Questions tagged [spotlight]

Questions about Spotlight, a system-wide desktop search feature of Apple's OS X and iOS operating system.

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27 views

Absurd finder search results on my mac

I have MS Teams installed on my MacBook pro. So I set to find it and tried using finder. However, I got the following search results: All the initial search results have no similarity in their names ...
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28 views

Spotlight can't open a folder inside ~/Documents/

I use Spotlight to open folders, but quite often the Finder opens on ~/ instead of the folder I was looking for. I realised it happens when I try to reveal a folder which lies in ~/Documents/. ...
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9 views

How to promote dictionary result vs web search in spotlight

When searching for word definitions since Big Sur, spotlight shows safari first How can I make the dictionary result the first result?
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12 views

Spotlight Text file Search - Finding location of the phrase in spotlight preview itself [duplicate]

I'm trying to figure out a solution to this. When I search for a phrase in Spotlight, it shows me the file which contains the search phrase. However my file is around 12000 lines and I was wondering ...
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32 views

Had to disable Spotlight indexing in Catalina to stop mds_stores using over 100% CPU. Surely there's a better way?

I have three Macs of various vintages running 10.15.7, all with the latest updates. My 2019 MBP 16" is the only one that's suffering from mds_stores going nuts and using over 100% CPU. As a ...
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1answer
34 views

Find source of Spotlight Dictionary result

When we look up the meaning of any word through Spotlight: There is no 'source' information. Even the Dictionary.app, which Spotlight uses, does not show the source. The best I can find so far is to ...
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21 views

Big Sur: Time Machine icon in sidebar - constant spinning

New iMac Pro running 11.1 (that is, fresh in every way; new external Time Machine hardware, OWC, RAID 1, APFS). The Time Machine's icon in my sidebar seems to spin for hours - even after TM itself has ...
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1answer
29 views

Can the default View settings for Spotlight “Show all in Finder” be changed?

When doing a Spotlight search (in OSX 10.14.6), I often click on "Show all in Finder" to see more results. The resulting Finder winder is always grouped which is not my default Finder ...
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213 views

How can I make Spotlight preview column always visible?

In previous versions of macOS, Spotlight would show two columns, one with results and the other with a preview of the selected result. In macOS Big Sur Spotlight's default view is one column. In order ...
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1answer
47 views

Spotlight has quit unexpectedly

I am running a flutter application build from the command line. I also have an ios simulator running. I keep getting an error saying "spotlight has quit unexpectedly". Has anyone seen this ...
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32 views

What Does Spotlight Indexing Actually Do?

A similar older question already exists, but even that has no definitive answer. I hope somebody can give a clear explanation and answer with regards to macOS Mojave and above, and my doubts below. I ...
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2answers
129 views

Mail on Big Sur does not reliably find dollar values

As an online shopper, I regularly use Amazon to purchase lots of stuff. When I reconcile my credit card spending, I use Mail.app to search all mailboxes for specific dollar figures (e.g. command-...
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154 views

MacOS limit Spotlight results to .app files

I have already limited Spotlight search to Applications inside System Preferences > Spotlight However, this seems to actually just limit searches to the directory /Applications. It means there are ...
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411 views

How to remove Google Chrome from Spotlight suggestions in macOS Big Sur

Starting Big Sur I have Google Chrome that returns in every possible Spotlight result. This is very annoying because if I do a typo in Spotlight and hit enter then Google Chrome shows up. If I recall ...
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21 views

iCloud Drive file state?

Is there any way to tell (programmatically - not by looking at the Finder) - using either Finder search, Spotlight [mdfind] or some other method - whether a file is solely in iCloud Drive, whether it ...
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1answer
69 views

Force Spotlight to index a hidden directory

Microsoft pwsh stores its artifacts (scripts and modules) in the ~/.local/share/powershell. I've noticed that Spotlight doesn't index the content of this folder. Is there a way to get Spotlight to ...
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298 views

MacOS Big Sur Spotlight

I have a small issue with macOS's spotlight. When I hit command + spacebar, it shows me Spotlights window as usually then I start typing the name of eg. application. Spotlight shows an application but ...
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24 views

Spotlight Recursive Search in Finder

How do I have a recursive search for filetypes in a Finder folder? no AppleScript no Terminal 100% Spotlight Is this possible? Looking for mp3 and jpg file types. I am using El Capitan (macOS 10....
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117 views

Change web search engine for Spotlight

Search the web from Spotlight (⌘ CommandSpace) by entering search text and pressing ⌘ CommandB. The expected result of opening the default web browser (Firefox) and completing the web search occurs. ...
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1answer
33 views

How to enable indexing for this internal HDD?

I have a Mac running Mojave (10.14.6) with a new 2TB internal HDD with an APFS volume (called "Tár"). No matter what I try, I get "Indexing disabled" whenever I try running sudo ...
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62 views

Enable spotlight search on an ExFAT volume

Is there any way to enable Spotlight search on an external exFAT formatted USB drive? I already tried enabling it with mdutil (sudo mdutil -vEs -i /Volumes/USBdrive) but the volume status is always: # ...
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25 views

Update Calculator/Spotlight Currency Conversion

I understand that Spotlight uses Calculator for currency conversion. I noticed that the conversation rate in Spotlight was inaccurate. It was showing the rate from at least 6 months ago. When I tried ...
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1answer
83 views

How to edit “kMDItemXxx” file metadata on macOS?

Today I tried to edit the metadata of a picture file. I used mdls to display them, then looked for a command to edit one. But I couldn't find any. For vanilla metadata, like basic timestamps, touch is ...
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14 views

Spotlight not working properly - only shows new items

I have a MBP (2011) running High Sierra on an internal 2TB SSD. Lots of files, and spotlight worked fine for almost 10 years. Out of sudden, spotlight only listed a few results, it seemed that the ...
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15 views

Sometimes can't see macOS Spotlight, but it still works

I've had this problem for some months, and I've waited to ask in the hopes I might gather more data on it, but this seems to be the most I can discern. I'm running macOS 10.15.6 Catalina on a macBook ...
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1answer
54 views

mail.app shows the wrong date for emails

I have a very long history of emails 30+ years. Some of my old emails are showed with the wrong date in mail.app. Example: These are the headers after anonymizing the data: Received: from speedy....
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20 views

Saved Searches in Finder Don't Work

I tagged all my 3rd Party Applications with a tag called "Third Party" and then did a search in Finder for all applications with this Tag and saved the search. It seemed to work. Then I ...
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1answer
64 views

Is there a way to exclude certain apps from showing in the spotlight/alfred results

I mainly use Alfred to launch various apps and I am kind of annoyed when I am trying to open chrome, the chess app is the first in the results and fibre channel comes up first when I am trying to open ...
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1answer
42 views

How to add files to the Spotlight index?

For some reason, find returns more results than mdfind. How can I make sure these files are added to the Spotlight index? $ find ~/Library -iname "*org.virtualbox.app.VirtualBox*" -prune 2&...
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1answer
58 views

Can't locate /.Spotlight-V100 anywhere, spotlight has incomplete results even after index rebuild

I tried everything I could find on StackExchange and the internet, including the official apple-suggested approach of removing adding and removing the volume to privacy https://support.apple.com/en-us/...
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2answers
97 views

Turning of indexing on Time Machine Volumes

Spotlight is using a lot of CPU on my computer and I am tracking down why it is a problem. I suspect it had something to do with time machine has I have a soft correlation to leaving my time machine ...
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13 views

Why does Spotlight not work when invoking it from the context menu?

I am using Mojave and spotlight works as expected when I call up the spotlight window with the regular shortcut — but when I select a word and try to invoke spotlight by right clicking and selecting '...
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1answer
194 views

Reenable Spotlight

I noticed that spotlight was using a lot of CPU and I did not have time to debug it, so I disabled spotlight with this command: sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple....
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1answer
154 views

macOS Catalina - Spotlight Search Problem with External Hard Drive Mac OS Extended (Journaled)

I have an external hard drive that I am having trouble with in Catalina. The drive mounts properly but Spotlight will not search it. The drive formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and is set up to ...
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1answer
107 views

Spotlight not searching Time Capsule drive, indexing enabled

When using Spotlight search, it is not finding a specific file, which I know is located on my Time Capsule drive, which, of course, is mounted and indexing thereof is enabled. Please, see below ...
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1answer
5k views

Observing what Spotlight's mdworker is indexing for diagnostic purposes

There has been a history of people reporting mdworker processes taking up lots of CPU time on older machines, but apart from vague suggestions to just re-create the entire Spotlight index, I could not ...
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1answer
28 views

How do I search by multiple tags?

I am able give files multiple tags, but I can't figure out a way to search by multiple tags. The current search syntax in Finder/Spotlight is to use the tag:<some_tag_name> query, however trying ...
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0answers
672 views

Odd spotlight reindexing problem. Privacy List Error The item couldn’t be added or removed because of an unknown error

I realized a few days ago that my spotlight wasn't finding any files. It was only giving me dictionary definitions and siri website suggestions. I figured it needed re-indexing so I tried adding the ...
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9 views

How to get ride of 50 GB of other storage on mac when tried everything? [duplicate]

I've tried everything to find and delete these 'other' files: rebuilding spotlight index using ncdu using "professional" disk utility apps like omnidisk disabling/deleting local snapshots ...
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2answers
80 views

Spotlight Search: Show ALL FILES, and exclude ALL FOLDERS

I am looking for a macOS equivalent of the Windows command: type:NOT"file folder" This command, when entered into Windows Explorer search bar, will display all the files of a directory or ...
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1answer
32 views

Is there any app or anyway for mac to search within a video's texts/transcription

This might be a very niche thing, but I have a lot of local and downloaded videos on my Mac that I keep for educational purposes, and was wondering if it's possible to search through the ...
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1answer
50 views

Why history search results are different in Spotlight and in Safari search bar

Sometimes I want to search for a website I visited earlier. So I type a couple of words in Spotlight and nothing useful shows up. When I enter the same words in search bar in Safari I find the result ...
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78 views

Spotlight Search System Error (Spotlight Subsystem CoreParsec : com.apple.parsecd)

I'm seeing a few (4 errors) Spotlight Error Messages in my MacOS System Logs sequentially when I just start spotlight (quick search) without doing any search? Is this related to some problem caused ...
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26 views

Fix Spotlight results nonsense on Catalina

Here's an example, open Spotlight with ⌘+Space, then type: d > dictionary; do > docker; doc > dock; dock > docker; docke > docker; docker > docker. Apart from the fact that it is ...
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1answer
110 views

Catalina (10.15.5) Spotlight calculator CPU spike?

I noticed that I would have insane CPU spikes (400%+) whenever I type in a math equation (even something simple like 1+2) into spotlight. The task that spikes is called mds_stores. Does anyone know if ...
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1answer
118 views

macOS (Catalina 10.15.7) - Save dialog - no way to filter/search

In macOS, the Save dialog window has a search box, seemingly to allow for users to search/filter the output in order to use an existing file/folder name as a template to then modify for the new file/...
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19 views

Is Spotlight Raw Query / mdfind single character wildcard broken?

Despite many attempts I cannot get the single character wildcard to work. I need to match exactly 3letter-3charcaters pattern. It should be simple, yet it doesn't work even in a simplified version: % ...
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2answers
42 views

Is there an app (like Spotlight) that can index external drives and return search results when the drive is not connected?

I have multiple external drives, some with photo, app and video resources, some with client files and some with backup data dating back to 1988. I also have a number of BluRay backup disks with raw ...
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1answer
150 views

Photos folder on external hard drive incessant disk usage for 5 years

My photos collection has way over 500 gigabytes, and when I got a new Mac in 2015, I moved the collection to an external hard drive, and pointed Photos (iphoto by then?) to the external hard drive. So ...
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34 views

What would cause Finder's “Find” (cmd-F) to launch a server connection?

I've seen similar questions about strange server connections, but they didn't apply to this issue. Very specifically, when I hit CommandF, my Mac automatically, and silently, connects to one of my ...

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