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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3
votes
1answer
405 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 ...
1
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1answer
32 views

How to add files to the Spotlight index?

For some reason, find returns more results than mdfind. How can I make sure these files are added to the Spotlight index? $ find ~/Library -iname "*org.virtualbox.app.VirtualBox*" -prune 2&...
18
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4answers
9k 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 ...
0
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1answer
35 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 ...
1
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1answer
47 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 ...
4
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2answers
8k 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 (...
1
vote
1answer
24 views

Can't locate /.Spotlight-V100 anywhere, spotlight has incomplete results even after index rebuild

I tried everything I could find on StackExchange and the internet, including the official apple-suggested approach of removing adding and removing the volume to privacy https://support.apple.com/en-us/...
1
vote
1answer
480 views

Observing what Spotlight's mdworker is indexing for diagnostic purposes

There has been a history of people reporting mdworker processes taking up lots of CPU time on older machines, but apart from vague suggestions to just re-create the entire Spotlight index, I could not ...
0
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1answer
640 views

search Apple Notes -> jump or highlight position where match search term in note

I search all my notes for "fix". Apple Notes shows all notes where "fix" is matched. When I click on one match "19/06/16 Howto fix replicati..." I have problems finding the term fix in this big note ...
1
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1answer
19 views

How do I search by multiple tags?

I am able give files multiple tags, but I can't figure out a way to search by multiple tags. The current search syntax in Finder/Spotlight is to use the tag:<some_tag_name> query, however trying ...
2
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1answer
95 views

Spotlight not searching Time Capsule drive, indexing enabled

When using Spotlight search, it is not finding a specific file, which I know is located on my Time Capsule drive, which, of course, is mounted and indexing thereof is enabled. Please, see below ...
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2answers
35 views

Turning of indexing on Time Machine Volumes

Spotlight is using a lot of CPU on my computer and I am tracking down why it is a problem. I suspect it had something to do with time machine has I have a soft correlation to leaving my time machine ...
0
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1answer
35 views

Reenable Spotlight

I noticed that spotlight was using a lot of CPU and I did not have time to debug it, so I disabled spotlight with this command: sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple....
0
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0answers
13 views

Why does Spotlight not work when invoking it from the context menu?

I am using Mojave and spotlight works as expected when I call up the spotlight window with the regular shortcut — but when I select a word and try to invoke spotlight by right clicking and selecting '...
0
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1answer
65 views

Spotlight not finding folders, files, or apps in High Sierra

I can't be sure it's related but after I turned on File Encryption Spotlight just stopped working on files folders and apps. I tried all the advice I saw in this post on this forum and more, including ...
20
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3answers
5k 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 ...
2
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2answers
41 views

Spotlight Search: Show ALL FILES, and exclude ALL FOLDERS

I am looking for a macOS equivalent of the Windows command: type:NOT"file folder" This command, when entered into Windows Explorer search bar, will display all the files of a directory or ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

How to disable Spotlight indexing when on battery?

Every time I add a few MBss of files to my SD disk, Spotlight starts eating battery (per Activity Monitor Energy Impact) for one to several days indexing them. How can I make indexing to turn off ...
0
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1answer
26 views

Is there any app or anyway for mac to search within a video's texts/transcription

This might be a very niche thing, but I have a lot of local and downloaded videos on my Mac that I keep for educational purposes, and was wondering if it's possible to search through the ...
3
votes
3answers
19k views

Spotlight “Indexing and searching disabled.” message in terminal on OSX. Why?

My spotlight searching hasn't worked for quite some time and I've tried everything I could find on Google. I can't search for anything on my MacBook.. literally nothing shows up. I'll list the things ...
0
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0answers
42 views

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

I have launched one week ago the following command: sudo mdutil -E / to reindex all my volume (from root /). Unfortunately, it seems that mdworker.shared continue to run but I can't explain their ...
0
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1answer
26 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 ....
1
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0answers
72 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 ...
0
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0answers
9 views

How to get ride of 50 GB of other storage on mac when tried everything? [duplicate]

I've tried everything to find and delete these 'other' files: rebuilding spotlight index using ncdu using "professional" disk utility apps like omnidisk disabling/deleting local snapshots ...
228
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13answers
306k 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 with lots of software installed over ...
5
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2answers
2k views

Using Spotlight index on a file share on Server.app

I have a Mac mini server (Server.app 5.0.15 on El Capitan 10.11.2), and that connects to a file share on another Mac mini, also with El Capitan 10.11.2. Spotlight indexes for the file shares are not ...
6
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5answers
19k 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 ...
0
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1answer
22 views

Why history search results are different in Spotlight and in Safari search bar

Sometimes I want to search for a website I visited earlier. So I type a couple of words in Spotlight and nothing useful shows up. When I enter the same words in search bar in Safari I find the result ...
0
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1answer
55 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 ...
0
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0answers
22 views

Spotlight Search System Error (Spotlight Subsystem CoreParsec : com.apple.parsecd)

I'm seeing a few (4 errors) Spotlight Error Messages in my MacOS System Logs sequentially when I just start spotlight (quick search) without doing any search? Is this related to some problem caused ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

How to really exclude Time Machine Backups from Spotlight-indexing?

I try to exclude my TimeMachine-backup-storage from being indexed by spotlight and got some weird behaviour. The backup storage is a Time Capsule. To exclude it, i did the following in terminal: sudo ...
0
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0answers
24 views

Fix Spotlight results nonsense on Catalina

Here's an example, open Spotlight with ⌘+Space, then type: d > dictionary; do > docker; doc > dock; dock > docker; docke > docker; docker > docker. Apart from the fact that it is ...
0
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0answers
8 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/...
1
vote
2answers
261 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 "...
0
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0answers
15 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: % ...
3
votes
2answers
32 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 ...
0
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0answers
34 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 ...
0
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0answers
44 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 ("/"). ...
0
votes
1answer
193 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 ...
1
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0answers
22 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, ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

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/...
1
vote
1answer
24 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 ...
9
votes
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 ...
4
votes
0answers
263 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 ...
0
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0answers
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/...
0
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1answer
17 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 ...
0
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1answer
26 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(); ...
5
votes
2answers
244 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
239 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 ...
10
votes
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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