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Spotlight Alternatives for Mac

There are many alternatives to Spotlight for Mac if you are looking for a replacement. The best Mac alternative is Alfred, which is free. If that doesn't suit you, our users have ranked more than 50 alternatives to Spotlight and many of them are available for Mac so hopefully you can find a suitable replacement. Other interesting Mac alternatives to Spotlight are Station, ueli, DocFetcher and Cerebro.

Spotlight alternatives are mainly Application Launchers but may also be File Search Utilities or Clipboard Managers. Filter by these if you want a narrower list of alternatives or looking for a specific functionality of Spotlight.
This page was last updated Apr 27, 2022
  • FreeProprietary
  • Mac

Spotlight is the system-wide desktop search feature built into Apple's OS X operating system since version 10.4 (Tiger).

Learn more about Spotlight

  1. 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.

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


    From the GitHub repository: “This project is not actively maintained.”

  3. Developed with the Electron framework, ueli is the type of tool that adopts simplicity, leaving out any unnecessary options and configuration settings.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    Most users think Cerebro is a great alternative to Spotlight.

  6. Quicksilver

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac

    Quicksilver is a fast and free Mac OS X productivity application that gives you the power to control your Mac quickly and elegantly. Quicksilver learns your habits, making your everyday chores simple and efficient.

    Quicksilver vs Spotlight opinions
    pros, cons and recent comments

    saves your recent/commonly used apps for quicker searches

    Positive comment almost 2 years ago
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  7. EasyFind

    • FreeProprietary
    • Mac

    Think Mac OS Xs Spotlight could use some help? Download EasyFind, an alternative to (or supplement of) Spotlight and find files, folders, or contents in any file without indexing.

  8. Spotter

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac

    Productivity tool that allows to launch everything (e.g. switch the next song, connect Bluetooth device, set a timer, etc.) so you can stay focused on your current task.

  9. Raycast

    • FreeProprietary
    • Mac

    Raycast lets you control your tools with a few keystrokes. It’s designed to keep you focused.

  10. Lacona

    • FreemiumProprietary
    • Mac

    Lacona is a docker app for Mac OSX that accepts natural language commands. Call up Lacona with a keyboard shortcut and type whatever you want to do. It gives intelligent suggestions as you type and then follows your orders.

Showing 10 of 33 alternatives