in Finder, and then copy the path from there. It seems small but this option should be present and it’s odd that Apple has left it out.

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