Spotlight on OS X isn't finding everything
February 16, 2006 11:42 AM   Subscribe

Something is badly broken in the search on my Mac. It can't find ANY zip or rar files, and it doesn't necessarily find everything matching a given query. E.g. - if I search for "pink", it finds one of 3 Pink Floyd folders and it only finds Pink Floyd tracks within one of those three folders, though a different one than the actualy folder it found! Can/should Spotlight be re-indexed? Are there any hacks to roll back to the old search? Should I just go with a 3rd party search app?
posted by badstone to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
I had a similar problem that I solved by re-indexing Spotlight. The way to force a re-index is kind of non-obvious, but this worked for me:

1. Go into Spotlight Preferences and click "Privacy".
2. Click "+" to add a folder that won't be indexed by Spotlight. Add your home directory.
3. Click "-" and remove your home directory from the list.

This will have the effect of removing the index file for your home directory, and causing Spotlight to rebuild it. You might want to do this before going to bed and let it run all night, since it will slow your machine down significantly while it's re-indexing.
posted by bac at 11:47 AM on February 16, 2006

does the "best answer" mark mean that re-indexing made it all work again? In my trials here, Spotlight didn't find anything based on extension but Finder's find command did.
posted by olecranon at 2:27 PM on February 16, 2006

Dude.... can't find Floyd. I am sooooo sorry! :(
posted by The Deej at 3:26 PM on February 16, 2006

I too am very dissappointed with my search results using Spotlight. I need to be able to search inside html and PHP files. Thank goodness for grep.
posted by Dag Maggot at 5:36 PM on February 16, 2006

no, didn't try actually re-indexing yet, but that was the best answer. :)
posted by badstone at 11:42 AM on February 17, 2006

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