Do you need to rebuild the entire Spotlight index on a Mac? This should immediately start the Spotlight indexing process for the drive in question. Spotlight will immediately begin to reindex the drive s you added and then removed from the Privacy list. At any point, you can pull down the Spotlight menu and check the progress:.
The Mac will probably feel sluggish during reindexing as the mdworker and mds processes run and consume a lot of CPU and cause a lot of disk activity. Rebuilding and reindexing Spotlight is an excellent troubleshooting technique when you encounter problems with the Mac search client.
Open Terminal and use the following command string to do so:. Rebuilding a drive index can take a long time, so be prepared to wait whether you do it through the System Preference panel or the command line. Were you able to successfully rebuild your Spotlight index with this approach?
Let us know your experience in the comments. Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:. Your hard drive might be failing, or something running in the Background. It likely has nothing to do with Spotlight if everything is slow and there is no spotlight process in Activity Monitor. Thanks for that.
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Thank you! Would type in a letter or a few letters into a Spotlight Search and then it would crash. Also, searches were coming up short. Followed your process to force re-index. Now I can type in some letters to Spotlight without it crashing. Just waiting to re-index. After reindexing, it will find some, but not all when searching.
This was not a problem until I came back from vacation with my computer sleeping for about 11 days. I followed the instructions i. However, when I keyed in an item to search for, the Spotlight results window appeared together with the indexing progress bar. I closed system preferences, went to Activity Monitor and killed the Spotlight process. Spotlight starts back up again, but now I was able to remove the HD from the privacy list in System Preferences.
So far so good! Man, this is frustrating. I cannot add my external drives, nor can I add my Mac HD.
I have My searchlight used to be so useful and fast, and now I must manually locate old files….Spotlight — Apple's system-wide search engine — was introduced way back in when OS X Our favorite search tool has improved markedly over the past eight years, and it seems to improve with every iteration of OS X.
It's even integrated within iOS. In spite of Spotlight's nimble and highly reliable nature, there can be a number of reasons for causing a raise of one or more eyebrows. You might discover that there are some files and folders that Spotlight can't — or won't — find at all. For example, it will only find the ones you have permission to view and access.
Spotlight also ignores files in the trash, the ones inside zipped archives and disk image.
Time Machine backups are ignored, as are certain System files. There may also be files and folders that you do not want Spotlight to search. Finally, on rare occasions, Spotlight may run into trouble and simply stop producing results. Let's gain a better understanding of Spotlight and learn how to apply a fix if it ever misbehaves.
First things first. Why don't we all get on the same page and understand that Spotlight is designed to let us find all kinds of files, pictures, music, apps, folders, and more on our Macs, and find all these at lightning speeds. Not only can Spotlight find what you're looking for based on searching file names, but also based on the contents of documents and any metadata information about the data associated with the files.
Examples of metadata include date created, file size, tags, Finder comments, camera EXIF data, author and copyright information, and tons more. When you consider the sheer number of files found on a typical Mac, it's The reason that Spotlight works so efficiently — and so fast — is that it creates a special database called the Spotlight Index. Think of it this way: Spotlight keeps track of it "indexes" every single word within the body of your documents as well as the file names and metadata.
Each time you create, edit and save your file, Spotlight is indexing its contents and metadata. By doing so, when you later search for a word or expression, Spotlight consults the index and instantly begin returning results to you, listing the files that contain your search query.
As with any computer file or database, there could be a number of reasons that some sort of file corruption or other problem will cause Spotlight to malfunction, resulting in it not finding what you ask. For example, you could do a search for some very specific text in a document that you are certain is present on the drive. Yet, you notice that Spotlight is unable to find it. You even locate the file manually to verify its existence — and that of the specific text contents.
Unless you explicitly exclude the file from being searched, it's clear that Spotlight's index is damaged and needs fixing. The solution is to rebuild the Spotlight index, and this can be done quite easily. Then, click on the Privacy tab at the top of the panel.Sometimes Spotlight doesn't behave properly, or perhaps doesn't know about files or folders that have just been created. Sometimes, it just forgets about files on external drives. When this happens, you can invoke a hidden feature shown only through the Terminal commands to cause your Spotlight Indexes to be rebuilt on either your Mac or any external drives connected to it.
After pressing enter, you'll be required to enter your password because this command runs as a super user. After you do that, you will notice after a few minutes that when clicking the Spotlight button in the menu bar, Spotlight will show that it is currently indexing your system. When Spotlight is indexing, it is building an extensive file that lets it quickly and easily search your system for just the item that you are looking for. This is why rebuilding the Spotlight index can fix a lot of issues stemming from wrong files showing in searches.
Spotlight can build an index on each drive that is connected to the Mac for better searching on external drives. Fortunately, you can rebuild the Spotlight indexes on these drives as well. To do this, the the following command into the Terminal utility:. In the above command, you can either manually enter the drive name, or type in just the following portion of the command:.
Then drag and drop a drive from the Finder on your Mac into the Terminal window. This will automatically enter the drive path and name for you. After pressing enter, you will once again be required to type in your account password.
Again, Spotlight will begin building the index for the external drive within a few minutes of issuing this command. Let's walk through the process of how to do this. Rebuild Spotlight on any drive Spotlight can build an index on each drive that is connected to the Mac for better searching on external drives. Check out the best Mac tips and tricks. See more how-to articles.The all-round problem fixer for Mac.
So here's a tip for you: Download CleanMyMac to quickly solve some of the issues mentioned in this article. It uses an indexed database of the disks and files on your system to make locating items fast, simple, and effective. Rebuilding the Spotlight index sounds like a big job and it is, for Mac. You can also rebuild the Spotlight index in the Terminal by opening a new Terminal window and entering the following command:. This app comes with a handy Maintenance feature that lets you rebuild the Spotlight index in just a few clicks.
All you should do to reindex Spotlight is to download the app you can do that here for free and launch it. If Spotlight is proving more of a hindrance than a help, you can disable it or set it to stop indexing selected items.
Rebuilding the Spotlight index is a resource-heavy task and your system will perform well below its best during the process. How To. Blog How To News Reviews. Hit Return or Enter to search.
How to Fix Spotlight Indexing in OS X
How to rebuild the Spotlight index on Mac. Darina Stavniychuk. Explaining complex stuff very simply. Passionate about writing. Did you enjoy this post? Subscribe Now. May 24, Updated: January 11, CleanMyMac X. Free Download. Subscribe to know first Our delivery owl will bring you our best deals and news about MacPaw apps. Thanks for signing up!
Spotlight is great for finding stuff on your Mac, and once your learn how to use itcan quickly make short work of any search. But there are a lot of things that can make it go wonky. If any or all of these things are happening, then it might be time to dump your old Spotlight index and start fresh.
To begin, first open the System Preferences and click on Spotlight, or open it from the Apple menu. You may already have items here, but as you see in the following screenshot, ours is empty. Now, drag your hard drive onto the Privacy window. Alternatively, if you want to simply reindex a folder or another volume, you can drag that over instead. Doing this will cause Spotlight to reindex your entire drive and you should now hopefully start receiving accurate search results.
You will be prompted to enter your system password. Hopefully once done, Spotlight will start to return accurate results and your search woes will be a thing of the past. The Best Tech Newsletter Anywhere. Joinsubscribers and get a daily digest of news, comics, trivia, reviews, and more. Windows Mac iPhone Android. Smarthome Office Security Linux.
The Best Tech Newsletter Anywhere Joinsubscribers and get a daily digest of news, geek trivia, and our feature articles. Skip to content. How-To Geek is where you turn when you want experts to explain technology. Since we launched inour articles have been read more than 1 billion times. Want to know more?Spotlight is a super search feature on Mac and it can find anything you ask. Too excessive?
One of core technology from Spotlight is indexing up to metadata in a file. Spotlight will remember that. Such a cool feature. We need our Spotlight. The symptom which often find by users related to this issue is indexing forever. What can we do then? To solve this issue, the idea is: you delete that folder indexing file so that Spotlight can re-indexing from beginning.
For this issue, you need to check what is indexed by Spotlight and if the process keep stuck continuously on that folder, try to delete that folder or the file inside to another folder. Make sure the problematic folder is not related to OS X system.
If the folder related to certain application, you can re-install that application. Spotlight will keep stuck in that folder even though that folder is included to the folder which will not be indexed by Spotlight.
Please suggest another way to find out what folders are being accessed by mdworker process. Do you have any idea why Apple did not set Spotlight and Time Machine at a low background priority instead of at such a high priority that they interfere seriously with normal use of the computer?
The eSim embedded SIM technology is rapidly growing across the world Share Tweet. Nintendo Switch brings Nintendo back in the Spotlight. How to Fix Launchpad Issue on Mac. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Reader November 15, It keeps indexing whatever i do even after deleting the index idea?First of all, make sure that the Outlook for Mac Profile or the Outlook for Mac Identity data is stored under the correct default location and has no special characters on its name.
If the Profile or Identity name contains a special character, then follow the steps in this Microsoft Article to change the name:. Open any Office application such as Word, Excel, or Outlook.
After running the tool, the " Check for Updates " option will be available. Close Outlook for MAC. Open Outlook. Create a new folder inside Outlook e. Inbox-New 3. Select and move all messages to the new created folder.
When the moving is done, move back your messages to the original folder. This process will force Outlook to re-index the emails and they start to appear in the results. Once you done delete the temporary folder. Open the System Preferences and click on Spotlight.
Make sure that Mail Messages is checked under the Search Results tab 3. Then click the Privacy tab. Make Sure that the Outlook Profile or Identity folder or one of its parent folders is not added to the Privacy tab. If so, then remove them, skip the rest steps and try to find something using the Outlook search.
Then Drag and drop the hard drive icon from the desktop into Spotlight. This will remove the current index 6. Finally highlight the hard drive you just added and click the minus button to remove it. This will force Spotlight to create a new index 7. Wait until Spotlight indexing your drive. After indexing restart your computer.
Try to use the Outlook search. If the problem persists:. Restart your MAC. Try to perform a search in Outlook.How to switch back to bash in Terminal on macOS Catalina
If the Spotlight Index is corrupted then the Outlook search may display "No results". At this case you have to re-indexing the Outlook for Mac search database. To do that:. Restart Mac. Type " mdimport -L ". Without closing the 'terminal' window, open Outlook and try the search function.
If you receive results when searching then the problem is resolved. If the Outlook search displays again "No results" then continue below:. Re-indexing will take some time to complete. Once the process is complete, quit and re-launch Outlook. Move the Outlook.