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 search using Spotlight, nothing on the /Users partition is searchable, since it is not indexed.

Trying to use mdutil to start indexing the drive does not work:

## Attempt to enable indexing and flush any existing index
$ mdutil -i on -E /Users
        Indexing and searching disabled.

## Attempting the same as above to all volumes
$ mdutil -i on -E -a
        Indexing enabled. 
        Indexing and searching disabled.

2 Answers 2


Turns out this is due to having the nobrowse mount option set for the affected partition. Removing this option for the partition's /etc/fstab line fixes this issue.

  • You did not name this in the question, did you?
    – Rob
    Apr 8, 2014 at 13:33
  1. Open System settings
  2. Click Spotlight
  3. Click Privacy
  4. Open a finder window and navigate to /Volumes
  5. Drag the harddrive to the available space as you can see on image below
  6. Click the - to remove the disk and it will start indexing again

enter image description here

  • I tried adding and removing the root partition and the /Users partition, and that did not work.
    – andonuts
    Apr 8, 2014 at 12:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .