I frequently use the locate command to find files on my machine, but it doesn't index the Dropbox folder. I can't find any way to configure the folder selection. Is there a way to include dropbox in the locate database (locatedb)?

(locate is not enabled by default on mac; you have to run sudo /usr/libexec/locate.updatedb to set it up the first time)

1 Answer 1


Locatedb is controlled by the file /etc/locate.rc. You can add your dropbox path to the line starting with SEARCHPATHS.

  • Thanks, I am trying it. Any idea why the default path, /, is not including Dropbox?
    – keflavich
    Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 10:09
  • 1
    I'm guessing because it's got a special extended attribute - you can see this by doing ls -ld@ ~/Dropbox.
    – Jenny D
    Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 10:40

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