All My Files is often painfully slow, long beach ball spins when I open a new finder window.

The thing is I actually like it... and I'm wondering if perhaps it's because of all my GIT and SVN repos (many of which have 100's of thousands of small files. Last time I full TM backup I had roughly 2 million files.

FYI, this is on a 2011 MBP with a 512GB SSD (Crucial m4) running 10.8.1. Everything else is is super fast, it's just "All My Files" that is painfully slow...

Side note: wondeirng if Spotlight is trying to index all those git/svn files as well... is there a way to tell spotlight to ignore folders by name? (ie. ignore .git everywhere... kind of assuming it already does, just not sure)

  • Does it apply only to file dialogs? Spotlight doesn't index files in folders that start with a period, so they aren't included in All My Files either.
    – Lri
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 7:12
  • I'm only referring to a new finder window, or switching to "All My Files" on an existing finder window. I noticed that other Q and thought it was a different issue, but now thinking it's related, maybe All My Files is just always slow... Thanks for the confirmation that spotlight doesn't index invisible/hidden files, figured but better to know
    – jb510
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 21:13
  • Spotlight does index files in folders that have the hidden attribute set. I can reproduce the issue in the linked question, but All My Files isn't that slow in Finder. Is there anything interesting in the logs? Have you tried erasing the Spotlight index with mdutil -E /?
    – Lri
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 4:52
  • I've deteremined that hiding my repos from spotlight does indeed speed things up tremendously. With them included All My Files reports nearly 500,000 files found, with them out 30,000 files and it open instantly. So the answer I guess is just "yes", but I don't have a fix other than removing the one things I actually WANT indexed. (and FYI, nothing wrong with mds, mdworker, spotlight database, all checked and rebuilt, not errors)
    – jb510
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 21:04
  • I added most of my repos to the sportlight exclude list but did not seen any speacial increase in speat. Still, after 10-30s it does dispay and count 16.000 files, which is not so much.
    – sorin
    Commented Sep 10, 2012 at 13:35

1 Answer 1


It would seem that have too many files in Spotlight does indeed slow down "All My Files" in finder.

It doesn't really matter that the files are in code repos, although repos do tend to have lots of files.

Upon removing my ~/Sites folder from spotlight which contains only 15GB of data, but more than half of the 500,000 files Spotlight was indexing "All my Files" came up nearly instantly again.

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