I have an NAS (which are Synology and ASUS if it matters, the one having issue is ASUS), and say, if I have a file

Public/Lists/List of Tesla movies.txt

Now if I use Finder on Mac with Monterey macOS 12.5, and go to Public and search using Tesla and "filenames containing", it cannot find the file, which is obviously there when I open up the folder Lists.

If I use in the Bash or Zsh command prompt (Terminal):

find /Volumes/Public -iname '*tesla*'

then it'd now find the file. However, I may not go through this step using Bash every time, but take the Finder's search result as the answer. The fact that find can find it but Finder cannot find it suggests it is not the issue with the NAS. So how can I make Finder more reliable and able to find a file by filename?

(I checked the Settings -> Spotlight -> Privacy and that network folder is not part of the "do not index" folder and it never was... and I don't think a pre-built index is used to find files. Besides, I don't know if Finder and Spotlight are related in this search operation).

Update: P.S. the one having issue right now is the ASUS one

  • Did you enable indexing in DSM on the NAS?
    – nohillside
    Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 7:50
  • so the policy is you have to enable DSM or "I will lie to you"? Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 8:27
  • Spotlight uses pre-built index to find files. If results are unexpected Apple Support suggests to rebuild Spotlight index: "If you get unexpected results when searching your Mac, rebuilding the Spotlight index might help." Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 9:06
  • No, it is not lying or unreliable. Finder and Spotlight only search for content in the Spotlight indexes. find scans the file system.
    – Gilby
    Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 9:24
  • @Gilby if the Mac detects that some setting is not set and it needs to search by going through all folders, it is called "insanely reasonable" by Steve Jobs, and if described by a 10 year old, it is called "this is what should be reasonably done". But some adults are saying, "thou shalt not be reasonable" Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 9:51

1 Answer 1


Spotlight needs an index to search in, it doesn‘t index network drives though (technically it can‘t because it‘s not aware of all files changes in a shared network drive). So to enable Spotlight on a NAS you need to run indexing locally on the NAS itself.

How this works depends on the NAS involved. On Synology/DSM there are Universal Search and Indexing Service which can be enabled, for other NAS you may need to consult the manual or check with the vendor.

  • Interesting--has Synology implemented Apple's Spotlight indexing format, or is this actually an open standard? Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 14:06
  • @Wowfunhappy I don't know. synoforum.com/resources/… has the details, enabling Universal Search indexing for the mounted volume (and not just for a subfolder) is key.
    – nohillside
    Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 15:35

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