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

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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 ...
18
votes
11answers
59k views

How to fix slow Spotlight and Time Machine after upgrading to 10.7.5?

Since updating to 10.7.5 both Spotlight and Time Machine are very slow. To index a normal system drive Spotlight calculates to need several days. As a result Time Machine takes up to an hour or more ...
54
votes
13answers
50k views

How to stop OS X from writing Spotlight and Trash files to memory cards and USB sticks?

When plugging a USB stick into a Mac, OS X creates a number of hidden files on the stick, including a Spotlight index and Trash folder. Example from the terminal for a USB stick "Untitled": $ ls -a ...
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. ...
9
votes
1answer
15k views

Spotlight indexing appears stuck, what can I do?

My Spotlight index got corrupted, preventing me from searching messages in Mail.app. I added my HD to Spotlight's privacy list to delete the index. I then removed it from the privacy list so Spotlight ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I have Spotlight Comments actually get indexed by Spotlight?

I'm running the latest OS X (10.8.1). Yesterday I discovered the Spotlight Comments feature, so I went through many of my Applications and put useful comments in that field. For example, on Music ...
7
votes
5answers
15k views

How Can I Search A Specific Type of File in Mac?

Is there any way to search a specific type of file using Spotlight? I remember there was a special command or something that I had to put in front of the search phrase but I cannot remember it now. ...
11
votes
5answers
14k views

Searching by file name (as opposed to name and contents) in Lion

In earlier versions of OSX, when you search in a Finder window, it gave you the choice of searching by contents or file name. In Lion this choice seems to have disappeared, I can only search by ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How to disable Developer and Web Searches in Spotlight?

Yesterday I upgraded to Lion and it seems it got some additions on Spotlight - the Developer and Web Searches groups. Sadly I couldn't find a way to disable them. There isn't an option in the ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it possible to run commands from spotlight?

I run commands in terminal a lot and i'm wondering if it is possible to run the commands from spotlight. For example in spotlight would like to run the command(because i have a lot of network ...
2
votes
3answers
647 views

Spotlight: Don't Index a Volume

Is it possible to ask Spotlight to not index a volume ?
3
votes
2answers
761 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
8k views

Removing spotlight icon from menu bar persistently

I tried to remove spotlight form the menu bar with the following trick: sudo chmod 600 /System/Library/CoreServices/Search.bundle/Contents/MacOS/Search killall SystemUIServer Unfortunately if I ...
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 ...
10
votes
7answers
3k views

How can I create a Saved Search that excludes a specific folder from the results?

I'm trying to set up a Saved Search of my Mac that will exclude files in a folder called 'XYZ' from the search results. The reason is because I'm getting a ton of false positives from that folder that ...
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How to ensure that spotlight indexes my entire drive?

Spotlight, is a fantastic tool. Took some years, but now I use the command line tools and it's awesome. However today, I found that spotlight does not index /System (!) I'd like spotlight to index ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
9k views

mds and mds_stores constantly consuming cpu

mds and mds_stores are constant CPU consumers even when I think nothing should have changed on the hard drive. activity monitor I have a circa 2009 Macbook Pro. Lots of software installed over the ...
4
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
470 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does my Spotlight index get corrupted?

Recently I have been having an issue where at least once a month my Spotlight index gets corrupted, and I can no longer search the content of mail in Mail.app. I can fix the problem by taking my HD ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

OS X Yosemite spotlight search wikipedia and web content missing

One of the new features in spotlight was supposed to be information from wikipedia, web when anything was searched. However, I don't seem to be getting this information when I search in spotlight. Is ...
4
votes
5answers
339 views

How useful is spotlight?

Personally, I am happy with Spotlight in the sense I just use it for finding something. But, I'm also not happy with Spotlight, as I sometimes feel it slows down my Mac pretty much. Even, I can find ...
3
votes
1answer
360 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
1answer
909 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

How to eject my external drive when my Mac refuses because of Spotlight?

I have plugged an external disk to my Mac. Now, I want to eject it. But my Mac stubbornly refuses and says that an application may be using the disk. I have not launched any app neither opened any ...
2
votes
2answers
607 views

Exclude files from “central metadata store”

I'm fairly familiar with the mdfind utility. I find it's very useful when I can't find a file or when I need to find a file with certain contents. The problem is that I need to exclude some files from ...
2
votes
3answers
484 views

Mac Dictionary improvements

I tend to use the dictionary a lot on the mac. Its annoying to launch the app everytime i need to lookup a word. Are there any other apps/hacks to avoid this annoyance? Spotlight lookup is awesome, ...
2
votes
3answers
528 views

Editing iPhoto-specific metadata

Perpetua:2011-01-16 ashley$ mdls IMAG0107.jpg ... kMDItemComment = "Cat with is tongue out." So, here's my question. xattr can be used to modify some ...
1
vote
2answers
50 views

Applescript to automatically add .noindex extension to a file?

I'm interested in excluding certain files from Spotlight, and it was suggested to add the .noindex extension. I'd like to automate this. How is it possible to do via Applescript?
1
vote
3answers
8k 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.
0
votes
1answer
141 views

How to get old Spotlight Search back for Yosemite?

I do not like Yosemite's default Spotlight search. It is in the middle of screen and I can see very little outputs at once. It is so much helpful when it is full screen. Example of the window ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I make spotlight ignore certain file types and directories?

Since spotlight continuously updates the index, sometime the file precedence gets changed around and I might type in "saf" and press return expecting to get Safari, but instead spotlight attempts to ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

Spotlight in upper right screen corner in Mountain Lion

In the System Preferences panel for Spotlight in OS X 10.8, it claims "Spotlight is located at the top right corner of the screen". On my system, this no longer appears to be true; the Notification ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What is mdflagwriter and why does it eat up so much RAM?

On my Mavericks 10.9.4 instance of mdflagwriter eats up 2.18G of RAM. I know that it's somehow related to Spotlight, but what is it exactly and why is it so RAM-hungry?
3
votes
1answer
465 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

How to exclude certain particular files from Spotlight?

I know that you can exclude entire directories or files with a particular extension from Spotlight. But can I hand-pick files not to be searchable by Spotlight, preferably with a file system flag? I ...
2
votes
1answer
376 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
365 views

Spotlight Woes! Can't search, can't reindex, can't find [closed]

Help! Spotlight stopped working ... if I go to spotlight search (top right), it just hangs. Same with Apple-F in Finder ... it causes Finder to hang for a minute or so. Cannot search. I went to ...
2
votes
3answers
529 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 ...
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
408 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
263 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
359 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
143 views

Can Spotlight show results for disconnected drives?

I have several external hard drives which I would like to search for files with Spotlight. They cannot be all connected at the same time. How can I get Spotlight results for offline external hard ...
1
vote
2answers
1k 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 ...