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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If I have a BIGGEST complaint about Mac, it's Spotlight search. I enter the precise name of the file I'm looking for &, if I'm lucky, I get back a huge list of, say, ~700 completely irrelevant results. Sometimes I put the name in quotes--doesn't help.

If I'm unlucky, I get this! Can't open any of these categories by clicking on them even though I know precisely what kind of file I'm looking for:
Untitled8.png

Maddening, innit? I can't believe Apple screwed search up this badly!

Am I missing something? Am I the only one with this problem?

If I'm just a dumb-ass, please point me in the right direction! Can't even find any third-party apps.

If Google can get this right for a billion webpages, why can't Apple search 1TB?

Any help vastly appreciated.
 

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likely corrupted spotlight database.
Move your whole drive into Privacy
93825


restart the Mac
Move the drive out of privacy and wait while it rebuilds

You can also try a search from the Finder
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
likely corrupted spotlight database.
Move your whole drive into Privacy
View attachment 93825

restart the Mac
Move the drive out of privacy and wait while it rebuilds

You can also try a search from the Finder
Thank you.

Here's what my system prefs for Spotlight look like:
Untitled9.png


I don't know what you mean by 'move the drive out of privacy'. I have NO items under the Privacy tab. Ergo, Spotlight should be searching the entire disk. That's what I want.

* Do I untick all these boxes before I restart or leave them ticked? After restart, will the database rebuild & I can then tick those I want to search? E.g., why search System Prefs?

This has been an issue since day 1 in 2015 and, if i recall correctly, on my 2011 17" MBP, too.

Is it relevant that I DON'T search from the Spotlight box but ONLY in a Finder window search box where one gets to choose?

Is it relevant I don't use Siri? (Poor gal would get as lost in there as I am!)

And how did the Spotlight database get corrupted, anyway?

It would be so cool if I could finally get this issue fixed!
 

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You have to put the drive INTO privacy. ( + tab) That eliminates the corrupt database.

Then restart and take the drive back out of privacy. ( - tab )

The computer will take a few hours to rebuild the database.

Only tick the things you want to search.
 

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Better yet use EasyFind or FindAnyFile for your searches. Spotlight was garbage out of the gate and remains so to this day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've used both those & they really are not much better. Yes, Spotlight sucks!

MacDoc, just to make sure I get this right. In Spolight System Preferences:
1) Untick all boxes under the General tab.
2) Add the disk-name under the Privacy tab.
3) Restart.

Correct?

Thank you!
 

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Just moving your drive to privacy nukes the database.

On restart - remove the drive from Privacy. The Database will start to rebuild.

You can see this by searching for anything in the spotlight app in the window ...it will show the prrogress of the rebuild.

Once complete then choose the categories you want.

I have
Applications
plus
93828
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just moving your drive to privacy nukes the database.

On restart - remove the drive from Privacy. The Database will start to rebuild.

You can see this by searching for anything in the spotlight app in the window ...it will show the prrogress of the rebuild.

Once complete then choose the categories you want.

I have
Applications
plus
View attachment 93828
Followed your directions, I think, to the letter. Added diskname to Privacy tab. Restarted. Deleted diskname from the Privacy tab & selected these in General.

No progress bar was apparent. 8 hours later, there is no progress & Spotlight can't find anything, even precise filenames on my Desktop.

Perhaps I'll be glad to say, "Out, damned Spot..."!

FindAnyFile can't find anything, either. Perhaps it depends upon Spotlight.

EasyFind, however, finds the file instantly.

What think you???

Untitled.png
 

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does your find work in Apple Mail ?

the rebuild progress will show in that top space when you type anything in the find space beside the magnifying glass ) EasyFind generally is quite effective ...with drives speeds these days it all helps.
93832


Spotlight has never been solid but has gotten better. what machine are you using and what is the drive
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
does your find work in Apple Mail ?

the rebuild progress will show in that top space when you type anything in the find space beside the magnifying glass ) EasyFind generally is quite effective ...with drives speeds these days it all helps.
View attachment 93832

Spotlight has never been solid but has gotten better. what machine are you using and what is the drive
2015 MBP 1TB 10.13.6 Don't use Apple Mail! If you know where to locate the Spotlight database file, I'll trash it & restart. See if that works. TIA!

Untitled.png
 

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FindAnyFile can't find anything, either. Perhaps it depends upon Spotlight.

EasyFind, however, finds the file instantly.

What think you???

As for FindAnyFile not finding anything, I would say your Mac must be quite a mess or you are not using it properly, and it does not rely on any Spotlight database, but works on its own.

I thought EasFfind did as well but not 100% sure on that.


- Patrick
=======
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As for FindAnyFile not finding anything, I would say your Mac must be quite a mess or you are not using it properly, and it does not rely on any Spotlight database, but works on its own.

I thought EasFfind did as well but not 100% sure on that.


- Patrick
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Discovered FindAnyFile works fine. EasyFind, nope. What I'd like to do is locate Spotlight's database, trash & delete it, restart & see if that will force Spotlight to rebuild,
 

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What I'd like to do is locate Spotlight's database, trash & delete it, restart & see if that will force Spotlight to rebuild,
Don't bother wasting your time searching, and besides recent macOS versions won't let you see or do anything with it.

If you feel that your Mac's Spotlight needs to re-index itself, just follow the directions from here:

A pretty simple straightforward process.

You may want to check your Finder preferences are set to show All Drives that makes It easier to drag-and-drop the drive into the Exclusion Window.

Word of warning, re-indexing Spotlight can take quite a while and it can also slow down your Mac to a crawl while it is doing so.


- Patrick
=======
 

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Word of warning, re-indexing Spotlight can take quite a while and it can also slow down your Mac to a crawl while it is doing so.


- Patrick
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As in make sure, you are not running on battery power and prefs are set to never sleep. Then go out and treat yourself to a nice dinner. OOPS that is something that is enjoyable so is therefore verböten. Anyways bar-b-que a nice steak, make passionate love to your spouse, then let it run overnight. With any luck by morning it may have waddled through this monumental chore.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
As in make sure, you are not running on battery power and prefs are set to never sleep. Then go out and treat yourself to a nice dinner. OOPS that is something that is enjoyable so is therefore verböten. Anyways bar-b-que a nice steak, make passionate love to your spouse, then let it run overnight. With any luck by morning it may have waddled through this monumental chore.
Jeez, this is going to be hard! I'm a lifelong vegetarian & married for 30 years! Seriously, I followed all the steps in the Apple support page. Sure I can't just find that database in 10.13.6???
 

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I have used EasyFind for ages. Helps to find those invisible files that need to be trashed. Recently tried to find a file by a one-word name that was created three days previously with Spotlight and it was hopeless.
 

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Jeez, this is going to be hard! I'm a lifelong vegetarian & married for 30 years! Seriously, I followed all the steps in the Apple support page. Sure I can't just find that database in 10.13.6???
I cannot understand If you got your spotlight indexing "fixed or not" from your comments, but if you want to go mucking about inside your Mac OS to the point of possibly hosing your Mac, you will find all the Spotlight metadata inside a hidden .Spotlight-V100 folder at the root of the indexed volume.

I have no idea as to why you seem to be so aversive to Apple's method of fixing it, and if you want to delete the Spotlight database, just don't allow it to reindex and leave the particular boot volume In the Spotlight -> System Preferences -> Privacy Tab.

If you want some more information, have a look here or do some Google searching:
Where does Spotlight store its metadata index?


- Patrick
=======
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I cannot understand If you got your spotlight indexing "fixed or not" from your comments, but if you want to go mucking about inside your Mac OS to the point of possibly hosing your Mac, you will find all the Spotlight metadata inside a hidden .Spotlight-V100 folder at the root of the indexed volume.

I have no idea as to why you seem to be so aversive to Apple's method of fixing it, and if you want to delete the Spotlight database, just don't allow it to reindex and leave the particular boot volume In the Spotlight -> System Preferences -> Privacy Tab.

If you want some more information, have a look here or do some Google searching:
Where does Spotlight store its metadata index?


- Patrick
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Okay, I don't want to hose my Mac. But I'm batting zero with Spotlight. There was no progress bar or percentage to indicate it was rebuilding it's database. I'm not aversive. I did it Apple's way & it didn't work!

I don't need to leave the boot volume in the Privacy tab because Spotlight returns zero results!

Won't waste any more time fixing Apple's problem child. Out, damned Spot!
 

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I don't need to leave the boot volume in the Privacy tab because Spotlight returns zero results!

That is exactly what it is supposed to happen If you have the boot volume in Spotlight's Privacy tab.

And I don know how you could manage to "hose your Mac" if you Just follow Apple's directions.

And If it is really not working and not just user input causing any problems, you may have some other areas problems with your Mac y ou might want to check into and get it fixed. It could well be an indication that something else is wrong.

Your choice...


- Patrick
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