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  1. #1
    Spotlight vs FAF
    krs's Avatar
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    Spotlight vs FAF
    I recently (in the last several months) found that Spotlight often fails to find a file I'm looking for.
    When I then use Find-Any-File, it finds that file with no problem and also relatively quickly.

    I checked Spotlight in System Preference (running ElCapitan) and all categories are checked - in fact I never touched anything in that window.
    Is it possible that the Mac for some reason decided to stop indexing?
    Is there some way to redo the indexing?

  2. #2
    Spotlight vs FAF
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    You can rebuild the spotlight index for specific folders using these instructions. I would think you can just add your user directory and other normal places you put files to have it re-index them all.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  3. #3
    Spotlight vs FAF
    krs's Avatar
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    Thanks....but now I feel really stupid.

    When I look at the link you posted, even though it clearly says, "How to rebuild the spotlight index", when I follow the instructions I end up adding lacations that Spotlight will be prevented from searching.
    I read the instructions three times.

    What I get is in the screenshot below:
    When I click on the privacy tab, the window that is shown was empty.
    Then using the "+" sign, I added one of the folders I use a lot to save files (CaminoDownloads2) - except the way it reads now, that folder will not be searched by Spotlight.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Spotlight vs FAF
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Then using the "+" sign, I added one of the folders I use a lot to save files (CaminoDownloads2) - except the way it reads now, that folder will not be searched by Spotlight.

    If and when you want to enable Spotlight to reindex that volume/folder, or whatever might be listed there, just delete it/them using the "-" and close the window, and Spotlight will make a new index of whatever it was you just deleted.


    - Patrick
    ======

  5. #5
    Spotlight vs FAF
    krs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
    If and when you want to enable Spotlight to reindex that volume/folder, or whatever might be listed there, just delete it/them using the "-" and close the window, and Spotlight will make a new index of whatever it was you just deleted.


    - Patrick
    ======
    In the window I show in my attachment?
    But there wasn't anything in that window to begin with.

    Under the "Search Results" tab, every item was checked. That was the default setting
    Under the "privacy" tab - where it says "Prevent Spotlight from searching these locations" - there was nothing listed.

    It's not that Spotlight doesn't find anything - I do get results, it's just missing a bunch, lately the file I was looking for.
    First I thought I possibly had deleted the file by mistake, but when I ran FAF, it found these files every time.

    I was thinking I need to re-index the whole drive, not just a folder or two.

  6. #6
    Spotlight vs FAF
    IWT's Avatar
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    Hi krs

    There is a way to do this,

    In the Privacy section you showed, that is where you place things that you do NOT want indexed.

    I have my Mac's HD shown on the Desktop (you can arrange this to be the case in Finder > Preferences > General and select what you want to see on the Desktop).

    I open Spotlight from System Preferences > Spotlight and Select Privacy. I then drag my Macintosh HD into the Privacy window. Leave it there for a few seconds, say, ten, then Click to Highlight the Mac HD then use the minus (-) to remove it.

    This forces Spotlight to re-index the entire Mac's HD. It may take a while.

    I find this necessary if I've added a load of files, photos, documents, music etc.

    It also keeps Spotlight "on its toes".

    Ian
    Ian

  7. #7
    Spotlight vs FAF
    IWT's Avatar
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    As a PS to my post above, I choose to put all my Time Machine and CCC backup Drives in the Privacy section.

    This is a personal choice, of course, but I see no point in getting Spotlight to search them too. It also slows down the search process.

    Just a thought.

    Ian
    Ian

  8. #8
    Spotlight vs FAF
    krs's Avatar
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    @Ian - Thanks for the detailed explanation

    I actually have the Macintosh Hard Drive icon on the desktop and I tried exactly what you are suggesting, but then I stopped because of the message that came up (see attachment)
    Your post made it clearer to me what will happen and I will do that tonight so the Mac can happily index all night long.
    The Apple link that Ashwin posted earlier says the same thing as well and all would have been fine if this message hadn't come up which stopped me dead in my tracks.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by krs; 10-07-2019 at 07:46 AM.

  9. #9
    Spotlight vs FAF
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    That instructions are unintuitive I grant you. But by adding an exclusion and then removing that exclusion, you are basically including it and thus forcing Spotlight to rescan that folder and get you a new index.

    Do the following, open up Activity Monitor and go to the CPU tab and sort by CPU usage. Then in the Spotlight privacy tab, add whatever folder (or the entire HD) to the list. Say OK on the scary warning message, once the folder is added to the list, click on it and hit the (-) to remove it. Switch over to Activity Monitor and you should suddenly see mds_stores, mds, and whole bunch of mdworker_shared processes all come in and go. That's your indication that your entire drive or the folder you added is being reindexed.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  10. #10
    Spotlight vs FAF
    IWT's Avatar
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    @krs

    Thank you for your kind remarks. I can confirm that I have done this many times over the years without any hitch or downside.

    Ian
    Ian

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