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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I change Spotlight search engine?

when I use Spotlight, it offers to "Search web for: " (something like that, my system is german). When I use this feature, Chrome pops up and searches with the Yahoo search engine. Chrome is the ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Spotlight is broken on my main partition in OS X 10.7.4

Not long after updating my main OS X installation from Snow Leopard to Lion, Spotlight stopped working on that partition, and I'm desparately trying to get it working again. It will find no files for ...
5
votes
2answers
775 views

Make Spotlight indexing use less CPU?

Whenever spotlight begins indexing my files, my computer's fan starts spinning like crazy. Is there any way to essentially tell spotlight that it doesn't need to finish as quickly as possible, and ...
5
votes
1answer
783 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
2k 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.
5
votes
1answer
350 views

Why is mdfind only returning my most recently accessed files?

I've imported most of a javascript code base via mdimport (using the packaged SourceCode.mdimporter provided by Xcode) and it succeeds. However, mdfind only ever returns to me at most two results, ...
4
votes
5answers
365 views

How useful is spotlight?

Personally, I am happy with Spotlight in the sense I just use it for finding something. But, I'm also not happy with Spotlight, as I sometimes feel it slows down my Mac pretty much. Even, I can find ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

How to exclude Mail messages from Finder search?

I want to exclude Mail messages from showing up in Finder search. ->FINDER, NOT SPOTLIGHT<- I have asked this question on other platforms, and I have found the emphasis is very necessary. Yes, ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Spotlight, please don't show mail, but still let me search in Mail app

When I search for stuff, even constraining with name:whatIwant, the majority of results are old e-mail messages and Safari history items. How can I get rid of these results, but still search my email ...
4
votes
3answers
538 views

Non-recursive spotlight search?

When using the Spotlight search at the top right of a finder window, I often want the search to be non-recursive, i.e. only look at files in that specific directory, not any directories within it. Is ...
4
votes
1answer
460 views

Delaying spotlight indexing to avoid the fan noise

I am attending a meeting in a quiet room where everyone has a soft voice, and my mac decides to index for spotlight (the job is 'mds'), bringing the fan to 6200rpm. It's not too bad, just a bit ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is “Spotlight Web Content” using so much VRAM and CPU?

Why is “Spotlight Web Content” using so much (32.56 GB) virtual RAM and CPU (up to 122.41% apparently)? More interestingly, how can I prevent it from doing so? I am running this MacBook Pro with 4GB ...
4
votes
1answer
73 views

How to make Spotlight ONLY index certain file types?

I use my mac for development, and create/delete so many (big) files that I ended up turning Spotlight off, since it was taking so much time indexing these files. I think it would be fine if I would ...
4
votes
3answers
2k 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
566 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
240 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
358 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
9k 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
1answer
119 views

Document Container vs Folder Name

Please refer to the Mac OSX search attributes mentioned below. Any idea what's the difference between "Document Container" and "Folder Name"? Also what's the expected value of "Containing Folder ...
4
votes
1answer
313 views

How to force Spotlight to index content inside a package?

I wish to use Spotlight to search inside my Papers 3 library package (i.e., a 'bundle') as the search functionality within the application is broken and/or hamstrung. Is there any way I can force ...
4
votes
2answers
171 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
3k 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
823 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
2answers
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
5answers
857 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
392 views

Exclude all .git or .svn folders from Spotlight index

I would like to exclude all the .git and .svn folders on my hardrive from the Spotlight index. I know I can manually add them through the GUI but since they are many of them, and often new ones, it ...
4
votes
1answer
409 views
+50

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
878 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
570 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
380 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
1answer
6k 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
222 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
457 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
131 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
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
19k views

How to install wifi in Macbook Pro

Currently I am using a Macbook Pro with OSX 10.8.5 & I just notice that there is no "wifi option" in this Machine. Because, to make that back in Desktop menu bar I go to: Preference >> ...
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
2answers
2k 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
1answer
5k 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
59 views

Search LaTeX documentation with Alfred

I'm using Alfred v2 on Mavericks. I would like to use it to quickly locate documentation of LaTeX packages (PDF files). I have TeXLive 2014 installed in /usr/local/texlive/2014. I added ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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
338 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
960 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
988 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
503 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
2answers
112 views

Spotlight Massive (out of control at 100GB+)

Macbook Pro, 500GB SSD, Yosemite 10.10.3 Is there a way to determine what folder(s) are giving Spotlight grief? Or some other recommendations to fix spotlight? Spotlight is killing my drive space ...
3
votes
1answer
41 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
204 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 ...