Normally when you do a search in Finder and you use Spotlight, files in system folders folders will be hidden. This is due to the fact that most of the files you never need to modify, see or use. But every so often you may want to find a file or folder which is a system file. The process is rather simple, but as usual hidden away, where you would normally never find it. The idea and most of the steps to this post came from Dale, after I had ran out of ideas yesterday and posted for help on Twitter.
To search system files and folders, open a new Finder window and press Control + F. This will bring up a small “advance” search bar along the top. Where the bar says “Kind” click on it and select other. Notice the system file option already present in the screen shot, that is where we will be heading.
The menu that pops up gives use hundreds of options that we can use to narrow down our searches. If you use the conveniently places search box in the top right and search for “system”, no quotes, you will get the option we want. Simply select the check box on the right that says “In Menu” and press OK.
From the drop down menu again, (where Kind is placed), select system files. In the second box select include. You can now use the main search field in the top right corner to search for files as you would normally.
There are some caveats to this system. For example, it does still search for normal files. So you can’t exclude them, as a result you do get hundreds more results. As well as this it doesn’t work from the Spotlight icon on the right of the menu bar. You still have to use Finder. But for a simple work around it does work pretty well and can really help if you are searching for system files.