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

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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 ...
3
votes
1answer
229 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
709 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
7k 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
466 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
298 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
30 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
312 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
2k 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
39 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 ...
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
756 views

How can I restore Spotlight to menu bar?

I removed the Spotlight icon from the menu bar. I would like to restore it. I tried the recommended method: sudo mdutil -a -i on sudo chmod 755 ...
0
votes
0answers
128 views

iOS7, ability to search web via Spotlight search

Prior to iOS7, if someone wanted to search the web, generally the easiest way to do so was by entering your query into the spotlight, and then just clicking 'Search Safari/Wikipedia'. After upgrading ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Disable Spotlight Index on 10.8 on Specific Volumes

To switch off indexing in Terminal I use: sudo mdutil -a -i off This disables it with the -a switch across all volumes and the -i off part turns "off" the indexing. If connected to my iMac is the ...
1
vote
0answers
264 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
579 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: ...
1
vote
1answer
7k views

If swipe down on iOS7 gives Notification Centre, where's Spotlight?

I just upgraded to iOS 7 on an iPhone 4S. When I swipe down on any screen, I get Notification Center, not Spotlight. Anyone know which setting is wrong? My Google search results are riddled with ...
0
votes
1answer
203 views

How do I stop OS X from treating an SuperDuper image on an external drive as part of my current installation?

Every night, I have SuperDuper! create an image of my hard drive to an external drive. This works great, and has saved me from system failures a number of times. However, OS X is constantly treating ...
1
vote
1answer
368 views

Applications/Xcode vs Developer/Applications/Xcode

I have OSX 10.8 with Xcode 4.6.3 installed (it shows under App Store). When I Spotlight-search "xcode" I see two results: Xcode – Mac & Xcode – Developer. The first launches as expected, but with ...
0
votes
1answer
409 views

Why is Automator not working with Spotlight Search?

I'm running an Automator Workflow that searches a provided directory, and then does a standard Filter Finder Items in order to make sure it's only going to be working with aliases. Spotlight failed ...
1
vote
0answers
242 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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
114 views

Keyboard Shortcuts For Navigating Spotlight?

I find keyboard shortcuts very useful, and whilst I know quite a few of the "general ones", I don't know any concerning using Spotlight with the exception of Command-SpaceBar to launch it. What ...
1
vote
1answer
174 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
300 views

How does Spotlight determine which category a file belongs to?

In Spotlight you can enable and disable file categories that will appear in search results. How does Spotlight determine that a certain file belongs to a certain category? The following specific ...
6
votes
3answers
1k 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. ...
0
votes
2answers
97 views

Search a folder that is excluded from Spotlight

I have excluded a folder from Spotlight, because this folder has a lot of files so it often fills up the results, no matter what I'm searching for. However, sometimes I still want to search this ...
3
votes
1answer
468 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
403 views

Why doesn't Spotlight show invisible files that I know exist?

I am running Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) and had to edit an invisible file as part of an Android project. While I eventually found it, Spotlight was of no help, since it could not find an invisible ...
2
votes
1answer
445 views

Prevent partitions from Spotlight indexing each other

I have a single MacBook Pro partitioned into two drives, each running a copy of Mountain Lion. In Partition X, I would like to disable Spotlight from indexing Partition Y. In Partition Y, I want to ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Does Spotlight normally index links in ~/Applications?

I have installed MacVim through homebrew, and this resulted in an alias in ~/Applications that points to /usr/local/Cellar/macvim/7.3-66/MacVim.app. Unfortunately MacVim does not show up in Spotlight ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Why did some applications have to rebuild their database after a Time Machine rollback?

Recently my system (10.8) got totally borked, so I booted into recovery mode and rewrote the entire disk from a two day old Time Machine backup. When I started back up, I found that: Spotlight ...
1
vote
0answers
389 views

Trackpad, mouse will not click. Command+Tab switcher is invisible

I've had this issue come up about four times now on my 15" retina Macbook Pro, running Mac OS X 10.8.4. The trackpad will no longer click — neither right nor left click works. Regardless of whether I ...
0
votes
1answer
921 views

Spotlight constantly indexes MacBook Air (Lion). Takes up 50+% of cpu

So I noticed my Air was running very slow. Opened Activity monitor and noticed a process mdworker taking up most of the space. I googled it and it seems to be related to Spotlight. I opened Spotlight ...
0
votes
0answers
309 views

Spotlight's cache is huge; can I make it smaller?

I forced a Spotlight delete and reindex in Terminal with the command: sudo mdutil -E / Now Spotlight seems to not only constantly index, but also create huge (10+GB) cache files over the course of ...
2
votes
2answers
887 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
929 views

Why doesn't iPhoto show up in Spotlight search results?

Recently I noticed that if I do a Spotlight search (using the Spotlight menu on the menu bar), the iPhoto application is not included in the results. If I open a Finder window to the Applications ...
2
votes
1answer
156 views

Spotlight does not find file

I have the file Rprofile.site in /Macintosh HD/Library/Frameworks/R.framework/ Searching 'Rprofile.site' in Spotlight does not find the file, and I have to manually go to the folder containing the ...
0
votes
2answers
133 views

How to find files not containing comment x?

I try to find all "*.xyz" files in folder x which does not have comment "abc". This code does the opposite. I would prefer to use Spotlight if possible. How i can do this? Thanks do shell script ...
1
vote
1answer
238 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.
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
851 views

How do I use Spotlight to find all MP3 that are encoded at 320 kbps?

In order to save more space on my music collection, I want to use XLD to convert all my CBR (constant bit rate) 320 kbps MP3 to VBR (variable bit rate). How do I use Spotlight to find all 320 kbps ...
1
vote
1answer
418 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. ...
1
vote
2answers
664 views

Using mdfind to evaluate the text content of a specified file?

I would like write an applescript to evaluate whether a particular file contains a specified string (perhaps as part of an if... then statement). I want to invoke a shell command using mdfind to do ...
2
votes
1answer
273 views

Spotlight Doesn't Properly Show Preference Panes

I'm having an issue where Spotlight isn't properly showing results for System Preference panels. When I search for a preference panel by name (e.g. Sharing or Network), I don't get any System ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

How to add folder to Spotlight “do not index”?

Is there any way to programmatically add a folder to Spotlight's "Privacy" tab? Either through Terminal or Applescript? Often I want to click on an item in Spotlight results in Finder, and have that ...
0
votes
1answer
158 views

Finder spotlight tool not “grepping” through all file types?

We've got this development stack that's mostly javascript, and if I'm looking for a variable definition or something I can use Finder's spotlight tool to easily find the file that contains the ...
2
votes
2answers
663 views

Spotlight for currency conversion

I know that Calculator app has ability to convert currencies but is it possible to get this shortcut in Spotlight like that: currency 100 USD to GBP
1
vote
1answer
638 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 ...
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 ...