Mac OS X – Spotlight not finding many files: force a rescan solved it
Posted by jpluimers on 2016/09/23
I was looking for some PDF files that I knew for sure were on my SSD but Spotlight would not find them. Looking for more obvious files I noticed Spotlight was returning hardly any files at all: somehow the index was messed up.
Years ago I also had Spotlight issues; then it would find nothing (now it did find some files) which was solved by a reboot: Spotlight refuses to be enabled on Lion: reboot helped.
Now this was right after a reboot, and because Spotlight did find some files I know Spotlight was turned on (no need for mdutil tricks mentioned inSource: After restoring fresh HDD from Time Machine Backup: No results from Spotlight).
So I dug a bit deeper and decided to try Rebuild the Spotlight index on your Mac – Apple Support with these steps:
- Search for something that returns few results (in my case Xyzzy)
- Go to the
- From the
Finder, drag your disk(s) to the
Prevent Spotlight from searching these locationslist.
- Remove your disk(s) from that lists using the minus (-) button.
- Wait for re-indexing to complete
That worked like a charm: it started indexing again which took about one hour.
After a few minutes though, I found back the
32pfl7404h_12_dfu_nld.pdf I was looking for.