The default behavior for Spotlight is to start indexing any drive as soon as it’s connected to a Mac, a task that can take a very long time with larger volumes. The problem is that for larger external backup drives and Time Machine volumes, you don’t necessarily want it indexed by Spotlight. This is particularly … Read More
Do you need to rebuild the entire Spotlight index on a Mac? It’s easy to do, but can take a while. Here’s how to start the reindexing process of an entire drive using the Spotlight control panel:
Spotlight is a wonderful feature of Mac OS X that lets you quickly find literally anything on a Mac by search, that includes files, apps, folders, emails, you name it, and Spotlight will find it, but sometimes you don’t want everything to be indexed. Whether that’s an external backup drive, a scratch disk, a directory … Read More
Whether you are disabling Spotlight or just wanting to reduce menubar icon clutter, it’s possible to hide the Spotlight icon. Here’s the best part though; if you just want to hide the Spotlight menu, you can do so without disabling the search abilities from functioning in the Finder or with other apps that rely on … Read More
Completely disabling and reenabling Spotlight in Mac OS X Lion, OS X Mountain Lion, and OS X Mavericks can be done with the help of the Terminal. The following command unloads the Spotlight mds agent from launchd, thereby preventing the daemon from running or indexing any drives entirely. Open up the Terminal (found in /Applications/Utilities/) … Read More
There’s a lot of hooplah in the web world about Google Instant and it’s ability to turn up search results immediately while you type them. Is Google Instant really as new and revolutionary as it’s claimed to be? Yes and no. Yes for the web, and no for computing. You know what other prominent search … Read More
If your Mac is suddenly running sluggish and you launched Activity Monitor, you may notice a process named ‘mds’ cranking away at 30% and even up to 90% CPU utilization. If you see this, don’t worry, it’s not abnormal behavior and your Mac isn’t crashing, it’s just indexing it’s built in search engine. What is … Read More
Do you know you’re looking for a JPEG but don’t want to search every other document type on your Mac? Speed up your search thanks to Spotlight search operators, just type: kind:jpeg filename With this the only documents searched will be jpeg. You can specify just about any kind of document, from pdf, to doc, … Read More
You can easily turn OS X’s wonderful Spotlight search engine into only an application launcher for Mac apps by adjusting the Spotlight search settings that are found within System Preferences.
You can easily adjust the search priorities in Spotlight so that other items are listed first in the OS X Spotlight search results. For example, you could adjust the priorities so that files and documents are listed above apps, or so that images are shown above everything else. There are a ton of options to … Read More
Spotlight is amazing at finding files buried deep within your Mac, but what if you found the file you wanted, and you don’t know what folder it’s contained within on the Mac or it’s buried deep somewhere in OS X? The answer is as easy as a keystroke.
You can quickly access “Get Info” for any file or application from within Spotlight search results in Mac OS X. This requires a set of two simple keystrokes, first to get into Spotlight, then the next is to Get Info on the item in question. Let’s run through how to use these two features together: