Questions about Spotlight, a system-wide desktop search feature of Apple's OS X and iOS operating system.

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4
votes
3answers
600 views

Exclude sub-folders from Finder search

How can I force Finder to only search the current folder, ignoring the contents of all the sub-folders? I don't want to exclude the sub-folders permanently from Spotlight, just for a certain search. ...
4
votes
1answer
525 views

Force Spotlight to index a normally un-indexed folder

Spotlight only indexes a limited number of folders and doesn't index all of the files on your system. This makes sense and for the average user this usually isn't a problem. However, I recently ...
3
votes
4answers
8k views

How do I search all hidden files that are in hidden folders using Terminal?

I need to find some configs buried in some hidden folders and can't recall where they are to navigate to them directly Cmd+Shift+G. I did a sudo find -name Foo* (slow), but none of the returned files ...
3
votes
2answers
573 views

Can “mdfind” search for phrases and not just unordered words?

Is there a way to search for an exact phrase using the mdfind utility? For example, I created two text documents titled "test1" and "test2". The contents of "test1" are: I love Apple And the ...
3
votes
1answer
450 views

Limit Spotlight to mail

The thing is I hate Spotlight like every software burning my cpu for no reason when I am working and I could put my cpu to better use BUT it is required to search in mail bodies with Mail so I still ...
3
votes
3answers
345 views

Spotlight loses index of Applications

When I get warnings that my HD is nearly full (Macbook Air, 64GB SSD), spotlight always loses its index of applications. That means that I can't launch Safari or Mail or other apps, which is the only ...
3
votes
2answers
189 views

Removed Spotlight, now there's a gap I can't get rid of

I disabled and removed spotlight from my menubar to save performance and space. Now except for saving some space, I have a gap in my menu-bar I'd like to get rid of: Anyone an idea how to get it ...
3
votes
2answers
375 views

Can I use Spotlight to search for files by name?

My most common search pattern is to search for files based on their name. When I try this in Spotlight (cmd-space) it rarely works. Is there a way to make Spotlight search for file names, and to place ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

Search a phrase using Spotlight

I find Spotlight very very useful, however I would like to be able to search for documents that contain a given phrase, i.e. words appearing together, instead of anywhere in a document. Do you know of ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Spotlight menu item on OS X 10.9 sometimes does not function (beeps instead)

I'm running into a situation now and then when the Spotlight menu on OS X 10.9 can't be activated. When I click on its magnifying glass icon I receive only an error indication (beep tone) but get no ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How to fix missing icons and labels in System Preferences -> Spotlight?

I have a late 2011 MacBook Pro and I started noticing a weird bug in my Spotlight system preferences. It looks like every time I open preferences -> Spotlight an assortment of icons and labels are ...
3
votes
2answers
306 views

Can Spotlight be configured to search ALL files on the hard drive (or is there a powerful alternative) - like Windows' Start Menu search can be?

On Windows - since Vista onwards - I'm used to an extremely powerfully configurable instant file/folder/setting search feature: namely its instant indexed Start Menu search. Having a powerful ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I do a full text search of plaintext files in my DropBox folder?

I understand that Spotlight will search the full text of files in any folder and will show files that contain instances of the searched text. But I would also like to see highlighted instances of the ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

How to use Regex with spotlight [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How Can I Search A Specific Type of File in Mac? How could I use spotlight to search for example for files that end with jar or files that end with doc and at the same ...
3
votes
2answers
235 views

Have Automator add original path to Spotlight Comment for a file when moving to the trash

Is there a way to add the original path of a document as a Spotlight comment in Mountain Lion? I have created an automator workflow that automatically adds the Timestamp and user when a file is moved ...
3
votes
1answer
837 views

Is “All My Files” slow because of my git and svn repos?

All My Files is often painfully slow, long beach ball spins when I open a new finder window. The thing is I actually like it... and I'm wondering if perhaps it's because of all my GIT and SVN repos ...
3
votes
1answer
433 views

.app extension in Spotlight or Alfred

I would like to have all applications names displayed without the .app extension in Spotlight or Alfred. Reeder for example is listed as "Reeder", whereas Sparrow is listed as "Sparrow.app". Which ...
3
votes
1answer
29 views

Is there a hotkey to Search Wikipedia for “x”?

This is a question about keyboard shortcuts. I think it's quite cool that you can put a word into the spotlight and one of the options is to search Wikipedia for it, but to get that functionality ...
3
votes
1answer
404 views

Add Spotlight Comments without tags on OS X Mavericks

I would like to add comments to files or folders. On previous OS X versions, there would be a text field to add comments that become searchable via Spotlight. Now, in OS X 10.9 Mavericks the text ...
3
votes
3answers
962 views

Find a specific file with automator

The basic question is: How can I pass a filename to the Spotlight search module in Automator? The essential problem: I have hundreds of broken aliases scattered throughout a particular ...
3
votes
2answers
272 views

Spotlight search iTunes Match

Back before I used iTunes Match, I enjoyed being able to search my library via spotlight. Now it seems that this doesn't work anymore. I guess this is because the music is not stored locally, but ...
3
votes
1answer
438 views

Prevent automatic removal of the Spotlight index due to low disk space

I am guessing that when disk space runs low, it automatically deletes the Spotlight index to make room for virtual memory. Then when space becomes available it reindexes. But I'm not sure about that. ...
3
votes
1answer
247 views

How to add Spotlight comments to the bundled OS X apps?

I'd like to add a Spotlight comment to TextEdit.app. Is that possible? What I've done: Open Finder Browse to /Applications/ Select TextEdit Press ⌘ + I (Get Info) Click the lock icon to unlock the ...
3
votes
1answer
200 views

Why is Spotlight listing some people from address book twice?

When searching Spotlight, certain Address Book contacts are listed twice. I have confirmed that I do not have two entries in Address Book for those individuals. The problem is that one of the ...
3
votes
1answer
56 views

Search files by size or star-rating using spotlight

I'm trying to search files by their size or star-rating using Spotlight. I know it can be done using finder's Command+F, but I cannot figure out which is the syntax I should be using in Spotlight's ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

Spotlight keeps forgetting not to index BOOTCAMP partition

For special needs, I must mount BOOTCAMP partition as read-writable. I also add BOOTCAMP partition into Spotlight Privacy because it needs not to be indexed. But once every few days, Mac forgets ...
3
votes
1answer
203 views

Spotlight won't find apps after AppStore updates them

This started happening with Type2Phone, an app from Houdah Software. Every time after I would update the app via the AppStore, Spotlight would no longer find the app (I use Spotlight for app ...
3
votes
1answer
206 views

Is it possible to make “Look Up” appear higher in Spotlight? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to place Dictionary definitions higher up in spotlight results If so, how? I happen to use Spotlight a lot for looking up definitions. Basically, I'll be reading or ...
3
votes
1answer
618 views

Why do some app spotlight results show the “.app” extension, but not all?

Even though I've explicitly set the Finder preference to display all file extensions, I'm still finding that some apps do not show the file name extension in their Spotlight result. Here are some ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

Spotlight pop-up effects

I saw someone with a Macbook Pro using the Spotlight feature several times, and every time the Spotlight opened, it used a certain effect that's not like what I see in other Macs (I use Leopard). ...
3
votes
5answers
487 views

How to increase size of the Spotlight search results window?

Is it possible to increase window width of the Spotlight search results under Mac OS X 10.6.6? I mean the semi-transparent "instant search result" window appearing at the top right corner under ...
3
votes
1answer
195 views

Remove past versions from Spotlight searches?

Is there a way to prevent Spotlight from indexing past versions of documents (see attached image). On my system it seems to always recommend an old version as the top hit, requiring me to scroll ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Spotlight re-index every time I restart/boot iMac

I have an iMac Late 2006 with Lion installed. I don't know since when, but since 3-4 weeks ago I am having this problem. The point is, every time I restart my iMac or boot it, Spotlight starts to ...
3
votes
3answers
617 views

Login hangs on spotlight and no network is available

After upgrading to Lion, I boot up and most of my icons don't appear on the right side of the top menu bar and when I hover over spotlight, I get the spinning pinwheel and there's no network access. ...
2
votes
3answers
577 views

Spotlight: Don't Index a Volume

Is it possible to ask Spotlight to not index a volume ?
2
votes
3answers
601 views

Launch default browser spotlight shortcut?

I often switch my default browser between Safari and Chrome. I would like to create a shortcut that will launch the default browser, whatever that may be. This way I don't have to remember what my ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I start the mds process

Revised Question I am getting errors that mds cannot be started: 9/18/12 9:04:45.262 AM com.apple.launchd[1]: (com.apple.metadata.mds[4720]) Job appears to have crashed: Segmentation fault: 11 ...
2
votes
2answers
504 views

How do I use Spotlight to find all MP3 that are encoded at 320 kbps?

In order to save more space on my music collection, I want to use XLD to convert all my CBR (constant bit rate) 320 kbps MP3 to VBR (variable bit rate). How do I use Spotlight to find all 320 kbps ...
2
votes
3answers
455 views

Changing OS X Spotlight priorities for specific applications

I'd like to fiddle with Spotlight's priorities so that when I enter 'photo', my first returned result is Adobe Photoshop, and not Photo Booth. I understand how to change priorities for or disable ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How to Enable Spotlight Search Files And Directories

Is it possible to let Spotlight find files and directories from all over?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

How to create a spotlight search for all files inside a folder?

In Lion, you have All My Files to search everything in your home folder. However, when you activate finder's spotlight, via command + F you can start searching only by first typing something. How can ...
2
votes
3answers
493 views

Editing iPhoto-specific metadata

Perpetua:2011-01-16 ashley$ mdls IMAG0107.jpg ... kMDItemComment = "Cat with is tongue out." So, here's my question. xattr can be used to modify some ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does Spotlight in Mavericks not show the location of search results?

With Mountain Lion, the following was working: Search for a file type and name, e.g. to find all Excel sheets named Foo: kind:excel foo This would show all Excel sheets where the name includes Foo ...
2
votes
1answer
323 views

Why doesn't Spotlight show invisible files that I know exist?

I am running Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) and had to edit an invisible file as part of an Android project. While I eventually found it, Spotlight was of no help, since it could not find an invisible ...
2
votes
2answers
616 views

How to locate a file in Spotlight using folder and file name?

I often want to navigate to a file or folder that does not have a unique name. Instead, the parent folder in combination with the file or foldern name makes it unique. Here are a few examples: I ...
2
votes
2answers
485 views

Exclude files from “central metadata store”

I'm fairly familiar with the mdfind utility. I find it's very useful when I can't find a file or when I need to find a file with certain contents. The problem is that I need to exclude some files from ...
2
votes
2answers
298 views

How can I alter the spotlight category spreadsheets to include ODS

In Lion, the "All My Files" smart folder in finder is based on spotlight search categories. While I can see how from System Preferences->Spotlight->Search Results I can alter the order of these as ...
2
votes
3answers
85 views

Can you tweak or customize Spotlight to find first specific files and folders?

For example, I have two folders named Edit but the one I use most frequently, shows up second on Spotlight. Can you anyhow influence the precedence and importance of found files in Spotlight?
2
votes
2answers
240 views

How can I get Time Machine to ignore the data created by Spotlight?

I would like Time Machine to ignore the indexes and other metadata created by Spotlight, where are those kept on 10.6?
2
votes
1answer
32 views

How can I blacklist filetypes from Spotlight search results?

Spotlight has a quirk that I want to fix, if possible. When I search for certain keywords, such as categories in System Preferences, Spotlight will place a document as the "Top Hit" in the search ...