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

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1answer
726 views

How do I add folders to spotlight search priority?

How do I add a system link to the Applications folder and have it show up in spotlight. Alternatively how do I add a specific folder to spotlight search priority. Easy to rearrange but I can not add ...
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1answer
158 views

Smart “Applications” folder

How to create a "smart" Applications folder that unifies the content of other three folders? In my machine I have three versions of OS X installed (for testing purposes) in different partitions, each ...
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1answer
327 views

Spotlight is disabled for my main volume

$ sudo mdutil -i on / /: Error: unable to perform operation. (-400) No index. Lately, I'm low on drive space on my main volume. But after I just deleted some stuff, the error remains: $df -h ...
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2answers
210 views

Spotlight indexes wrong HD

Mac Mini Server, OSX Server 10.6.8, dual drive I cloned the first hard disk (HD1) to HD2 using CCC, thus creating a bootable copy. However, now I discover that when I startup from HD2, Spotlight has ...
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2answers
228 views

Spotlight can't find m4a files

I used to use Spotlight to directly start iTunes at a track I wanted to listen to by searching for it. However since upgrading to Lion I've not been able to do this with .m4a music files (mp3s still ...
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2answers
12 views

Spotlight not indexing secondary drive

I have two drives on my MacBook Pro. One is a SSD with the root (/) partition, and the other is a hard drive with a home directory partition (/Users). Both partitions are HFS+ format. When I make a ...
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2answers
28 views

Can I sort Spotlight results by most-recently-used?

Like everyone else, I use spotlight to open up OSX apps. But I also like to use it to open up a particular log file, or a specific remote desktop connection. When I search for the osx app, it is ...
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1answer
138 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, ...
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1answer
44 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 ...
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1answer
98 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?
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1answer
253 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 ...
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1answer
309 views

What's wrong with my Outlook search?

Ever since doing OS X 10.8 updates, a pair of machines with Outlook refuse to look back further than 2 weeks during e-mail searches. Spotlight settings all look OK. I even forced an index ...
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1answer
273 views

Multiple languages for dictionary Look up in Spotlight

How can I handle several languages at the same time in Spotlight ? When a word exists in several languages including english, Spotlight gives me results in english. I would like to have all the ...
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1answer
81 views

Spotlight's Privacy tab not backed up by Time Machine?

I just did a full restore from Time Machine and noticed that my Spotlight Privacy tab was empty. Am I correct in assuming that this information is not backed up by Time Machine? I believe it's stored ...
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1answer
190 views

OS X 10.5/10.6/10.7, Search, Spotlight

I'm handling a migration from an on old Mac server to a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine running a 12 TB (10 usable) RAID 5 server. It's using an SMB share and now the OS X 10.5/10.6 users can search - ...
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1answer
237 views

Why does mdworker keep spamming the logs on Lion?

After upgrading to Lion I keep noticing strange spamming of mdworker on the logs, even though there doesn't seem to be any noticeable CPU or IO work being done. The machine is snappy but I just can't ...
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2answers
770 views

Does Spotlight search work with a Time Capsule?

I would like to use a Time Capsule as a file server for 3-4 Macs in a small network. I've 600 GB of data, and a lot of small files. My colleagues work a lot with Spotlight to find files. I would like ...
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2answers
489 views

Spotlight indexing of back up drive

I've seen some posts about whether you can stop spotlight constantly indexing your time machine backup drive. It seems you can't have it attached to your computer and not have it indexed. I have been ...
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1answer
310 views

Do I need to re-index my Volume?

I recently installed a brand new HD in my macbook pro. I did this by cloning the original drive. Everything (almost) is working fine, but I did give the Volume a different name, it used to be ...
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1answer
292 views

Tips for using spotlight with webpages served via https

I've started using spotlight with webpages today. It will actually index the content of web pages in your history and bookmarks. It's great. But I can't find any documentation on how to use it. ...
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1answer
233 views

Make Spotlight show files on unmounted volumes

Is there a way to make Spotlight show files that reside in different unmounted Volumes? I think there is no official way of doing this, and that Apple does not provide a plugin API that allows this ...
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1answer
12 views

Tag and Metadata searching doesn't work in Spotlight

There's a problem with searching for a tags and metadata e.g. kind:movie in my Spotlight. Actually, it doesn't work even tag:Red in Spotlight. It's weird, because I can search easy using Finder, but ...
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1answer
43 views

Spotlight shortcut not working within an app(s) anymore

I love the spotlights cmd + space functionality to start apps. Half of the time now the spotlight isn't working for me. I'm on 10.9.2 if that matters. Say I'm in Chrome and want to open Word, for ...
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0answers
13 views

OSX Mavericks jumping spotlight menu

Just upgraded to the latest version of Mavericks. When I start a spotlight query, it seems that the spotlight menu is jumping around. I took a screencast of it and copied a few frames showing: ...
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0answers
18 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? ...
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0answers
26 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 ...
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0answers
49 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 ...
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0answers
432 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 ...
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1answer
25 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 ...
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0answers
36 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 ...
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1answer
84 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?
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0answers
187 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, ...
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2answers
680 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 ...
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0answers
122 views

Force Spotlight Comments to be written to .DS_Store

I've come to understand that in order for Spotlight comments to be viewable in the Finder, the extended attributes have to be written to the appropriate .DS_Store file. The problem is, every time I ...
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1answer
272 views

What does the undocumented switch, -t, do for the mdutil utility?

In the process of troubleshooting why my Time Machine was not completing and hadn't finished backing up since 4PM today - It's now 11:49PM -, I saw two console suspicious log entries as follows (btw: ...
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0answers
136 views

Draft emails on Spotlight Search

When I access my Drafts Gmail folder on my iPhone 4S, there are no saved mails in the draft. However, when I search under Spotlight Search, I get a bunch of emails I started writing once but never ...
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2answers
138 views

Why does Finder search not find my .c files?

My goal is, that the finder search finds .c files that have the search keywords in it. It seems to work for others but not for me: but searching for main doesn't yield any results: What do I ...
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1answer
99 views

Auto switch input source to English when entering Spotlight, typing URL in Safari, etc

I don't have files with non-english names, and don't type non-latin URL's, so question is how to auto switch system input source in these occasions.
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1answer
262 views

Spotlight not indexing attachments of exchange Mail

I recently got a MBP and really love how quick spotlight is. I'm reading my exchange email via the Apple Mail app. The messages are indexed by spotlight but the contents of the attachments are not. ...
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3answers
5k views

Spotlight doesn't work anymore in OS X Mountain Lion

I can't get Spotlight to search for any documents. When I search the Finder for documents, nothing happens and the Spotlight search through the menu bar only shows up web searches.
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2answers
242 views

Does the search in Finder need spotlight?

I just reinstalled OS X Lion and turned off the spotlight immediately. I noticed that search in Finder stopped working. Is this because of disabling spotlight? Is there a way to get this back without ...
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0answers
154 views

Add spotlight indexing for CSV files

On my system (Mountain Lion) Spotlight doesn't do a full-text search for comma-separated values, but I can search them with Spotlight if I rename them to .txt for example. Is there a way that I can ...
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0answers
129 views

“Displays” system preference not showing in spotlight

I've recently upgraded to Lion 10.7.5., though not sure if my problem is related. In spotlight, I can't get the "Displays" system preferences option to show up in the results. I've tried re-indexing ...
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1answer
278 views

How do I launch shell applications after changing shell to MacPorts bash?

I have installed a current bash version via MacPorts and changed Terminal.app to use /opt/local/bin/bash. Unfortunately shell applications won't launch from Finder and Spotlight anymore. (OSX 10.8.2, ...
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1answer
134 views

Performing unit conversions in Spotlight

Is there a way to perform unit conversions from within Spotlight? For example I want to convert 1 ft^3 to cm^3 in spotlight.
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0answers
428 views

Finder Search attribute “Tags”

It looks like the search attribute "Tags" is no longer available in the Mountain Lion Finder. I used this to quickly find Open Meta Taggged files on my Mac by means of a Smart Folder. Is there an ...
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1answer
135 views

How to find out which file triggered an action from spotlight

I've created an applescript application (in automator) to open ssh urls. The application is bound to the ssh:// url. I've got a lot of user@host.inetloc files and search these in spotlight. Selecting ...
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1answer
1k views

Can't find network files over SMB protocol using the Spotlight in Lion

I tried to find some files in a network volume mounted in OS X Lion over SMB using Spotlight. Didn't work. But, when I tried the same search from OS X Snow Leopard it worked perfectly. What do I ...
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0answers
686 views

helpd uses 100% CPU after installing any application with documentation

I see that after installing a software that ships with documentation in OS X’s help document format, the helpd process uses 100% CPU for up to 5 minutes or so. I also see this when you first install ...
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0answers
739 views

Finder crashes when searching in spotlight or opening Applications folder [closed]

I have a non-admin account (Standard account) that I normally use on my iMac. For the past 2 days I have been having a really strange issue. If I search for "Chrome" or "Firefox" on spotlight, ...