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
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.
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
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
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
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!