I have a team of a few Mac users in an organisation of about a thousand PC users, all of whom share an Active Directory shared drive which the Mac users connect to with smb.

There's one folder with a few thousand files in many subfolders that the Mac users need to be able to search. I've tried to index it directly and to mount the folder as a volume then index it, but in both cases the standard way seems to not work with folders.

Indexing the whole drive is not an option - It's insanely huge and already has performance issues. Installing smaller physical drives or partitions isn't an option.

How can I index just one shared folder (and its sub folders)?

I've found some vague allusions to mdimport and mdimport -f instead of mdutil (example) but I can't find any clear info on it.

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure you can index a single folder in quite that way. Indexing starts at drive level…

But how about the other way round?
Tell it to index the drive, then add everything else to Private?
Exclusive rather than inclusive method.

You can do that at the server by adding a file called .metadata_never_index at the top level of each other directory, rather than have to do it at each user's machine from the Spotlight control panel.

  • Interesting idea - might not work in my case though since there are hundreds of folders managed by scores of teams, some of whom might need Mac indexing in future. Jul 7, 2015 at 8:30
  • It may be your only choice, I'm afraid; afaik, there is no inclusive model for what you're after… though I'd be happy to be proven wrong :)
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 7, 2015 at 8:32
  • Is there any way to make a mac treat a folder as a drive? It's easy to do in Windows but my research on Mac so far has only turned up workarounds that don't suit my case (example) Jul 7, 2015 at 8:35
  • It appears to treat the Share Point itself as a drive, at least at user-level, in so much as, you can't cd up from that point - but the Shared sidebar shows the drive itself, so it may not be quite as it appears to the user. I've never needed finer granularity, though, so it's not something i've ever explored, sorry.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 7, 2015 at 8:39
  • This looks promising - superuser.com/questions/390813/… Jul 7, 2015 at 16:20

You must log in to answer this question.

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