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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

6
votes
2answers
947 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
217 views

Spotlight overrides first character

What's wrong: I hit CMD+SPACE to open up spotlight, typically type in the name of the application I want to start, hit enter and either the wrong app or no app at all will start, because the app name ...
6
votes
1answer
936 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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. ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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, ...
6
votes
1answer
169 views

Indexing words separated by underscores

When searching using Spotlight for, say, the word "Exotic", it fails to report the file Important_Exotic_Class.h, containing a C++ class by that name. Can you think of a method to make Spotlight ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I set Spotlight metadata to files?

I am looking for a command line utility (I need to use it in a script) that can set Spotlight metadata to files.
6
votes
2answers
337 views

Trackpad (+ spotlight) semi-unresponsive, Mavericks on a 2010 MBP

Ever since I upgraded my 2010 Macbook Pro from Mountain Lion to Mavericks, an issue has been occuring at seemingly random moments. Without warning, my trackpad will no longer allow me to click or use ...
6
votes
1answer
824 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does my Spotlight index get corrupted?

Recently I have been having an issue where at least once a month my Spotlight index gets corrupted, and I can no longer search the content of mail in Mail.app. I can fix the problem by taking my HD ...
5
votes
3answers
5k 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
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
3answers
138 views

Use mdfind to identify all encrypted dmg?

Can someone suggest a clever way to identify all dmg that are encrypted? My only idea is rather complicated. use mdfind '(kMDItemFSName=*.dmg)' and then test the response from hdiutil imageinfo and ...
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
389 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 ...
5
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
799 views

Add new currency to Yosemite Spotlight

Is it possible to add new currency to the spotlight currency conversion? I'd like to have UAH (Ukrainian Hryvna) in my spotlight.
5
votes
1answer
403 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
560 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
3answers
508 views

Spotlight Privacy

Is there a way to tell Apple's content indexer to ignore a folder and its children by creating a file (similar to robots.txt) in the root of the folder to be ignored? I don't want the folder to be ...
4
votes
5answers
389 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
3k views

How can I make spotlight ignore certain file types and directories?

Since spotlight continuously updates the index, sometime the file precedence gets changed around and I might type in "saf" and press return expecting to get Safari, but instead spotlight attempts to ...
4
votes
6answers
335 views

How to search LaTeX -documents in Spotlight?

I have reproduced the problem now also in El Capitan with new components (motherboard, 3x SSD) in my Macbook Air 2013-mid. I have had clean installation of OS X (El Capitan, Yosemite) while doing the ...
4
votes
5answers
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
2answers
533 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

Is there a way to turn Wi-Fi on/off using Spotlight?

Is there a way to turn Wi-Fi on/off using Spotlight, or do I always have to use the mouse and click on the Wi-Fi icon in the taskbar? Spotlight is pretty powerful, and I would love to have an easy ...
4
votes
2answers
30k 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 >> ...
4
votes
3answers
702 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
2answers
137 views

how can I search for folders ending in certain characters in Finder?

Executing a Finder search for folders seems limited to searching for folder names beginning with the search term. I can't search for folder names only using a characters in the middle or end. I'm ...
4
votes
1answer
498 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
6k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
286 views

Process named after website executing?

While looking at Activity Monitor processes, I noticed a process whose name started with "http://". Shortly after observing and screenshoting the process disappeared. This morning, it briefly ...
4
votes
1answer
83 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
2answers
776 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
3answers
3k 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
440 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
10k 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
5k views

iOS9: configure spotlight news suggestions

When I swipe left from the first page of my home screen, iOS 9 brings me to the spotlight screen. There I can see Siri suggestions and news. Is there a way to configure which news are showed in this ...
4
votes
1answer
212 views

How to exclude certain particular files from Spotlight?

I know that you can exclude entire directories or files with a particular extension from Spotlight. But can I hand-pick files not to be searchable by Spotlight, preferably with a file system flag? I ...
4
votes
1answer
4k 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?
4
votes
2answers
339 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
1answer
72 views

Show Library folder and subfolders in Spotlight Search

As a software developer, I often need to look into files within the Library folder. For quick access, I'd like to be able to see the files in my Spotlight searches. How can I do that?
4
votes
1answer
431 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
2answers
417 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
220 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
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
5answers
1k 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
0answers
30 views

Single application not showing up in Spotlight

I have a strange issue where Matlab stubbornly refuses to appear in Spotlight search results. I'm not sure what information to provide besides the fact it clearly exists in Applications: It even ...
4
votes
0answers
26 views

“Open With” (lsregister) to show apps on system disk (specific disk)

I have a Mac pro with 4 disks, one is for the system (D1) "Open With" takes long time sometimes, and sometimes it shows me apps on other disks (old, backup, other test apps), how I can make OS X to ...