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

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4
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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
1answer
103 views

Is there a way to disable incremental search search on a Mac, especially in Preview?

Sometimes when typing a search term in the search bar in Preview or Spotlight the text entry locks up for a few seconds. I assume this happens because it is beginning to search on the letters I've ...
4
votes
0answers
1k views

Spotlight not connecting to internet

My problem is that Spotlight shows no results from internet sources (Wikipedia, iTunes Store, etc.). I've reindexed my drive twice, cleared all the caches, and reset the NVRAM. Still not working. I ...
4
votes
0answers
161 views

Does Spotlight keep a search history?

Occasionally, I use Spotlight to quickly compute some expression because I'm too lazy to do it in my head, on paper, or fire up some program. Sometimes I would like to view the result again, but when ...
4
votes
1answer
629 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
1k views

Preventing Spotlight from Indexing Files & Folders?

Spotlight is a very ingenious "tool" of OS X, attributable in no large part to its indexing feature. Hiding various files & folders is challenging even when using various encryption applications. ...
3
votes
2answers
1k 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
589 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
399 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
3answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
237 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
1answer
135 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
2answers
354 views

Easy way to execute shell script

I want to be able to search in Spotlight for a shell script (or something that calls a shell script) and that such shell script opens a Terminal window so the output is shown live (and I can interrupt ...
3
votes
3answers
3k 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
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
2k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k 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
1k 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
496 views

cannot turn off spotlight indexing on external drive

I know this question has been asked before, but the solutions suggested are not working for me. I just finished attaching a brand new external hard-drive and waiting for 14 hours for Time Machine to ...
3
votes
2answers
84 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
1k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
400 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
525 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
81 views

'mdls' and 'mdimport' interaction: good practice question

Am I correct to assume that, in order to ensure a query in the terminal such as: mdls -name kMDItemContentCreationDate /var/log/system.log always returns the actual creation date of said file ...
3
votes
1answer
205 views

How do I rearrange the order of Spotlight categories?

I believe I used to have the ability to rearrange the search categories shown in Spotlight, but I can't drag to rearrange within System Preferences > Spotlight anymore (El Capitan). Is there some ...
3
votes
2answers
292 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
272 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
633 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
570 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
916 views

Disable Spotlight indexing, save battery life

I am using my laptop with very limited battery availability. I need to save as much battery as possible. I would like to disable Spotlight indexing, how do I do that? What else should I disable, ...
3
votes
1answer
547 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
278 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
3k views

Spotlight sometimes can't find a file. (that actually exists)

I don't really understand how Spotlight works, I sometimes search for a file that I know it exists, and Spotlight doesn't find it. Then I browse to it and it's there. The volume or folders where it is ...
3
votes
1answer
304 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
101 views

Removing a news source from iOS Spotlight Search

I like the headlines from Spotlight Search, but I hate that fact it displays many sites that have paywalls (e.g., LA Times, NY Times, etc). Is there a way to tell iOS not to show certain sites in the ...
3
votes
2answers
396 views

Spotlight file path in Yosemite

How do I expand the file path in Spotlight in Yosemite? In previous OS versions it would scroll to see the entire path, but now it only shows the end of the path preceded by ... Many of my files are ...
3
votes
1answer
110 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
440 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
285 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
318 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
910 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
148 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
0answers
17 views

Spotlight randomly chose Chinese as dictionary language after El Capitan upgrade

After upgrading to El Capitan, suddenly Spotlight dictionary searches only show results in Chinese (I think). I have absolutely no idea why it chose Chinese, as I am not a user of that language. ...
3
votes
0answers
32 views

How to really exclude Time Machine Backups from Spotlight-indexing?

I try to exclude my TimeMachine-backup-storage from being indexed by spotlight and got some weird behaviour. The backup storage is a Time Capsule. To exclude it, i did the following in terminal: ...
3
votes
2answers
171 views

Extreme energy usage by Spotlight

I recently (two days ago) updated to El Capitan on my work machine (15" MBP, Mid 2015, 2.5 GHz Core i7, 16GB ram, R9 M370X, 500GB SSD) and ever since then, Spotlight has been draining my battery and ...
3
votes
1answer
33 views

Spotlight search customizations

How do I customize the news sources in Spotlight suggestions? I don't want to disable as others have answered. I want to remove certain suggestions that require subscriptions to read the articles. ...