Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I just reinstalled OS X Lion and turned off the spotlight immediately.

I noticed that search in Finder stopped working. Is this because of disabling spotlight? Is there a way to get this back without turn spotlight on? I only need to search by file names.

share|improve this question
    
Take a look at: apps.tempel.org/FindAnyFile –  Phorce Feb 8 '13 at 1:12
1  
Yes, finder uses Spotlight, but there are replacements (apps) that can search without it using the Unix command find. –  Martín Marconcini Feb 8 '13 at 1:49
    
I wonder what would happen if you let spotlight index first then shut it off. Just a curiosity. –  PaulWalnuts Feb 8 '13 at 4:42
    
@PaulWalnuts I think then it kind of works. I remember I turned off spotlight before reinstalling, didn't find search wrong... –  hyh Feb 8 '13 at 6:31

2 Answers 2

Finder's search, as well as many other programs (Alfred, Outlook, etc.) use Spotlight's index files. If you have Spotlight shut off, you won't be able to get Finder search working natively.

There are a few free third party apps that you can use to search for files without using Apple's system:

  1. Find Any File
  2. EasyFind

These two do not use spotlight's index files and should work independently.

share|improve this answer

Spotlight is a search tool. So it needs an index. And that's what's build when there is a little black dot in the Spotlight icon.

It's like an index on a book. It's hard (if not impossible) to find a word without an index. Finder can't look for files if it has no index.

Once Spotlight has build it's index, Finder will be able to search for files. If you want, you can disable it if you want.
BUT, if you do so, new files won't be added to the index, so you won't be able to find them.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.