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

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8
votes
5answers
1k views

Why does Spotlight give a wrong value for `cos(pi/2)`?

As you might know, Spotlight can do simple mathematics. For instance, typing cos(pi) will result in -1, as you might expect. I just typed in cos(pi/2), which should be 0 but it gave me -5e-12. Yes it ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Why does spotlight search system files?

Most of my spotlight search results are files in ~/Library (application data) and /usr/include (header files) I already tried to rebuild the index. Any thoughts?
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Spotlight index only specified folder

I have found ways to disable spotlight indexing for a specific folder. But, how do I do the reverse. I want to disable all indexing enable for just one or two folder I specify. is it possible? ...
2
votes
2answers
414 views

Spotlight in Mavericks does not search Tags - how to enable?

I have defined a couple of tags in Mavericks. If I search inside Finder, tags work as expected: It recognizes that "Firma" is a tag. If I select it and press enter, it turns into "Tag:Firma". ...
2
votes
0answers
59 views

How to switch from Spotlight to Alfred via Terminal?

I installed Alfred through homebrew-cask. I want to disable Spotlight and let Alfred be opened with Cmd+S. The first Terminal-based solution I tried was unloading Spotlight with sudo launchctl unload ...
4
votes
3answers
2k 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, ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

Reverse Spotlight search parameter

Is it possible to reverse Spotlight search criteria if no such option is given in the Finder's drop down menu? For example, I want to search for movie files whose extension is NOT .mp4, however ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

How to get Outlook email indexed by Spotlight after reinstalling Office 2011?

I reinstalled Office 2011 and my Outlook email index stopped updating. I forced a reindex of the entire drive, but the email still wasn't indexing. Stopped by the Genius Bar and they suggested ...
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
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
496 views

Spotlight button doesn't work (on click displays a sound instead)

It's a totally newbie question, but I started using Mac computers like a month ago and this is something I can't find on the internet. Sometimes (yeah not always and I can't even find out when it ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

How to add app inside application bundle (CrashPlan menu bar.app) to Spotlight index?

The CrashPlan Menu Bar item app, is located as a sub item within the package of the main CrashPlan app: /Applications/CrashPlan.app/Contents/Resources/CrashPlan menu bar.app Applications are indexed ...
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), ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

How to open a searched file in Finder?

When I search a file in Spotlight, it provides me a good result. But the problem is that I want to open the file in Finder, instead of directly opening the file in an application. How can I open in ...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

Why doesn't OS X Spotlight search inside .json files?

I am trying to search a folder for an ID number. The folder contains various different file types. The ID can be found in several .json files, but non of them show up. If I rename the .json file to ...
7
votes
4answers
862 views

Search file duplicates in OSX by hash

I am looking for a way to search for a determinate file in OSX (Maverick but more generally OSX). In particular I would like to do the following: given a File_001 I'd like to search if in the ...
1
vote
0answers
774 views

Spotlight search in OS X Mavericks 10.9.1 crashes when indexing mails in Mail app

(Note, this is a cross post of https://discussions.apple.com/message/24066877#24066877 in case someone in this community can help a lot of the people with Mavericks Spotlight problems - I've read all ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Spotlight: Search flagged Mail Messages

I'm looking for a way to have all mail messages flagged/labeled with "Red" show up in a saved search in the Finder, but Mail.app flags doesn't seem to be indexed by Spotlight. Any ideas? Mavericks ...
1
vote
0answers
75 views

Correct Way to Check if Spotlight Has Indexed a Folder's Contents

Okay, so I've written a script that uses mdfind to more quickly match files, however, I need to find the best way to check whether a target directory is indexed or not, so I can fall back to using ...
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Best Way to Add Metadata to a File

Okay, so I have a fairly simple script that uses mdfind to quickly find files matching certain criteria so that I can run some operations on them. However, I don't want to run these operations again ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

The source of frequent crashes that require rebuilding the Spotlight index?

My early-2009 Mac Pro has taken to freezing relatively frequently, I think always when Safari is running. The machine must then be power-cycled, and when it comes back up, the Spotlight index is hosed ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Spotlight doesn't find the contents of at least one file

Goal - find a clever way to discover what Spotlight has (or hasn't indexed). I have an xls spreadsheet that has the names and emails addresses of people who attended a recent course of mine. In the ...
6
votes
1answer
710 views

Decimal separator setting for the Spotlight calculator

I use the Spotlight calculator a lot but since the upgrade to OS X Mavericks the decimal pointer has changed to a , instead of the . as in a previous release. Probably it now respects some locale ...
2
votes
1answer
155 views

How do I make applications open on the primary display and not the active display?

I love the improvements that Apple made to multiple displays in Mavericks, but there is one thing that really gets on my nerves. If I'm using an application on my secondary display, and I use ...
2
votes
2answers
270 views

Weird behavior of spotlight & program icons

My spotlight is acting a bit scatchy, it shows every program as a rar? archive. Did a rebuild of the index file. Did a repair permissions. Who can Help me?
1
vote
1answer
385 views

Locating an app by its bundle identifier from the command line

I am looking for a way to find an app's location on the system from the command line using its bundle identifier. I can open it like this: open -b 'com.zerotier.ZeroTierOne' ... where ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I fix the Spotlight index for an encfs-mounted directory?

Until recently, on OS X 10.8, I was using Alfred (which in turn uses Spotlight) to search files and directories on an encfs-mounted partition (which is mounted off a folder in my Dropbox directory). ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

How can I prevent “Open With…” from accessing external drives?

Frequently, when I try to open the (10.9) Finder's "Open With..." menu, I experience a delay that appears to be due to connected FireWire drives. This delay is very long when the drives need to spin ...
0
votes
1answer
313 views

Include files from secondary hard drive in spotlight searches

I have an SSD as my boot partition and a HDD for all my documents on my Mac (OS X Mavericks). I have noticed that I am unable to search for files on Spotlight that are located on my HDD. I suspect ...
2
votes
1answer
758 views

Search in a particular folder and subfolder through Spotlight

As the titles indicates, I would like to search a file in a particular folder, and its subfolders, through Spotlight. Is it possible to do that in Spotlight? If so, how can that be done?
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
239 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
618 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
606 views

How can I launch a printer scanner from Spotlight?

I can go to the "Printers & Scanners" panel from Spotlight, but I cannot call the scanner directly. Is there any way to make Spotlight index a shortcut to the default printer's Scanner app? It ...
0
votes
2answers
194 views

How is font metadata stored?

Right after downloading a font, you can see it has a lot of metadata. For example, if you download the Sansation font and run mdls Sansation_Regular.ttf you will get this output: ...
4
votes
0answers
319 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
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
803 views

Finder Search (spotlight) not finding all relevant results

I'm trying to remove an application manually by deleting it and any extras using the search function in Finder. As a backup, I also ran the app through AppCleaner to see if it caught anything as ...
1
vote
0answers
257 views

Spotlight integration of Thunderbird 24.1.0 in Maverick

I have Thunderbird 24.1.0 running on Maverick and it works nicely. I am wondering about the integration of spotlight and thunderbird. I can search in spotlight for my emails, which is what I want, ...
4
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
689 views

Spotlight does not index folders or subfolders

After upgrading to OS X 10.9, spotlight only show result for files but not folders. I have checked the preferences and also reindex the parenting folder by adding and removing it to the privacy tab. ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

mdworker process always at 100%, even when not indexing

I'm trying to understand why mdworker is always at 100% even when (apparently) not indexing. If I open Spotlight, there's no message telling me that a drive is being indexed. If I run fs_usage -w -f ...
1
vote
1answer
403 views

How to enable missing tag search in Spotlight?

OS X Mavericks adds better support for tags. You can search tagged files using Spotlight with the query tag:tagname. However, this stopped working for me a few days after upgrading form OS X ...
6
votes
2answers
260 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

How to use spotlight for system commands such as shutdown? [duplicate]

I want to type in Spotlight commands such as shutdown, reboot, suspend or lock and make it execute it, just like Alfred does. How to make this possible with Spotlight?
0
votes
1answer
288 views

Why does my iPhone Spotlight (Springboard) search show a little poop emoji in the corner?

It's kind of cute, but why is it doing this and how can I change it?
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Spotlight and Alfred can't find alias to Emacs.app

I installed Emacs.app with Homebrew, and used brew linkapps to create an alias in my /Applications directory. Since I updated to OS X Mavericks yesterday, Spotlight and Alfred can no longer see this ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Spotlight hangs on ical item

My iMac (early 2009) is super slow and spotlight and timemachine doesnt work at all. I am suspecting the the spotlight index (which never seem to finish) is behind some of the performance issues. I ...