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Spotlight Alternatives

Spotlight is described as 'is the system-wide desktop search feature built into Apple's OS X operating system since version 10.4 (Tiger). Backed by an index of all items and files on the system, it's designed to allow the user to quickly locate a wide variety of items on the computer' and is a application launcher in the file management category. There are more than 50 alternatives to Spotlight for a variety of platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone and BSD. The best alternative is Everything, which is free. Other great apps like Spotlight are Keypirinha, Alfred, Station and ueli.

Spotlight alternatives are mainly Application Launchers but may also be File Search Utilities or Web Search Engines. Filter by these if you want a narrower list of alternatives or looking for a specific functionality of Spotlight.
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Spotlight is the system-wide desktop search feature built into Apple's OS X operating system since version 10.4...

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  1. Everything icon

    Everything

    • Windows
    98 alternatives to Everything 

    "Everything" is an administrative tool that locates files and folders by filename instantly for Windows. Unlike Windows search "Everything" initially displays every file and folder on local or removable NTFS volumes on your computer (hence the name...

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    Features
    1.  LightweightEverything consumes less device resources compared to similar apps.
    2.  PortableEverything can be used from a USB stick or similar with no prior installation.
    Locate files and folders by name instantly.
  2. Keypirinha icon

    Keypirinha

    • Windows
    151 alternatives to Keypirinha 

    A lightning fast and flexible keystroke launcher for Windows. No installation required (portable). Extensible with Python3 plugins.

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    Features
    1.  LightweightKeypirinha consumes less device resources compared to similar apps.
    2.  PortableKeypirinha can be used from a USB stick or similar with no prior installation.
    3.  Extensible by Plugins/ExtensionsKeypirinha can be extended with add-ons, plugins and extensions.
    smart search
    customizable interface


  3. Alfred icon

    Alfred

    • Mac
    • iPhone
    • iPad
    96 alternatives to Alfred 

    Alfred is a productivity application for macOS, which boosts your efficiency with hotkeys, keywords and text expansion. Search your Mac and the web, and control your Mac using custom actions with the Powerpack.

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    Features
    1.  Extensible by Plugins/ExtensionsAlfred can be extended with add-ons, plugins and extensions.
    2.  Full-Text SearchAlfred lets you search for specific words or phrases from inside a document or database.
    Screenshot
    Screenshot
  4. Station icon

    Station

    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Microsoft Edge
    • Google Chrome
    • Brave
    25 alternatives to Station 

    Station is the first open-source smart browser for busy people. A single place for all of your web applications.

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    Features
    Discontinued

    The project is not actively maintained anymore. Last version, 2.0.9, released in July 2021, can be still downloaded from GitHub

    Screenshot
    Screenshot
  5. ueli icon

    ueli

    • Mac
    • Windows
    72 alternatives to ueli 

    Developed with the Electron framework, ueli is the type of tool that adopts simplicity, leaving out any unnecessary options and configuration settings. It creates an icon in the system tray at startup, where it sits silently throughout its runtime, without disturbing you with...

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    Features
    1.  Portableueli can be used from a USB stick or similar with no prior installation.
    2.  Extensible by Plugins/Extensionsueli can be extended with add-ons, plugins and extensions.
    Screenshot
    Screenshot


  6. Albert icon

    Albert

    • Linux
    • Debian
    • Xfce
    40 alternatives to Albert 

    Access everything with virtually zero effort. Run applications, open files or their paths, open bookmarks in your browser, search the web, calculate things and a lot more. See wiki for more information.

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    Features
    1.  Extensible by Plugins/ExtensionsAlbert can be extended with add-ons, plugins and extensions.
    2.  LightweightAlbert consumes less device resources compared to similar apps.
    Screenshot
    Settings view from version 0.9.3.
    Albert vs Spotlight opinions
    Most users think Albert is a great alternative to Spotlight.
  7. DocFetcher icon

    DocFetcher

    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    109 alternatives to DocFetcher 

    DocFetcher is a portable German/English open source desktop search application. It allows you search the contents of documents on your computer. - You can think of it as Google for your local document repository.

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    Features
    1.  Full-Text SearchDocFetcher lets you search for specific words or phrases from inside a document or database.
    2.  PortableDocFetcher can be used from a USB stick or similar with no prior installation.
    3.  Shared FoldersDocFetcher supports shared folders that can be used to store, search, and access files with multiple people.
    Filter panel and preview panel enabled
    Filter panel and preview panel enabled
  8. Ulauncher icon

    Ulauncher

    • Linux
    42 alternatives to Ulauncher 
    • Ulauncher provides instant search results. It also remembers your previous choices and automatically selects the best option for you.
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    Features
    1.  Extensible by Plugins/ExtensionsUlauncher can be extended with add-ons, plugins and extensions.
    Dark theme
    File browser
    White theme
    Ulauncher vs Spotlight opinions
    pros, cons and recent comments
    ThunderFox

    It's a great alternative for Linux users

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  9. Cerebro icon

    Cerebro

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    40 alternatives to Cerebro 

    Cerebro is an open source and free electron-based productivity software alternative to Alfred and Spotlight. It is focused on speed and good UI and UX. In most cases you don't even need to open another application, because you can see results right in Cerebro, like google...

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    Features
    Screenshot
    Screenshot
    Cerebro vs Spotlight opinions
    Most users think Cerebro is a great alternative to Spotlight.
  10. Flow Launcher icon

    Flow Launcher

    • Windows
    20 alternatives to Flow Launcher 

    Dedicated to make your workflow flow more seamlessly. Aimed at being more than an app launcher, it searches, integrates and expands on functionalities. Flow will continue to evolve, designed to be open and built with the community at heart.

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    Features
    1.  Extensible by Plugins/ExtensionsFlow Launcher can be extended with add-ons, plugins and extensions.
    2.  PortableFlow Launcher can be used from a USB stick or similar with no prior installation.
    3.  LightweightFlow Launcher consumes less device resources compared to similar apps.
    Screenshot
    Screenshot
Showing 10 of 60 alternatives
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