can't find files that are in folders

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Appletise, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. Appletise macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #1
    why is it many times when l search for partial name of a file or the full name, it doesn't show up even though it is there? Here are two egs as attached. Both are in the trash and when l try to search for the names 'The LIZ & JNY Show - April 1, 2019' or 'tweeting' nothing shows up Screen Shot 2019-04-04 at 01.56.19.png Screen Shot 2019-04-04 at 01.55.46.png Screen Shot 2019-04-04 at 01.57.07.png
     
  2. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    betwixt
    #2
    In this particular case, I'm pretty sure it's because anything in the Trash is no longer indexed. If an item isn't indexed, then it won't be found in searches.

    There's a series of command-lines you can use to observe this loss of indexing for things in the Trash. Ask again if you want me to post the cmds and the explanation.
     
  3. Appletise thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #3
    It seems l can only search for things that are in my mbpr hard drive, not in external drive 'Family 4TB' I tried searching for 'nationwides 17jan19 16v' it can be found on 'This Mac' but not on external drive 'Family 4TB'
    Is there a way to search the external HD?
     

    Attached Files:

  4. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #4
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    OP:

    Forget about Spotlight.

    Here's a small and FREE file/folder search utility:
    EasyFind - download it from this page:
    https://www.devontechnologies.com/apps/freeware

    It can search anywhere on your drive, find invisible stuff, files, folders, etc.

    I highly recommend that you give this a try.
     
  6. Appletise thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #6
    does it work for external drives? as finding things on my mac's HD is fine with spotlight but it seems blind to my external drive
    --- Post Merged, May 6, 2019 ---
    adding and removing, what do l select for the external drive, l think these attachments show my spotlight preferences. l clearly remember it would find files in my external drive, but seems blind now
     

    Attached Files:

  7. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    betwixt
    #7
    Look at the 2nd screen shot in the linked article. It shows you need to select Privacy in the Spotlight pane.
     
  8. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Location:
    on the land line mr. smith.
    #8
    Occasionally spotlight may need to have the index rebuilt. Not uncommon with indexed databases.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    OP wrote:
    "does it work for external drives? as finding things on my mac's HD is fine with spotlight but it seems blind to my external drive"

    Geez.
    Why don't you just TRY what I offered?
    It's ... free.
    Go back and re-read reply 5 above.
     
  10. Appletise thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #10
    hope i'm not appearing obtuse, l selected the privacy tab as in screen shot and tried searching the external drive, and it doesn't work :(
    is this what you meant by selecting privacy in spot light pane ?
    --- Post Merged, May 7, 2019 ---
    how do you rebuild the index for the external drive?
    --- Post Merged, May 7, 2019 ---
    l like to keep it 'organic' just now without having to download things, unless no other choice. l may have to try, thanks
     

    Attached Files:

  11. NoBoMac macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #11
    Or you can do the following from Terminal: mdutil -E /Volumes/myexternaldrivehere
     
  12. chown33, May 7, 2019
    Last edited: May 7, 2019

    chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    betwixt
    #12
    The screenshots you posted at that time don't show the Privacy tab. You won't be able to see or change the privacy setting for a drive unless the Privacy tab is active. So based on what you posted, it seemed like you weren't looking in the right place (Privacy tab), even though that was covered in the linked article.

    Once Privacy is active, a drive with Spotlight disabled should appear in the list. In the most recent screenshot you posted, nothing appears in that list, so nothing has Spotlight disabled. In theory.

    In reality, sometimes Spotlight can be disabled on a drive, and that drive still doesn't appear in Spotlight's Privacy list. When that happens, the first suggestion is to add the drive to the Privacy list, wait a minute, then remove it from the Privacy list. Adding it to the list disables the Spotlight index and search, and removing it from the list tells Spotlight to index and search the drive.

    After removing the drive from the Privacy list, Spotlight should begin indexing the drive. This will take some time. Spotlight may show that it's indexing by displaying an indicator in its menubar status item. Or it may not. The 1st screenshot in the article shows the status display in 2017.

    There's also a heading in the article "Force Spotlight to Re-index a Volume". It was written in 2017, so it may not apply in 2019.
     

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11 April 3, 2019