Macbook Pro, 500GB SSD, Yosemite 10.10.3

Is there a way to determine what folder(s) are giving Spotlight grief? Or some other recommendations to fix spotlight?

Spotlight is killing my drive space at 100GB+. I can reset it, but after a day or so I'm right back to zero space free. The actual size jumps up and down, but trends to expand (+2,-1,+2, etc) until the drive is full.

Spotlight, as per

 du -h -d 1 ./.Spotlight*


110G ./.Spotlight-V100/Store-V2

Resetting with

 sudo mdutil -E /Volumes/[DriveName]

Starts over as expected frees up the 110GB, but after number of hours, it's back to a full HD.

  • "Is there a way to determine what folder(s) are giving Spotlight grief?” —> OmniDiskSweeper
    – njboot
    May 29, 2015 at 4:57
  • OmniDiskSweeper won't report on unknown space, nor will it even report on the space used by Spotlight. DaisyDisk is better, but the most definite remains the DU utility...
    – TomB
    Jun 1, 2015 at 18:04
  • ODS reports on all disk space usage - if you think it lacks those features, you aren’t running it properly, or you just don’t know where to look. I have both applications. ODS lacks the color coordinated, sexy looking spherical GUI Daisy Disk has, but in no way is Daisy Disk functionally superior. In fact, not only is ODS free, but it’s actually better than Daisy Disk in terms of reporting accurate disk usage across a full file system hierarchy.
    – njboot
    Jun 2, 2015 at 4:46
  • So this is getting a bit OT (and I'd take this private if I could), but I can not see where ODS does anything other than list basic directories. It won't report on things like spotlight without SU permissions. Even if I run it with SUDO, it does not report free space. What am I missing? Still, DU rocks, I'm good with that.
    – TomB
    Jun 2, 2015 at 14:19

2 Answers 2


It turns out that a driver (DisplayLink in this case) was generating gigs and gigs of rotating logs, and this was being indexed which was generating many more gigs. Finding the offending driver was the hard part.

Remove driver (& ditch the port replicator), re-index, all is well.

  • Good job. May I ask how you isolated the issue ? Console.app ? Jun 2, 2015 at 12:12
  • After much discussion we realized that the ability to search for mail degraded after we installed a port replicator. Not related right? Wrong. Then as this disk space issue came about and mail searches disappeared almost completely, I dug through the application support folder for that device. There I discovered the 30GB or so of logs that were very, very active. Disabling the driver calmed Spotlight down. Problem found. Looking at the vendor site revealed known problems with no solution, so we're ditching the product for an alternative supplier. Mail searching back to normal - whew!
    – TomB
    Jun 2, 2015 at 14:07

An index cannot be that big so something is erroneous. I would monitor mdworker and mds, you should investigate this in Console.app and look for warning/errors (/Applications/Utilities).

Other option would be to turn off indexing, then turn it on and monitor what it does using some sort of verbose/debug mode.

  • -v still does not provide information to where spotlight is spending all it's time and effort, nor is there a way (that I can find) to browse the spotlight index (which should've been able to lead me to the problem)...
    – TomB
    Jun 1, 2015 at 18:01
  • Right, I didn't test this command, apologies Jun 2, 2015 at 12:14

You must log in to answer this question.

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