Your First 5 Minutes

So you've installed Alfred and want to know where to start and just what you can accomplish with his help?

Here's a mini tutorial to help you get up and running as soon as possible so you can start to enjoy all that Alfred has to offer.

1. Set up your hotkey and location

Alfred sits in the background, waiting to be called when you need him. So the first task for you is to select a convenient keyboard hotkey that will call up the Alfred window.

Go into Alfred's preferences (by clicking on the bowler hat in your menu bar and selecting 'Preferences"), then navigate to the General tab.


Click inside the Alfred hotkey field and type the keyboard combination that you want to use to show the Alfred window. Don't forget to also select your location so Alfred can guess some of the websites you're most likely to visit (e.g. your local Google, Wikipedia, etc)

Any time you press this keyboard combination from now on, Alfred will pop up and will be ready to serve your needs.

2. Launch an application

Alfred is the easiest way to launch your apps. Simply call up the Alfred window with the hotkey that you've just set up, and start typing your app's name. When it pops up at the top of the list, hit Return.


3. Search for and open a file

The easiest way to search for files with Alfred is to use the keywords "open" and "find" (which will reveal your file in Finder) before your search. You can also call up Alfred and simply press the spacebar followed by your file's name to open it too, as seen below. Try it!


4. Look through keywords for web searches

Alfred is great for searching the web very quickly. It comes out of the box with a set of predefined web searches that you can find in Preferences > Features > Web Search.


Browse through these and familiarise yourself with the keywords. You can change any of these just by clicking on the keyword and typing a new one so make sure to customise them to your needs.

They will help you search the web quickly.

If you want to search in Google, for example, just call up Alfred and type "google 'your search term'" and hit Return.

5. Create your first custom search

We can't guess all of your favourite sites so we've built in a way for you to add your most-used websites as a custom search.

If you go into Preferences > Features > Web Search, click the "Add Custom Search" button in the bottom right corner, you'll be able to enter a new custom search.

Here you can specify the search URL. To do this, do a sample search on your website and then look at the URL of the result and replace the text of your search term with {query}. You can find out more hints for custom searches on the web search feature page.

Here is an example of a custom search for Pinterest:


Find out more about Alfred

Now that you've done the basic setup and tried some of the Alfred functionality, why not take a look at more features and tutorials to see just how much Alfred can do and keep learning. If you experienced any problems trying to get things working, hop over to the Knowledge Base where you can find answers to the frequently asked questions.