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
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Move Spotlight dialog in Yosemite

Don't hate me but I love using Finder's spotlight feature. In Yosemite they changed Spotlight (I like the changes) but they moved the spotlight dialog position to the center of the screen. I want to ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

OS X Yosemite spotlight search wikipedia and web content missing

One of the new features in spotlight was supposed to be information from wikipedia, web when anything was searched. However, I don't seem to be getting this information when I search in spotlight. Is ...
4
votes
2answers
312 views

Prevent Spotlight from indexing future hard drives

Using Mavericks, how can I prevent Spotlight from indexing all drives except my primary internal drive? In my work, I connect dozens of new drives every week, and I do not want the .Spotlight-V100 ...
4
votes
2answers
193 views

Disable dictionary results in Spotlight?

How can I remove dictionary results from Spotlight results? I've typed "chrome" into Spotlight and looked up chrome in the Dictionary one too many times, and now opening Chrome takes an extra ...
4
votes
2answers
304 views

Is there a way to provide a sort order to an mdfind query?

In trying to get a list of all music files from a particular album using mdfind I see that the files aren't necessarily returned in any order. I'd prefer album/track order if possible, but can't find ...
4
votes
5answers
8k views

Lion not searching SMB volume

I just upgraded to Lion on my work computer and it seems like Spotlight doesn't index SMB volumes. This used to work for me perfectly under Snow Leopard. I've talked with Apple and they said it was ...
4
votes
2answers
121 views

Why is Spotlight trying to index my iPod?

Since I upgraded to Mavericks, whenever I plug in my iPod, Spotlight tries to index my iPod. I don't want this to happen, since it puts a lot of stress on the iPod's drive (iPod 4th Generation, 40GB), ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Can spotlight be reset when it misbehaves, is wrong or constantly indexing?

On my 4-month old mid-2012 MacBook Pro I observe that Spotlight seems to want to ALWAYS re-index. I frequently notice that the performance will get unbearably slow and I can hear the hard drive ...
4
votes
1answer
691 views

Xcode doesn't show up in spotlight results, neither search results

I haven't noticed exactly when it happened but previously I was always using spotlight to run Xcode. Now if i'm typing "Xcode" in it, only folders containing this name show up, or some xcode projects, ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is OS X indexing *again*?

For some reason, OS X thinks it's a good idea to reindex my entire hard drive (which takes it a few hours) about twice a week. This is really getting annoying, especially since it does this on ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Spotlight, infinite indexing, secondary drives, and NAS

I have several Mac OS X 10.5.8 editing bays, each with at least one additional internal drive, most sized 500GB-1TB. All Macs are also sharing a NAS Isilon cluster 100TB (nfs mount) for shared media ...
4
votes
0answers
320 views

Find symbolic links (’s names) with Spotlight (Finder)

underwhelmed by the fact that OS X’s Aliases got really big with Mountain Lion (Lion?) I basically switched to using symbolic links instead. Now I’m just learning the hard way that Spotlight (or, ...
3
votes
2answers
705 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
511 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
363 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
204 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
403 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
126 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
5answers
5k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
5k 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
3answers
2k 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
1k 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
2k 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
4k 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
1answer
987 views

What is mdflagwriter and why does it eat up so much RAM?

On my Mavericks 10.9.4 instance of mdflagwriter eats up 2.18G of RAM. I know that it's somehow related to Spotlight, but what is it exactly and why is it so RAM-hungry?
3
votes
2answers
288 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
2answers
750 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
907 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
469 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
34 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
123 views

Hide applications in contextual menu 'Open with' from an other OS X installation [closed]

I just installed OS X 10.10 Yosemite (but this problem exists for any other OS with applications that run on your current Mac OS) and, because I have a Carbon Copy Clone of my old Mavericks ...
3
votes
1answer
621 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
1answer
349 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
2answers
364 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
2answers
1k views

How can I use Regular Expressions in Spotlight on Mountain Lion?

How can I use Regular Expressions in Spotlight on Mountain Lion? I want to use my knowledge of regular expressions to make my search results more exact.
3
votes
1answer
461 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
259 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
212 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
39 views

Why is there a web process active even if Safari isn't opened?

I noticed that even when Safari is closed, many web processes are active, and these processes are active even when I just restarted my Mac. Actually, I noticed that this process is in the Spotlight ...
3
votes
1answer
114 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
160 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
241 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
726 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
2answers
1k views

Any side-effects when sharing a Time Machine backup disk between Lion and Snow Leopard?

Is there anything to consider if I want to share a Time Machine backup drive between a Lion machine and a Snow Leopard machine (a USB drive that I would be rotating between the two computers)? ...
3
votes
1answer
124 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
602 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
0answers
34 views

How to isolate processes that evoke insane mds_stores disk read activity?

I have an interesting situation where when I monitor my disk activity, I find that mds_store is continually running between 1 to 35 megabytes per second (averaging around 3-5 MB/s) on the read and ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a way to show Spotlight indexing status/progress in Yosemite?

In previous versions of OS X, you could click the Spotlight icon in the menu bar to show the status of the Spotlight indexing, and it would show an estimate ("6 hours left"), along with a progress ...
3
votes
1answer
222 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 ...