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How to Disable (or Enable) Spotlight in Mac OS X Mavericks & Mountain Lion

Dec 10, 2011 - 73 Comments
Enable Spotlight in OS X Lion

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

Did Apple Inspire Google? Google Instant is Spotlight for the Web

Sep 13, 2010 - 13 Comments
google instant

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

mds – what MDS process is and why it uses CPU on the Mac

Aug 5, 2010 - 32 Comments
mds update

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

Search JPEG only within Spotlight

Jul 30, 2010 - 1 Comment
search jpeg spotlight

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

Turn Spotlight into an Application Launcher Only in Mac OS X

Jul 6, 2010 - 3 Comments
spotlight application launcher

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.

Set Spotlight Search Priorities in Mac OS X

Jun 30, 2010 - 3 Comments
spotlight search priority

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

Open a Containing Folder in Spotlight on Mac by Hold Down Command Key

Jun 10, 2010 - Leave a Comment
spotlight icon

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.

Get Info on Anything from Spotlight in Mac OS X

Mar 3, 2010 - 3 Comments

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:

Use quotation marks with Spotlight to search for a phrase within a document

Jan 15, 2010 - Leave a Comment
spotlight refinements

If you know a phrase that is contained within a document, but can’t remember the document file name, try searching for the phrase that you know appears within the document. Make this phrase search even more precise by putting the phrase itself within quotation marks, for example “all rights reserved” will find all files that … Read More

Improve Spotlight Searches with Search Operators in Mac OS X

Jan 6, 2010 - 12 Comments
apple spotlight operators

If you know some specific attributes of a file, application, or item you are looking for on a Mac, you can use Spotlight Search Operators to dramatically narrow down your returned results in the OS X search feature. For example, if the file type of a document you are looking for is a PDF, you … Read More

Open Finder Windows from Spotlight in OS X with Command+R

Jan 5, 2010 - Leave a Comment
apple spotlight

You can easily open OS X Finder windows containing any search results from the Spotlight menu. After you have entered a search query into Spotlight, highlight the item you want by navigating to it in the search results, and as the desired item to be opened in the Finder is selected, hit Command+R to reveal … Read More

Quickly clear entered text from the Spotlight menu with Command-Delete

Dec 6, 2009 - 4 Comments

You can quickly clear all of the text from the Spotlight menu without closing the window by hitting Command-Delete, I discovered the use in this after my cat walked across my keyboard entering in a lengthy mishmash string of characters. Try it out!

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