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Find files with no tags or Spotlight comment

When organizing files, we sometimes need to find files that lack a Spotlight comment or have not yet been tagged. Finding such files is easy with HoudahSpot. The procedure however is not immediately obvious. This post will show you how to search for files with no tags.

Start by adding a Tags criterion to your HoudahSpot search. The Tags attribute is not part of the default template. To access it, select Other… from the attribute pop-up menu at the far left of a criterion row. Select the Tags attribute from the list of attributes and click OK.

Set the value of the criterion to “*” (without the quotes).

Files with at least one tag

The asterisk is a wildcard character. It matches any text. The above criterion will match files that have been assigned a tag.

To find files with no tag, we just need to negate the criterion. To do so, change the operator to “is not”.

Files without tags

Alternatively, you can negate one or more criteria by nesting them in a “None of the following are true” group.

Files without tag or Spotlight comment

The above will match files that have neither Finder tags nor Spotlight comments.