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

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1
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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 ...
3
votes
0answers
810 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
800 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, ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

iPhone 4/4s Spotlight Search Problem

Spotlight Search on iPhone 4s doesn't show any results. Everything is checked under Settings -> General -> Spotlight Search. Restart doesn't help. New contacts don't appear.
1
vote
1answer
163 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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
181 views

How can I hide the privacy tab from Spotlight.prefpane?

I am using spotlight search on my MacBook, and am excluding a few folders from spotlight search. My problem with Apple's method of excluding the folders is that excluding them actually calls attention ...
11
votes
1answer
6k views

Adding tags to files in OS X: How to use, where are tags stored, and will they work on a network?

I've heard it is possible to add tags to a file's meta data in OS X, and have Spotlight search through such tags. In a nutshell, how would one access this feature in Finder – not Spotlight ...
11
votes
3answers
14k views

How do I disable Spotlight?

How can I disable Spotlight completely on Mac OS X Lion? It's using up a lot of resources and I never really use it, so I want to disable it. The only feature I might want to keep is the icon in the ...
5
votes
2answers
607 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
5answers
2k views

In Spotlight search results, how do I find which folder contains a specific file?

In OSX Spotlight, how do I find in which folder a document is? It used to be that hovering the mouse over the doc would show the folder. I miss that functionality!
4
votes
4answers
9k views

How do I search all hidden files that are in hidden folders using Terminal?

I need to find some configs buried in some hidden folders and can't recall where they are to navigate to them directly Cmd+Shift+G. I did a sudo find -name Foo* (slow), but none of the returned files ...
0
votes
2answers
259 views

Is there a way Spotlight indexes my Skim bookmarks/notes ?

I find Skim is a great pdf file reader and want to spend a great deal of time adding notes and bookmarks to some of the pdf files I have. I know Spotlight indexes pdf files but it doesn't seem to ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

How do so set “date added” metadata in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

The Finder in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion shows a new piece of file metadata, "Date Added," which tracks the date an item was added to a folder. After upgrading to 10.7, none of the items in my ~/Downloads ...
4
votes
1answer
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
461 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
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)? ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I open a file from Spotlight in Finder?

When I search for something e.g. a PDF file, in Spotlight and has i displayed in the search results list. How can I open the file in Finder? If I click on it, the file is opened e.g. in the pdf ...
1
vote
1answer
618 views

How can I enable search by filename in finder on Lion

Before switching to Lion (on Snow leopard) I used to open a directory (like my Downloads) and start searching using the search box at the top right of the finder window for a file and there was an ...
1
vote
1answer
346 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
523 views

How would I restore Spotlight search to my menu bar? (10.7)

For some inexplicable reason, I decided to delete (not hide) Spotlight from my Mac via a terminal command. I downloaded the 10.7.2 update, hoping it would fix this by redownloading Spotlight, but it ...
3
votes
1answer
469 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
232 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
212 views

Spotlight and Alfred can't find Photo Booth

For some reason, neither Spotlight nor Alfred can find the Photo Booth app. The app clearly exists in the Applications folder, and it runs fine, but typing in Photo Booth to Spotlight only returns ...
2
votes
2answers
338 views

How can I alter the spotlight category spreadsheets to include ODS

In Lion, the "All My Files" smart folder in finder is based on spotlight search categories. While I can see how from System Preferences->Spotlight->Search Results I can alter the order of these as ...
1
vote
2answers
492 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
90 views

Can you tweak or customize Spotlight to find first specific files and folders?

For example, I have two folders named Edit but the one I use most frequently, shows up second on Spotlight. Can you anyhow influence the precedence and importance of found files in Spotlight?
0
votes
1answer
136 views

Spotlight can't see renamed label in Lion

Spotlight has an operator, -label, that lets you search for files with a certain color label applied (e.g. Red, Green.) A dropdown auto-populates with label colors when you type the operator into a ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Why would you choose Alfred over Spotlight?

Mac OS X is already loaded with Apple Spotlight, why use Alfred? What does Alfred bring to the table that Spotlight doesn't?
8
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I make Spotlight stop indexing my Backup drive?

I have a 2TB external drive I use for Time Machine. At random intervals, it will decide to spin up and my entire UI freezes until it's finished. This is incredibly annoying. It appears that this is ...
2
votes
3answers
525 views

Changing OS X Spotlight priorities for specific applications

I'd like to fiddle with Spotlight's priorities so that when I enter 'photo', my first returned result is Adobe Photoshop, and not Photo Booth. I understand how to change priorities for or disable ...
6
votes
1answer
615 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
242 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
320 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
116 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

How to create a spotlight search for all files inside a folder?

In Lion, you have All My Files to search everything in your home folder. However, when you activate finder's spotlight, via command + F you can start searching only by first typing something. How can ...
1
vote
1answer
369 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
313 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, ...
3
votes
1answer
124 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). ...
14
votes
7answers
17k views

Spotlight reports “Indexing and searching disabled” in Lion

Lion keeps "losing track" of Spotlight information. Directories and Applications disappear, full text searches stop working, etc. I seem to need to re-index it once a week or so. However, now it ...
3
votes
1answer
511 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
6k views

Can I make a symlink (to a .app folder) in Applications directory show up in spotlight?

I used brew to install MacVim and it put it in /usr/local/Cellar/macvim/7.3-61/MacVim.app I would like to be able to go to spotlight and type MacVim to launch the app. I tried creating a symlink in ...
4
votes
1answer
422 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
2answers
304 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 ...
33
votes
3answers
8k views

How to place Dictionary definitions higher up in spotlight results

I used to use spotlight fairly frequently to quickly look up words in a dictionary. With Lion, I've noticed that my dictionary results have dropped down much lower in the list of results: I'd like ...
1
vote
6answers
335 views

Is there a way for Spotlight or Launchbar or Quicksilver or similar to just return matching folders not files?

I frequently need to just get a finder window up that's a ton of folders deep. There's only so many favorites you can put in the finder sidebar. I'd happily configure a dedicated launcher to just ...
13
votes
7answers
15k views

Why does Spotlight keep reindexing my system after updating to Lion?

Since I installed Lion, the Spotlight database keeps reindexing (which is taking several hours). It does this at least every second day. Are any other users experiencing this problem with Lion (i.e. ...
2
votes
0answers
353 views

How can I integrate custom search app's results to my iPhone's spotlight search? [closed]

Is it possible to extend iOS spotlight's search results to include data from my application? My iOS app has a separate search interface but it would be great if there was a way to provide the results ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Can you get SL “Today” folder behavior in Lion?

Snow Leopard had a default smart folder called "Today". This folder was awesome! All "Open" dialog boxes could easily display all of the files you've worked on "Today" (which are probably the ones you ...
4
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

How long should Lion take to set up Spotlight?

I updated my Mac from Snow Leopard 10.6.8 to Lion. Everything went well. The computer restarted when the OS setup finished. Now, Spotlight setup has been running for more than two hours. Is something ...