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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196
votes
5answers
83k views

Applications Don't Show Up in Spotlight

Spotlight has stopped showing any results for my Applications. I've tried reindexing and removing the index so it rebuilds it. No change. I've tried adding Applications to the Privacy tab and removing ...
5
votes
4answers
413 views

Weird free spaces estimation

On my MacBook Pro Retina late 2014 running OS X Yosemite, there's something weird going on. If i look at the storage tab in the "About my Mac" menu, I use only 67 gigabytes of storage but it says 151 ...
124
votes
20answers
141k views

How to stop OS X from writing Spotlight and Trash files to memory cards and USB sticks?

When plugging a USB stick into a Mac, OS X creates a number of hidden files on the stick, including a Spotlight index and Trash folder. Example from the terminal for a USB stick "Untitled": $ ls -a /...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I have Spotlight Comments actually get indexed by Spotlight?

I'm running the latest OS X (10.8.1). Yesterday I discovered the Spotlight Comments feature, so I went through many of my Applications and put useful comments in that field. For example, on Music ...
47
votes
8answers
135k views

How Can I Search A Specific Type of File in Mac?

Is there any way to search a specific type of file using Spotlight? I remember there was a special command or something that I had to put in front of the search phrase but I cannot remember it now. ...
96
votes
5answers
29k views

Single application not showing up in Spotlight

I have a strange issue where Matlab stubbornly refuses to appear in Spotlight search results. I'm not sure what information to provide besides the fact it clearly exists in Applications: It even ...
44
votes
9answers
19k views

Can I make a symlink (to a .app folder) in Applications directory show up in spotlight?

I used brew to install MacVim and it put it in /usr/local/Cellar/macvim/7.3-61/MacVim.app I would like to be able to go to spotlight and type MacVim to launch the app. I tried creating a symlink in ...
43
votes
3answers
16k views

How to place Dictionary definitions higher up in spotlight results

I used to use spotlight fairly frequently to quickly look up words in a dictionary. With Lion, I've noticed that my dictionary results have dropped down much lower in the list of results: I'd like ...
21
votes
11answers
71k views

How to fix slow Spotlight and Time Machine after upgrading to 10.7.5?

Since updating to 10.7.5 both Spotlight and Time Machine are very slow. To index a normal system drive Spotlight calculates to need several days. As a result Time Machine takes up to an hour or more ...
22
votes
7answers
9k views

How can I create a Saved Search that excludes a specific folder from the results?

I'm trying to set up a Saved Search of my Mac that will exclude files in a folder called 'XYZ' from the search results. The reason is because I'm getting a ton of false positives from that folder that ...
33
votes
2answers
80k views

Is there a way to show Spotlight indexing status/progress in Yosemite?

In previous versions of OS X, you could click the Spotlight icon in the menu bar to show the status of the Spotlight indexing, and it would show an estimate ("6 hours left"), along with a progress bar....
14
votes
1answer
21k views

Spotlight indexing appears stuck, what can I do?

My Spotlight index got corrupted, preventing me from searching messages in Mail.app. I added my HD to Spotlight's privacy list to delete the index. I then removed it from the privacy list so Spotlight ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I make spotlight ignore certain file types and directories?

Since spotlight continuously updates the index, sometime the file precedence gets changed around and I might type in "saf" and press return expecting to get Safari, but instead spotlight attempts to ...
139
votes
7answers
198k 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 ...
60
votes
5answers
43k views

How do I hide the Spotlight icon on Yosemite, but keep the Spotlight functionality?

I use Spotlight in OS X, and I have long disliked its attachment to the menu bar. Now, in Yosemite, Spotlight shows up as an overlay in the middle of the screen when summoned, much like other ...
32
votes
9answers
39k views

Spotlight reports “Indexing and searching disabled” in Lion

Lion keeps "losing track" of Spotlight information. Directories and Applications disappear, full text searches stop working, etc. I seem to need to re-index it once a week or so. However, now it ...
15
votes
7answers
20k views

Why does Spotlight keep reindexing my system after updating to Lion?

Since I installed Lion, the Spotlight database keeps reindexing (which is taking several hours). It does this at least every second day. Are any other users experiencing this problem with Lion (i.e. ...
14
votes
2answers
93k views

New iOS9 Spotlight search not finding contacts

I've just upgraded to iOS 9, and the new Spotlight search isn't finding contacts for me - it sometimes finds contacts, but not the one I'm searching for. I've turned off every app in Spotlight search,...
16
votes
4answers
7k views

How to programatically add folder to Spotlight “do not index”?

Is there any way to programmatically add a folder to Spotlight's "Privacy" tab? Either through Terminal or Applescript? Often I want to click on an item in Spotlight results in Finder, and have that ...
10
votes
4answers
30k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

How to locate a file in Spotlight using folder and file name?

I often want to navigate to a file or folder that does not have a unique name. Instead, the parent folder in combination with the file or foldern name makes it unique. Here are a few examples: I want ...
2
votes
2answers
17k views

Spotlight doesn't work anymore in OS X Mountain Lion

I can't get Spotlight to search for any documents. When I search the Finder for documents, nothing happens and the Spotlight search through the menu bar only shows up web searches.
15
votes
2answers
25k views

Spotlight borked after macOS Sierra update

Config: Late-2013 rMBP running 10.12 (16A323) Issue: Spotlight appears to be mostly non-functional since upgrading to Sierra. I originally noticed it when searches failed to bring up anything in Mail,...
25
votes
3answers
13k views

How to isolate processes that evoke insane mds_stores disk read activity?

I have an interesting situation where when I monitor my disk activity, I find that mds_store is continually running between 1 to 35 megabytes per second (averaging around 3-5 MB/s) on the read and ...
16
votes
6answers
7k views

How do I make Spotlight stop indexing my Backup drive?

I have a 2TB external drive I use for Time Machine. At random intervals, it will decide to spin up and my entire UI freezes until it's finished. This is incredibly annoying. It appears that this is ...
37
votes
10answers
151k views

Removing news headlines from Spotlight Search in iOS 9

How can I turn off news headlines from Spotlight Search in iOS 9?
19
votes
6answers
46k views

Searching by file name (as opposed to name and contents) in Lion

In earlier versions of OSX, when you search in a Finder window, it gave you the choice of searching by contents or file name. In Lion this choice seems to have disappeared, I can only search by ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

How to search LaTeX -documents in Spotlight?

I have reproduced the problem now also in El Capitan with new components (motherboard, 3x SSD) in my Macbook Air 2013-mid. I have had clean installation of OS X (El Capitan, Yosemite) while doing the ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Spotlight re-indexing takes too long or doesn't work

Issue After forcing Spotlight to reindex, no files or directories can be found. Setup I've got a MacBook Pro 15" 2017 with a 512 GB SSD: 250 GB main volume (36 free) and a BOOTCAMP partition (not ...
15
votes
5answers
14k views

Is it possible to run commands from spotlight?

I run commands in terminal a lot and i'm wondering if it is possible to run the commands from spotlight. For example in spotlight would like to run the command(because i have a lot of network issues):...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How to disable spotlight for Alfred

I use Alfred instead of spotlight but sometimes I accidentally press cmd + space( Spotlight Shortcut ) instead of double shift( Alfred Shortcut ). I want to disable Spotlight( shortcut + not run it in ...
12
votes
1answer
24k views

See progress of Spotlight re-indexing in El Capitan [duplicate]

Other Questions and Answers address how to check the progress of Spotlight rebuilding its index, previous to El Capitan: Click the Spotlight menu. The menu/panel that appears reports a progress bar if ...
4
votes
3answers
30k views

Fully disable Spotlight Search

I would like to know if there is any way to disable Spotlight Search, even when an user goes to Settings -> Spotlight Search, and change the options there. That's mainly because anyone could still ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Spotlight: Don't Index a Volume

Is it possible to ask Spotlight to not index a volume ?
9
votes
2answers
472 views

Spotlight overrides first character

What's wrong: I hit CMD+SPACE to open up spotlight, typically type in the name of the application I want to start, hit enter and either the wrong app or no app at all will start, because the app name ...
3
votes
1answer
646 views

Prevent automatic removal of the Spotlight index due to low disk space

I am guessing that when disk space runs low, it automatically deletes the Spotlight index to make room for virtual memory. Then when space becomes available it reindexes. But I'm not sure about that. ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

How long should Lion take to set up Spotlight?

I updated my Mac from Snow Leopard 10.6.8 to Lion. Everything went well. The computer restarted when the OS setup finished. Now, Spotlight setup has been running for more than two hours. Is something ...
40
votes
8answers
137k 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
12k views

Adding tags to files in OS X: How to use, where are tags stored, and will they work on a network?

I've heard it is possible to add tags to a file's meta data in OS X, and have Spotlight search through such tags. In a nutshell, how would one access this feature in Finder – not Spotlight (...
11
votes
0answers
567 views

Fixing app search in iOS 11 [duplicate]

Since updating to iOS 11, I've lost the ability to surface apps from the swipe-down Spotlight search field. This was my preferred method of launching apps as it was quite a lot more convenient than ...
10
votes
2answers
9k views

Removing spotlight icon from menu bar persistently

I tried to remove spotlight form the menu bar with the following trick: sudo chmod 600 /System/Library/CoreServices/Search.bundle/Contents/MacOS/Search killall SystemUIServer Unfortunately if I ...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

Locating an app by its bundle identifier from the command line

I am looking for a way to find an app's location on the system from the command line using its bundle identifier. I can open it like this: open -b 'com.zerotier.ZeroTierOne' ... where com.zerotier....
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Indexing NAS with “mdutil -i on” with Sierra not working anymore

I used to index my NAS with the command line mdutil -i on. Ok, I know it's not perfect, but it worked for me. But since I updated to macOS Sierra it's not working anymore. If I type mdutil /Volumes/...
19
votes
4answers
6k views

Removing a specific app from spotlight

I use textWrangler for all my text editing needs. I abhor textEdit. The problem comes when I search spotlight if I stop at text and hit enter then textEdit will launch. I want to remove textEdit ...
13
votes
4answers
5k views

Search file duplicates in OSX by hash

I am looking for a way to search for a determinate file in OSX (Maverick but more generally OSX). In particular I would like to do the following: given a File_001 I'd like to search if in the ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does my Spotlight index get corrupted?

Recently I have been having an issue where at least once a month my Spotlight index gets corrupted, and I can no longer search the content of mail in Mail.app. I can fix the problem by taking my HD ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

How to make spotlight index files shared over AFP

I'm sharing a local folder on a 10.8.5 Mac Mini server via AFP. The share is set to allow a certain user group to write to it. When users in this group place files in the directory, they are owned by ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How to ensure that spotlight indexes my entire drive?

Spotlight, is a fantastic tool. Took some years, but now I use the command line tools and it's awesome. However today, I found that spotlight does not index /System (!) I'd like spotlight to index ...
7
votes
2answers
719 views

Count pages in PDF (for non-technical, mac using person)

I have a person who is looking to count pages of her perhaps 2-3000 PDFS. Unfortunately I am away and not sure what to do. She is non-technical. She needs a total count, of all the pdfs, combined (it ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

How to increase size of the Spotlight search results window?

Is it possible to increase window width of the Spotlight search results under Mac OS X 10.6.6? I mean the semi-transparent "instant search result" window appearing at the top right corner under ...