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 ...
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 ...
126
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 /...
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 ...
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 ...
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. ...
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 ...
41
votes
4answers
10k views

Xcode doesn't show up in spotlight results, neither search results

I haven't noticed exactly when it happened but previously I was always using spotlight to run Xcode. Now if i'm typing "Xcode" in it, only folders containing this name show up, or some xcode projects, ...
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 ...
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?
35
votes
5answers
15k views

Spotlight on Mac doesn't accept keyboard input

Periodically, Spotlight stops responding to keyboard input on my Mac. When this happens, pressing cmd-space brings up the Spotlight search field, but typing search terms has no effect. Characters don'...
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....
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 ...
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 ...
23
votes
3answers
4k views

How do I get a lone missing app to appear in Spotlight searches?

When I enter a string that matches part of the name of an application on Mac, the OS X Spotlight search feature will suggest apps for me to launch. This works for every app except one: Mathematica: ...
23
votes
1answer
5k views

Does Spotlight normally index links in ~/Applications?

I have installed MacVim through homebrew, and this resulted in an alias in ~/Applications that points to /usr/local/Cellar/macvim/7.3-66/MacVim.app. Unfortunately MacVim does not show up in Spotlight ...
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 ...
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 ...
21
votes
4answers
9k views

How to set “date added” metadata in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

The Finder in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion shows a new piece of file metadata, "Date Added," which tracks the date an item was added to a folder. After upgrading to 10.7, none of the items in my ~/Downloads ...
20
votes
1answer
10k views

Why is there a web process active even if Safari isn't opened?

I noticed that even when Safari is closed, many web processes are active, and these processes are active even when I just restarted my Mac. Actually, I noticed that this process is in the Spotlight ...
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 (...
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 ...
19
votes
6answers
47k 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
19k views

Is it possible to switch Spotlight in OS X to using Google?

Spotlight (in Yosemite) has the ability to search the web. However, this only works with Bing. Is it possible to switch it to using Google?
17
votes
1answer
9k views

How do I open a file from Spotlight in Finder?

When I search for something e.g. a PDF file, in Spotlight and has i displayed in the search results list. How can I open the file in Finder? If I click on it, the file is opened e.g. in the pdf reader,...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

How to disable Developer and Web Searches in Spotlight?

Yesterday I upgraded to Lion and it seems it got some additions on Spotlight - the Developer and Web Searches groups. Sadly I couldn't find a way to disable them. There isn't an option in the ...
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 ...
16
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,...
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 ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

Error message com.apple.Safari.History was closed unexpectedly

Since updating to Max OS 10.11.6 this morning I've seen this message several times. It's a bit weird as I never use Safari. I suspect it might be something to do with the AppStore trying to update. ...
15
votes
3answers
5k views

How do I re-center Spotlight search bar (Mac)?

Spotlight search bar is no longer centered, how do I put it back?
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. ...
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):...
14
votes
5answers
7k views

In Spotlight search results, how do I find which folder contains a specific file?

In OSX Spotlight, how do I find in which folder a document is? It used to be that hovering the mouse over the doc would show the folder. I miss that functionality!
14
votes
3answers
22k views

How do I disable Spotlight?

How can I disable Spotlight completely on Mac OS X Lion? It's using up a lot of resources and I never really use it, so I want to disable it. The only feature I might want to keep is the icon in the ...
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 ...
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,...
14
votes
2answers
6k views

Does Spotlight keep a search history?

Occasionally, I use Spotlight to quickly compute some expression because I'm too lazy to do it in my head, on paper, or fire up some program. Sometimes I would like to view the result again, but when ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

why do I have to double tap command + space to open spotlight?

Since I installed High Sierra I sometimes have to double tap Command + Space to open spotlight search bar. This problem is weird because it happens randomly. Say I just double tapped Command + Space, ...
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Prevent spotlight from indexing folders with a certain name

Is there a way to globally ignore folders with a certain name (say node_modules) I know I can do it manually for each instance but I was wondering if its possible to just let spotlight know not to ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I stop Parallels Desktop from listing Apps from a VM available in Spotlight?

I'm trying to stop Windows apps installed on a VM in Parallels from appearing in Spotlight search results on the host Mac. System details: Mac OS: 10.12.6 Parallels Desktop Business Edition Version: ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

How does “Optimize Mac Storage” for iCloud Drive interact with Spotlight and Time Machine?

How does the option “Optimize Mac Storage” for iCloud Drive interact with Spotlight and Time Machine? As far as I understand, the option causes macOS to remove your Mac’s copy of old iCloud Drive ...
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 ...
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 ...
11
votes
6answers
9k views

How to enable searching inside Google Drive/Docs using Spotlight?

Has anyone found/created a working solution for searching inside Google Docs using Spotlight (their contents, not just their names)? Precipitate used to provide this functionality, but unfortunately ...
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
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
24k 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 ...