Questions tagged [spotlight]

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

128 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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6
votes
0answers
205 views

Does .metadata_never_index work for keeping folders out of Spotlight in Catalina?

In older releases of macOS one could create .metadata_never_index in any folder to prevent it and its children from being indexed. This seems to have stopped working at some point. Does this or ...
6
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0answers
3k views

Fixing “spotlight quit unexpectedly”

On macOS 10.12.6 SIP was disabled (to issue an NVRAM command). Unrelated to that command, but very possibly related to disabled SIP: After a reboot the Spotlight icon is gone, the PreferencePane ...
5
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0answers
98 views

How to delete files from the “Masters” folders of “Photos” library

I am using osX Sierra 10.12.6, and about a year ago, scanned some slides for a friend and for convenience and some quick editing put them temporarily in the "Photos" application, then deleted them. ...
4
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0answers
275 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 ...
4
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0answers
91 views

“Open With” (lsregister) to show apps on system disk (specific disk)

I have a Mac pro with 4 disks, one is for the system (D1) "Open With" takes long time sometimes, and sometimes it shows me apps on other disks (old, backup, other test apps), how I can make OS X to ...
4
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0answers
8k views

Why is SpotlightNetHelp denied file-read-data for root?

I'm getting many of these two similar errors on my console. 10/21/15 11:06:29.737 AM sandboxd[140]: ([368]) SpotlightNetHelp(368) deny file-read-data / 10/21/15 11:07:11.000 AM kernel[0]: ...
3
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0answers
51 views

Mission control + spotlight

I am coming from linux world, using plain gnome. In gnome there is a view very similar to mission control: The main difference is that gnome has a "search" field (which in essence is like Spotlight). ...
3
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0answers
30 views

How can I customize Spotlight so that if a number (or some pattern matching a regex) is typed, I can execute a command or script?

I want to "augment" Spotlight to do things like: If an integer (^\d+$), open a site, example.com/$0. If a UUID (^\d{8}-\d{4}-\d{4}-\d{4}-\d{12}$), open another site. If a string beginning with "user:"...
3
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0answers
1k views

Spotlight: Unknown indexing state

I'm using a late-2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar running macOS 10.13.3. Today, I've been trying to install a Bootcamp partition. Before partitioning and installing Windows, Spotlight worked. However, ...
3
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0answers
104 views

Is there a way to disable the Spotlight hot keys via the terminal?

I am trying to make configuration of a new macOS system as automated as possible. I use Alfred and prefer to use Cmd-Space to trigger the Alfred window instead of the install default of calling off to ...
3
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0answers
588 views

Why is Activity Monitor showing two different memory values for the same process?

In Activity Monitor, I am getting two different values for the same process, mds_stores. The usage was around 4 GB an hour ago in the list and the window. It was high because I was reindexing my ...
3
votes
1answer
416 views

Old 'unknown' versions of applications appearing in Spotlight search results

When I migrated my old Mac to my new one, I copied some applications over from /Applications on the old Mac. Some of these were App Store apps, which I of course had to reinstall from the App Store in ...
3
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0answers
128 views

Spotlight problem

i used any osx from snow leopard to sierra without any problem and specifically i never had problem with spotlight. After last update with sierra i noticed that my mac is too slow so i switched to ...
3
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0answers
844 views

How can I search within .eml files using Spotlight?

I tried searching for terms found on .eml files on my HD using Spotlight, but it never produces results. Is there a way to search within the content of .eml files using Spotlight?
3
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0answers
1k views

Spotlight says it is indexing an external drive, but actually no search

Spotlight says it is indexing: % mdutil -s /Volumes/TOSHIBA\ EXT /Volumes/TOSHIBA EXT: Indexing enabled. There is a .Spotlight-V100 folder: . ├── Store-V2 │   └── BC758E30-9A07-4193-BEE7-...
2
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0answers
17 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?
2
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0answers
113 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 ...
2
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0answers
39 views

Why doesn't Spotlight look inside shell scripts?

I have a bunch of shell scripts (all plain text files) in /usr/local/scripts If I do fgrep -il '@todo' * there are 14 files which match. If I do mdfind -onlyin /usr/local/scripts '@TODO' there are ...
2
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0answers
54 views

OSX Language switch as in windows?

How to make OSX behave the same way as Windows in regards to multiple keyboard languages (drives me crazy)? In Windows, each app starts with default language, unless you have chosen a new language ...
2
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0answers
662 views

Spotlight icon started flickering constantly

I'm running High Sierra 10.13.3 on a 15" rMBP, with Alfred v3.8.2 as my Spotlight alternative. I haven't used Spotlight for years, and I honestly can't remember if the icon was always there or not ...
2
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0answers
887 views

Can't launch JetBrains Toolbox on macOS Mojave 10.14.5

I'm trying to launch the JetBrains Toolbox, but it seems I can't. When I launch via Spotlight search, nothing appears to happen. But when I try to run the launcher manually from the command line, this ...
2
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0answers
188 views

Where does Spotlight keeps the excluded folders

Does Spotlight keeps the privacy excluded folders in some special configuration file ? Those folder are configured under system preferences -> spotlight -> privacy I believe it should be ...
2
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0answers
2k views

How to force Spotlight to import existing index instead of rebuilding (network share)?

I am having trouble to make Spotlight permanently work for network drives on both Sierra and High Sierra. I have a NAS (WD MyCloud, running some proprietary linux, kinda busybox) on my local network....
2
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0answers
208 views

How to properly esca‌​pe spaces in the res‌​ults of mdfind to use them in a for loop

Trying to answer the question Are true dynamic folders (NOT a “Smart Folder” SavedSearch) possible? I stumbled about the problem to loop the results of an mdfind search as quoted or escaped paths. ...
2
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0answers
89 views

Finder search of string erroneously returns no results yet substring correctly returns results

Encountering a really bizarre error on a new iMac (5K, Late 2015) that is running Sierra. There is a folder called "Job applications" in my Documents folder that shows up in a Finder search of This ...
2
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0answers
83 views

CPU freezes after Sierra update

Last night I managed to update to Sierra. Now there is a problem with the OS X speed. I read that there are Spotlight and iPhotos indexing stuff in the background. However, the main CPU usage comes ...
2
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0answers
31 views

My Spotlight opens the Applications folder instead of opening the application

My Spotlight, when I have selected an application, opens the "Applications" folder containing the application, instead of opening the application. I suspect I have a setting somewhere that is set in a ...
2
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0answers
724 views

mds_stores prevents me from ejecting Time Machine disk

I know many people have complained about being unable to eject a Time Machine disk. The usual response I have found online is to download and use "What's Keeping Me?" to find out what process is ...
2
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0answers
857 views

Can't Spotlight search mounted server volume: Unable to perform operation. (-403) Server search enabled

I am trying to get Spotlight to search files on a AFP-mounted NAS on my home network. Per the advice in this question, I run the following command to activate indexing: mdutil /Volumes/name -i on ...
2
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0answers
432 views

Spotlight keyboard shortcut broken

I installed and removed Quicksilver and since that time the keyboard shortcut for Spotlight has not been working. I mean when I press cmd + space it should open spotlight search bar. I've been into ...
2
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0answers
151 views

Spotlight randomly chose Chinese as dictionary language after El Capitan upgrade

After upgrading to El Capitan, suddenly Spotlight dictionary searches only show results in Chinese (I think). I have absolutely no idea why it chose Chinese, as I am not a user of that language. ...
2
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0answers
70 views

Is there any way to enable El Captain Spotlight features in unsupported countries?

I know that Spotlight Suggestions and Natural Language Search are only available in a few countries. How does OS X decides if I am in these countries or not? I switched to US locale and region in ...
2
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0answers
28 views

Why does spotlight incorrectly calculate modular powers?

Spotlight does not calculate the correct result of (31^x) % 35 where x >= 11?. It shows for x=12 while the correct result is 1. How can this be? It works for all smaller powers of 31 modulo 35.
2
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0answers
41 views

On spotlight, typing 'message' autocompletes to Messages but 'messages' goes to Minecraft

That's it. What's going on and how do I fix it?
2
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0answers
191 views

Yosemite: is there a way to put back Spotlight under the magnifying glass?

I would like to get the Spotlight prompt under the magnifying glass positioned in the top right of the screen under the menu bar. Yosemite shows it in the middle of the screen. Is this configurable ...
2
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0answers
278 views

Spotlight not finding .app created with appify

I've used a script called appify described here https://mathiasbynens.be/notes/shell-script-mac-apps to create /Applications/Emacs.app that runs the actual Emacs.app at /usr/local/Cellar/emacs/24.4/...
2
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0answers
126 views

Spotlight always asking if it should reopen already opened xls file

I am a fan of Spotlight and always tend to use it for navigating through my opened apps and docs. However I found out, that when it comes to xls files that are already opened, I get a popup with a ...
2
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0answers
92 views

Can I capture Spotlight input and use it in another process?

I'd like to capture everything I type into Spotlight and use the text as input for a script, possibly a new instance of a Services workflow. From that point of course anything is possible; the most ...
2
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0answers
246 views

Is it possible to remove Web Searches from Spotlight?

when I am searching anything with spotlight a category Web Searches appears at the bottom of the results. Clicking these links Safari opens and would search the web or wikipedia. But I never use these ...
2
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0answers
71 views

Spotlight index only specified folder

I have found ways to disable spotlight indexing for a specific folder. But, how do I do the reverse. I want to disable all indexing enable for just one or two folder I specify. is it possible? How. ...
2
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0answers
270 views

Correct Way to Check if Spotlight Has Indexed a Folder's Contents

Okay, so I've written a script that uses mdfind to more quickly match files, however, I need to find the best way to check whether a target directory is indexed or not, so I can fall back to using ...
2
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0answers
805 views

Spotlight does not index folders or subfolders

After upgrading to OS X 10.9, spotlight only show result for files but not folders. I have checked the preferences and also reindex the parenting folder by adding and removing it to the privacy tab. ...
2
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0answers
592 views

Force Spotlight Comments to be written to .DS_Store

I've come to understand that in order for Spotlight comments to be viewable in the Finder, the extended attributes have to be written to the appropriate .DS_Store file. The problem is, every time I ...
2
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0answers
3k views

Why can't I search files and folders on my external NTFS drive on Mountain Lion?

I have tried to re-index my external drive by removing it from Spotlight's privacy settings and putting it back there. I tried with mdutil in the terminal and I've got the following log: bb:~ bb$ ...
2
votes
1answer
880 views

Why won't my USB drive power down on eject?

I've just upgraded from High Sierra to Mojave. I have a Lacie Porsche USB-C drive that I use for Time Machine backups. In High Sierra when I ejected the drive, it would power off and I could safely ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Weird spotlight issue

For whatever reason, when I launch spotlight, type in "1", "1", "2", spotlight closes automatically. Does anyone else have this issue? Running 10.12.6 (16G1510) on a 2015 Macbook Pro
1
vote
0answers
15 views

Spotlight search on Samba remote servers

I have (3) Linux servers hosted on VMware ESXi 6.7. (2) running CentOS Stream 8 kernel 4.18.0-236.el8.x86_64 with samba-4.12.3-12.el8.3 installed, and (1) running CentOS Core 8 kernel 4.18.0-236.el8....
1
vote
1answer
75 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
167 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

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, ...