Trying to create saved search that excludes a folder on macOS

I’m trying to create a saved search in the Finder that finds any document created within the last day but excludes the Library folder (or any other folder I choose).

The Created date criteria works, here I have a text file on a folder called Test on the Desktop:

I thought the Local Path option would do it but I think I’m doing something wrong because as you can see it doesn’t find the file (image 2).

I played with other criteria but no luck.

Any help is appreciated.

Off the top of my head without testing, is the local path supposed to NOT have closing slash?


“Local Path” seems to be related to and I’m not sure that will work.

Could you use the (free) app EasyFind instead? It’s a lot more flexible than Spotlight:


Apparently it can’t be done. Which seems odd.

Spotlight is terrible for this. There are search attributes that sound like they would help (containing folder names, document container, folder name), but I’m not sure what any of these do.

I like Find Any File (FAF). It’s not exactly gorgeous, but it is six bucks well spent.

I believe I tried both ways but will check.

Thanks for the link, these utilities look great and will work for what I need.

Thanks for the recommendation, the app looks really useful.

Blows my mind that this is not possible. I wanted to have a smart search parked on the left column of my Finder windows but I guess I’ll have to use an app. Thanks for help.

1 Like

@Mau: I have tried to do the same thing, and it just does not work. I am not sure what magic metadata needs to be put into the search, but whatever I have tried just doesn’t do the trick.

For my own utilities, I use mdfind or find and have them iterate through a search of a list of folders I want to include in the search and then aggregate the result.

For more complex searches I use HoudaSpot.

I don’t know if its a bug in smart folders or mdfind, or if I just haven’t hit on the right magical metadata.

1 Like

Thanks for the recommendation on HoudaSpot, I’ve heard about it and will check it out. It’s strange that this search isn’t possible, seems like something more than a few people might need :man_shrugging: