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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1answer
10 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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7 views

macOS (Catalina 10.15.5) - 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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2answers
86 views

Mail app, Flagged count always wrong

I have a problem with the Mail app. It always shows the wrong count after using it for a while. I already reset my spotlight index and also did the "Rebuild" in the app. As an example below, it says "...
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12 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
29 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
27 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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32 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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4answers
18k views

What is spotlight indexing and should I turn it off?

So I want to know what indexing really does, from my understanding it keeps tabs on where all your documents are at. I use spotlight all the time to look for different files or to open programs, and I ...
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0answers
28 views

Reindex all Spotlight database

On MacOS Catalina, I am looking for a way to clean and build a new database for the indexing of Spotlight. For the moment, I have no hidden directory/file Spotlight-V100 into root direction ("/"). ...
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1answer
173 views

In Search/Spotlight, can you exclude files within $HOME/Library?

I am trying to make some Smart Folders to compensate for the woefully useless Recents folder but I am having some problems trying to filter out things I don't want to appear. One of them is excluding ...
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Can't search exact file name, with extension, in Catalina Spotlight

I used to be able to launch Spotlight (command + spacebar) then search for filename.txt, but in Catalina, that no longer works. However, if I search for just the filename that will show some results, ...
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1answer
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MacOS mdfind/mdutil issue and updatedb command : how to index all the files on my /Volume (root /)

A simple question : on Linux, updatedb command which is launched a second time seems not to reindex all the hard disk. On MacOS Catalina (or maybe for previous), it seems that the command sudo /usr/...
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1answer
20 views

3rd party app to perform regex search on Spotlight index

There is no native way to perform a regex search on the Spotlight index as discussed here: Is regex search possible in spoltlight? Is there a 3rd party tool that can do a regex search on the ...
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4answers
6k views

Prevent Spotlight from indexing external drive

Sometimes I use an external drive with macOS on it. This is in conjunction to my current internal drive which also is running macOS. I find it annoying that, whenever I search for something (such as ...
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0answers
239 views

'mdls' does not display all metadata for hidden files

The short man page of 'mdls' gives every indication that it should list all metadata by default. For some reason, I'm only getting a small portion: vima@artemis[~]: mdls .bash_history ...
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22 views

Is regex search possible in spoltlight? [duplicate]

It seems that there is no way to search file content using regex by spotlight. Is it so? Thanks. https://developer.apple.com/library/archive/documentation/Carbon/Conceptual/SpotlightQuery/Concepts/...
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1answer
14 views

Search inside documents with spotlight

For years I had used spotlight to search inside of plain text files and other documents. As of late, Spotlight no longer searches inside documents it appears to only search their titles. Is there any ...
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1answer
23 views

How to launch a Spotlight deeplink from JXA?

Red Hot Timer uses the Spotlight search bar to create new timers. From AppleScript I can run open location "timer://30m" to start the timer. I have tried app = Application.currentApplication(); ...
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2answers
228 views

Find exact string in file contents from Command Line

Is there a way to have mdfind detect an exact string, say "what I look for", in the content of files? I tried all the recipes (double quotes, escaped double quotes etc.) in vain. I'm not interested in ...
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3answers
227 views

Search a folder that is excluded from Spotlight

I have excluded a folder from Spotlight, because this folder has a lot of files so it often fills up the results, no matter what I'm searching for. However, sometimes I still want to search this ...
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6answers
34k views

How do I search all hidden files that are in hidden folders using Terminal?

I need to find some configs buried in some hidden folders and can't recall where they are to navigate to them directly Cmd+Shift+G. I did a sudo find -name Foo* (slow), but none of the returned files ...
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14 views

How use mdfind to search for files without the import error?

mdimport -d2 x.pdf When I run the above command, I got the following output. How to search with mdfind for files without this attribute? ":MD:kMDExtendedImportDictionary" = { "...
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1answer
35 views

How to search for a hidden file in Mac OS?

I need to find a Wine .exe file (winefile.exe) I just installed, but I don`t know where it is, so, besides showing hidden files, I need to find the specific file. Thanks for help.
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1answer
35 views

Auto Swoosh to space on a per app basis

There is a lot of questions and articles about the "When switching to an application, switch to a Space with open windows for the application" under the mission control settings pane (also called "...
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0answers
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How to prevent spotlight from playing youtube videos of youtube URLs that I put into spotlight

When I copy and paste a YouTube video URL into spotlight (cmd-space) it automatically starts playing that YouTube video in a miniaturised web browser embedded in Spotlight. How do I turn off this ...
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10answers
144k views

How to eject my external drive when my Mac refuses because of Spotlight?

I have plugged an external disk to my Mac. Now, I want to eject it. But my Mac stubbornly refuses and says that an application may be using the disk. I have not launched any app neither opened any ...
211
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11answers
283k views

mds and mds_stores constantly consuming cpu

mds and mds_stores are constant CPU consumers even when I think nothing should have changed on the hard drive. Activity Monitor: I have a circa 2009 Macbook Pro. Lots of software installed over the ...
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3answers
2k views

Spotlight is slow in Catalina

This isn't your standard "spotlight is slow" post due to things taking 5 seconds to react. The clue that something is strange is that on Terminal, if I type "mdfind name-of-file" it works in <1 ...
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0answers
17 views

Change a file type's kind? [duplicate]

Files with the extensions .ts show up in finder as the kind "MPEG-2 Transport stream". However I am developer and they are are actually text files, specifically TypeScript. I tried changing the app ...
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0answers
16 views

Is there something like an advanced search in Calender?

Is there something like an advanced search in Calender? E.g., something that would allow me to search within a certain daterange, in specific fields and similar?
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1answer
5k views

mds and lsd going crazy

I have noticed big peaks of activity of processes: mds mds_stores lsd mdworker (multiple processes) The console loops over two messages from mds: LaunchServices: Database mapping failed with result ...
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0answers
9 views

Disable Karabiner complex rule on some keyboard combination

I would like to enable the following rule which sets the spacebar to left shift when pressed together with another key. The problem is that this disables spotlight search (which uses CMD+spacebar). ...
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4answers
32k views

Mail search not finding messages but Spotlight does

When I search for a particular message in Mail.app, using the search field, even when I have the message in sight, Mail cannot find it. But, frustratingly, when I use Spotlight, it is able to find the ...
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5answers
3k views

Spotlight doesn't show applications

Setup I've got a MacBook Air (13-inch, 2017) Problem When I type in the name of an application, Spotlight doesn't show the application. When I do sudo mdutil -E /, It says the following, Error: ...
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13 views

Disabled Spotlight indexing on USB drive and Finder search doesn't work on it

I'm using macOS 10.15.4. I recently disabled Spotlight indexing on an external exFAT formatted USB drive with Tinkertool as it was reindexing every single time I connect it. I thought that disabling ...
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15 views

Tags in Finder Sidebar not showing results

On my NAS I added custom tags to some items via Finder. After I enabled indexing on that volume manually in Terminal, Smart Folders searching for a specific tag in one of the folders now work and also ...
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1answer
3k views

How to disable Spotlight and mds_stores on Mac OS Catalina

EDIT: I appear to have a temporary fix using mdutil - see the end of the post - but I am not sure if it is a permanent fix, so I am still interested in answers. I have an iMac running Mac OS 10.15.4 (...
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0answers
10 views

How to keep spotlight index state of SMB mount?

The mac is connected to the SMB share, has indexing turned on for it and it works fine, but sometimes (I'm guessing on client reconnect) it starts taking ages to display the list of files and folders ...
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0answers
56 views

Spotlight search of iCloud folder on Catalina is slow - is this normal? What can I do to improve?

Here are the details of my issue: Since I'm in an all-Apple ecosystem, I've switched to using the iCloud folders as my "general" sync tool (vs FreeFileSync, which I pay the premium for and use when ...
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0answers
22 views

Install Notes Quick Look extension for Spotlight

I'm on macOS Catalina on an MacBook Pro. Up until recently, I could see previews of Notes app in Spotlight. But now I just get a message saying the Notes quick look extension isn't installed—see ...
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0answers
19 views

Spotlight / mdfind raw query inconsistency or outdated documentation?

I'm just looking for a clue... This is my search (the working one) mdfind -onlyin /base_dir/ "kMDItemKind == '*PDF*' && kMDItemDisplayName != '*daxem*'c && kMDItemDisplayName == '*...
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2answers
139 views

Alfred and Spotlight don't detect VSCode even though I've it on shortcuts

When I installed the VSCode I had added it to dock applications. I am not able to find it/open it with Alfred or Spotlight. I tried to search for: code, VSCode, visual studio code, and nothing. It ...
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0answers
17 views

suggestd taking too much memory overnight on 10.14 Mojave

It's not the first time my Macbook wakes up and I find it very slow because suggestd took 6-10 Gb of memory out of 16. Only kill -9 helps. I have the latest 10.14.6 Mojave. I am not willing to ...
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0answers
16 views

Applications show as <Application>.app instead of <Application> in Alfred & Spotlight

I do not know the actual time or date of the change, but I noticed it today. Example: I use Alfred which now shows "Word.app" instead of "Word". Same goes for Spotlight. EDIT: How do I remove the ....
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3answers
2k views

How do I remove Outlook mail from Spotlight?

I primarily use Mail.app for my Exchange mail account. But I need to keep Outlook around for those rare cases I need it (for instance editing distribution lists on the server). But this makes ...
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2answers
62 views

I made an AppleScript app and Siri won't launch it

I followed iFixit tutorial how to make "AirPods connect" app for Mac. It works perfectly but I cannot run it with Siri. Using Spotlight or clicking on it works, but Siri won't open it and says "I'm ...
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1answer
31 views

Is there a way to add Touch bar controls when using spotlight search?

I never found spotlight useful before, but now I'm thinking if I'd add calculator's controls like the ones in the picture, it'd make spotlight way more useful.
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2answers
65 views

How to display full path to file in spotlight search?

I often use SpotLight to find files in macOS Mojave. However, many times there are multiple files with the same name. Is there a way to display the full path for each file in the spotlight window ...
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0answers
33 views

Spotlight not redindex all the volume : command “sudo mdutil -E /” and failed to find filename

I have laucned one week ago the following command : sudo mddutil -E / to reindex all my volume (from root /). Unfortunately, it seems that mdworker.shared continue to run but I can't explain their ...
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2answers
1k views

Does Time Machine need the Spotlight index?

On OS X, does Time Machine need the index maintained by Spotlight? Will disabling Spotlight completely (via mdutil) affect Time Machine?

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