KatSearch is a work in progress and currently only available as an alpha release. Some things will be broken. Caveat emptor!

Mac power-user app to quickly find files on entire APFS and HFS+ volumes by scanning the file system catalog.

KatSearch is written by: Sveinbjörn Þórðarson


Unlike Spotlight, KatSearch performs no indexing and only looks at filenames, not content. It uses a fast low-level kernel call to search the entire file system via the APFS or HFS+ file system catalog.

  • Fast, native, modern macOS app with a responsive, powerful, no-nonsense interface

  • Displays live search results

  • Scans the actual file system, not just the userland files Apple wants you to see

  • Can run with admin privileges to find all files irrespective of permissions

  • Ubiquitous native drag and drop behaviour, with hooks into Finder actions/services via contextual menu

  • Supports all the standard Finder keyboard shortcuts for file actions

  • Search windows can be invoked using a global hotkey

  • Includes searchfs, a command line tool counterpart

  • Free, open source software written in Objective-C/Cocoa


macOS null


BSD-3-Clause license


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