Icon of program: HoudahSpot

HoudahSpot for Mac

By Houdah Software Sarl.Trial versionUser Rating

Key Details of HoudahSpot

  • Find files, mail messages, photos, and other data easily
  • Last updated on 12/30/20
  • There have been 2 updates within the past 6 months
  • The current version has 0 flags on VirusTotal badge_icon

Editors' Review

Download.com staff

An advanced search utility, HoudahSpot for Mac offers plenty of search filters and features, which enable you to do more thorough searches. It's a capable app but not necessarily easy to use.


Comprehensive search: HoudahSpot for Mac supports multiple search options, such as grouping the searches or using user-defined groups, and can search file attributes and the content of text files. It can also do a fuzzy search using the parameters you enter.

Include and exclude locations: The search can be limited to a certain location on the computer, or it can be specific to certain folders on user-mounted volumes or Spotlight indexed pages. Explicit locations can also be excluded.

Interface full of options: Integrating with Spotlight to help you find files on your computer, it features an interface that looks like Finder, except for the sidebar full of filters and options.


Not for simple searches: Simple searches can be done more easily with Spotlight.

Not for beginners: As an advanced search tool, it might not appeal to beginners. There are too many options that can easily confuse a beginner.

Search parameters can be contradictory: If you're not paying attention to all the search parameters you choose, you might end up with conflicting filters.

Bottom Line

HoudahSpot for Mac proves to be a potent search tool that allows you to filter many search results fairly quickly. However, this app can be counterintuitive to basic searches, for which filters are seldom needed. This app is definitely not for beginners -- grab it only if you must search through thousands of files using many filters.

Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of HoudahSpot for Mac 3.9.2.

What's new in version 6.0.1

  • Fixes a bug where the Info pane failed list current attribute filters
  • Fixes a bug where filters using regular expressions did not work as expected
  • Fixes a bug where clicking the menu bar icon did not always perform the action specified in HoudahSpot preferences
  • The HoudahSpot 6.0 plug-in for Apple Mail could slow the start of the Mail application

Explore More

Full Specifications

December 30, 2020
Latest update
December 13, 2021
Operating System
Mac OS X
Additional Requirements
macOS Catalina | macOS Mojave | macOS High Sierra|
Total Downloads
Downloads Last Week

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User Reviews


12 User Votes

Developer's Description

Find files, mail messages, photos, and other data easily.

HoudahSpot is a powerful file search tool for Mac. Use HoudahSpot to locate hard-to-find files and keep frequently used files within reach. HoudahSpot will immediately feel familiar. It works just the way you expect search to work. Start with a simple search. Refine it by adding and combining criteria. Browse search results. Add columns. Preview files and text matches. Pick the files you really need. Find files by name, text, content kind, author, recipient, pixel count. Combine criteria to narrow down search result. Specify which folders to search and which ones to exclude. Add any of the hundreds of columns available. Apply filters to reduce search results to only the relevant items. Preview files and text matches. Open files and, where the application supports it, continue searching for text matches by pressing command-G (Find Next). Set up templates for recurring searches. HoudahSpot builds upon Spotlight, which comes preinstalled with macOS.