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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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Finder search shows 0 results for searches inside user folder

It seems from a bit of research that Finder search is a frequent source of issues for people, and I have tried the standard System Settings and mdutil approaches to rebuild the Spotlight database, but ...
Michael's user avatar
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0 answers
32 views

How to troubleshoot why custom Finder search keeps breaking?

I use macOS 12.7.5. I have a custom Finder search (a .savedSearch) that searches a folder for files matching two criteria, Kind is Music (All) and Composer is Example. I set this up on an older ...
DisplayName's user avatar
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1 vote
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How can I assign a keyboard shortcut to a process to open a Spotlight window and repopulate it specific filter(s) (eg. "Kind" == "Folder")

My current process to search for a specific directory listing uses Spotlight wth filters in a regular Finder window. I add file attribute filters to refine my search to folders only, and sometimes a ...
wide_eyed_pupil's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
44 views

Spotlight not functional

Sonoma 14.4.1 on MacBook Pro M1. Spotlight (cmd+spacebar and from the menubar) cannot find any file. It only finds (sometimes) the apps in the /Applications folder. Correspondingly, search in Mail ...
Maber's user avatar
  • 11
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23 views

Spotlight doesn't activate applications after selecting them

Both of my two Macs have recently suffered from a problem where suddenly Spotlight will no longer open files or applications. For example if you search for the string setting it will show System ...
jacobsa's user avatar
  • 181
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1 answer
36 views

Is there a list of all kMDItemContentType value's - or most common at least?

Does anyone know of such a list? And can you generate a list from the file types on your system? For example: public folders - mdfind 'kMDItemContentType == public.folder' And what about kind, as ...
HankCa's user avatar
  • 133
1 vote
2 answers
117 views

Spotlight indexing turned off, but want to turn it on only for Applications

New Macbook, I've turned off Spotlight indexing because it takes massive loads of processing power for ages. Also because I only use Command+Space for searching apps. Spotlight off: % sudo mdutil -sa /...
mariano-daniel's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
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How to exclude a folder from `find`?

In a MacOS terminal I am trying to find files with the find command and to exclude the folder .Spotlight-V100/ . I tried find . -name .Spotlight-V100/ -prune -o -type f and find . -path .Spotlight-...
Alex's user avatar
  • 2,414
1 vote
1 answer
48 views

Shortcut Input from Spotlight

How can one write a shortcut that receives input from Spotlight search GUI (e.g. command+space)? I'd like to press command+space and type "ticket 12345", then have the shortcut generate the ...
EricB's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
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mdworker running as wrong user (macports instead of _spotlight)

I've just noticed a strange issue on an older (High Sierra) system I've nearly finished setting up – namely I'm seeing mdworker processes running as the user "macports" rather than the user ...
Haravikk's user avatar
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How can I prevent the Spotlight shortcut from being re-enabled?

I use Raycast instead of Spotlight, so I've re-assigned the cmd-space hotkey to Raycast and disabled the shortcut in System Settings > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > Spotlight. Until ...
user448830's user avatar
1 vote
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how can I find with mdfind a file which starts with DZ and ends with .zip [duplicate]

I want to find out with mdfind where on my file system a file is located that starts with DZ and ends with .zip. I tried mdfind -name 'DZ*.zip' but this does not return any results. How can I ask ...
halloleo's user avatar
  • 1,417
2 votes
1 answer
39 views

How many gigs does it take to spotlight index 550 gigs?

I had 450 gigs of free space on my laptop out of a total of 1000 when I asked the spotlight index to compile. After it was done I only had 218 gigs. Seems like a lot to me. Is this normal? I have a ...
bobsmith76's user avatar
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22 views

How to have mdfind search system and library files

I need to write a script for many users to find where some other dependencies maybe installed. I would like to use mdfind for the Mac users to search in their /opt or /usr directories, but it seems ...
thestarsatnight's user avatar
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1 answer
265 views

Search in System Preferences pane stopped working

Since recently, searching in the System Preferences does not work any more on my Macbook Pro M1. When I enter any search string, just nothing happens, as if I hadn't typed in anything. Other users (...
not2savvy's user avatar
  • 1,980
1 vote
0 answers
562 views

Spotlight indexing problem with external SSD in macOS Sonoma 14.2

I have a problem with my Sandisk Extreme external hard drive in exFat format; When using Spotlight it does not find the files, and if it does, there are few results when there are many more on my ...
Diego Rios's user avatar
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41 views

not able to build spotlight index without huge amounts of my harddrive being used [duplicate]

I had to rebuild my spotlight index a long time ago for reasons I have forgotten. The memory on my harddrive dropped from 300 gigs to about 150 gigs and it was losing about 1 gig every 5 minutes. I ...
bobsmith76's user avatar
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0 answers
19 views

Spotlight can't find a jar file—why?

Firefox.app and dimsum.jar are in the same directory.  If I double-click on either, the app launches and it works as expected.  Spotlight finds Firefox.app if I type "fire" but if I type &...
WGroleau's user avatar
  • 5,025
2 votes
1 answer
92 views

macOS Calendar search doesn't work for future events

Spotlight search finds future events, but macOS Calendar search (top right corner search field) does not. How do I fix this?
user3722246's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
133 views

On-Click Shortcut to Open File in Finder

There's plenty of MacOS shortcuts for opening the finder, like Cmd ⌘ O or whatnot, but I'm looking for a shortcut to hold down, and then, on a click, it will open finder to that file's location. ...
Noah's user avatar
  • 123
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0 answers
51 views

How to make SMB mounted volume act like a local volume?

The question is vague and also suggests exactly what I have been trying to do for over a month now. I moved a few external enclosures to a Mac Mini "server" and am connecting to them over ...
John's user avatar
  • 1,071
0 votes
0 answers
46 views

Finder search not working - weird behavior

I have the latest version of macOS Sonoma on my MacBook Air. I have a Word document named Pabrai Books.doc in my Documents folder. I open Finder and start typing the name of the document in the Search ...
Onur's user avatar
  • 1
1 vote
1 answer
65 views

How to free up miscalculating Storage on MacOS that occupies 90GB of my MacOS

I have just reinstalled my MBP on Sonoma but I cannot install any software because of the insufficient storage error. However, the Storage setting shows I still have plenty of space but the Disk ...
rookie_ronny's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
500 views

How to search file contents on iOS?

Is it even possible? Like, for example, list all php files that contain the word “filter”?
Cain Nuke's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
47 views

Sonoma update results in disk bloat [duplicate]

After updating to 14.1.1, something creates 35 GB files in HD/Users/username/Library/Application Support/FileProvider/number/wharf/wharf/propagate. I have turned off OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google ...
RHenryMarks's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
250 views

Finding where program lives

I installed a program yesterday in a mess of terrible installation instructions and I have no idea where it lives. I have files that default to opening that program, but that doesn't tell me where it ...
Finncent Price's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
38 views

How to disable Podcast results from Spotlight

The only way I found is to uncheck "Documents" from "Siri and Spotlight" settings. But I lose results for documents in general. Any tips how to do that with keeping the Documents ...
lzap's user avatar
  • 297
2 votes
2 answers
397 views

macOS 14.1.1 Spotlight crashing

I have a MacBook Pro 13 inch(Intel, 2020, 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports) that is running macOS Sonoma 14.1.1(23B81) and when I press the spotlight icon and try to type anything, the text field disappears, and ...
Charlie's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
87 views

Spotlight on Sonoma gets out of focus

I mostly start my apps via Spotlight. Since the Sonoma update Spotlight seems to be started out of focus and the enter button sometimes has no effect. So what I do is hit Cmd+Space and enter my search....
gernophil's user avatar
  • 349
1 vote
1 answer
31 views

finder search not issuse

I have enabled showing hidden files in Finder and I can see them when viewing containing folder. However, when I search for such files they do not show in the search results. Specifically I was ...
michael mickey's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Spotlight Not Showing Core Applications on macOS Sonoma 14.0: How to Fix?

Title: Spotlight Not Showing Core Applications on macOS Sonoma 14.0: How to Fix? Problem Description: I used to rely on Spotlight to quickly open Core Applications like Finder, Contacts,Photos, and ...
TheRawPerformer's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
243 views

Spotlight: "VolumeConfiguration.plist" missing. Is it required, and how to modify?

I am seeing inconsistency in how Spotlight is working on Shared Volumes and it appears the presence, or lack of, and the content of /Volumes/GodzillaClone/.Spotlight-V100/VolumeConfiguration.plist ...
John's user avatar
  • 1,071
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

When I save a photo in MacOS Messages, where does it go?

In order to save myself from having to convert files from HEIC format, I decided to send the photos from my phone to my computer using Messages. I clicked this icon next to the photos in the MacOS ...
MicroMachine's user avatar
  • 3,914
1 vote
0 answers
65 views

How does mdfind (filename) pattern matching work? Punctuation in the search string gives non-intuitive results

There are multiple ways to use mdfind to find files with a given name; here are two that work in some cases: mdfind -name barfoo mdfind "kMDItemFSName == '*barfoo*'c" The former finds ...
Erik Johnson's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
828 views

Accessing 'Other Users'

When I look at 'About this Mac/Storage' nearly half of my hard disk (120GB) is taken by 'Other Users'. I am the only person using this MacBook (OSX 12.6.5) and I have no memory of creating any other ...
Dan's user avatar
  • 321
1 vote
1 answer
90 views

Spotlight not jumping to app window

New to Mac and if I noticed correctly, an app launched via Spotlight jumps to it/focuses/brings to front even though Spotlight was invoked on another Desktop. It still works in the same Desktop but ...
colonel_claypoo's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
143 views

System Settings in Spotlight in Sonoma

We can use Spotlight to bring up the Bluetooth on/off toggle, for instance. How does one toggle the setting without using a mouse? https://www.macrumors.com/guide/50-new-macos-sonoma-features/#37....
Wojciech Bednarski's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
555 views

Apple Mail: Search and smart folders no longer work

Several weeks ago, Apple Mail on my MacBook Pro M1 running Ventura suddenly no longer showed any e-mails in my smart folders (such as "Today" or "Unread"). Also, Mail's search was ...
fredlcore's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
402 views

How to list the content of a whole drive to keep it searchable when disconnected?

I would like to keep track of what files I have on the external drives where I store everything I do not need to access every day. Still, I would like to have some way to know what drive I should ...
NotationMaster's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
656 views

Thousands of random files (.h, .py, .res, .str, and more) in Finder searches

To preface, I'm not a developer, and I had a MacBook Pro previously for many years which did not do this, which is why I'm looking for a solution. Currently, whenever I search anything in Finder, I am ...
Arv's user avatar
  • 31
0 votes
1 answer
62 views

Unexpected results using info from `mdls` to search via `mdfind`

I wanted to find what program created a dot file. I ran mdls /path/to/file on the file. john@iMacEth ~ % mdls /Users/john/Library/Application\ Support/.lldb_info_3F4AF17D8C kMDItemFSContentChangeDate ...
John's user avatar
  • 1,071
1 vote
1 answer
114 views

Spotlight always 1 Search Behind

Have the strangest issue on my computer. Let's say I go to Spotlight and search "ABC" -- it displays the results from the search I made previous. So now if I reopen Spotlight and search &...
Backstage Apps's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
58 views

Making Finder use embedded JPG thumbnail for preview

I know that macOS has a crippled support of HEIF files, because it can't open those with a bit depth > 8 bits: Why can't Preview Export 16-bit HEIC images? Actually I have 16 bits HEIF files ...
Fabrizio Giudici's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
343 views

Cannot find mail folder

For some reason I cannot find my folder v10 folder where my mails are stored. I wanted to reindex my my mails als client is (again) stuck at "copying messages..." but in my ~/Library/mail ...
Christoph's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
56 views

How can I tell Spotlight to consider RAW files as images

I would like to do a text search on my RAW files. The text search feature works very well with JPG, PNG... but it doesn't consider RAW files as images. Is there a way to add the RAW extension (.ARW in ...
amirhabibi's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
25 views

mds_worker taking forever with Time Machine and Monterey

MacBook Air with Monterey 10.5. After attaching my Time Machine USB drive for my weekly backup, the pure file transfer (a few GB) took less than a minute but afterward mds_worker keeps running for ...
Desperado17's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
221 views

Is there any documentation on the expression language supported by Spotlight calculations?

As most know, you can type mathematical expressions into Spotlight and it will show the result, which you can copy with Cmd-C to paste into other applications. It's mostly intuitive, especially to ...
Barmar's user avatar
  • 1,598
1 vote
1 answer
109 views

What does the & operator do in the spotlight's calculator?

When using the spotlight's calculator function, I noticed that & can be used as an operator. For example: 5 & 4 = 4 5 & 3 = 1 5 & 2 = 0 5 & 1 = 1 My question is what is this ...
roydbt's user avatar
  • 13
0 votes
1 answer
41 views

Spotlight search puts Finder window in background behind other windows

Usually a Spotlight search presents choices, where clicking on one of the items found displays a Finder window with the item. I have probably been using this feature since I converted to Apple in 2009....
Jeffrey Simon's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
199 views

mdutil using a lot of CPU after upgrading to Ventura 13.4.1

I have a new, fairly clean MacBook Air that was running calmly before upgrading to 13.4.1. Just after doing so, my md* processes starting using a lot of cpu. A fresh boot with nothing running but ...
dev's user avatar
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