Documents available in "open recent" but cannot find in finder or spotlight.

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Candida8, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. Candida8 macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2009
    Alberta, Canada
    Hello! I'm new to these forums - and a little bit new to mac (I have had a macbook pro for about a year) - and am looking for some advice.

    Files that I *know* exist are not showing up in spotlight or finder, and I have no idea why, or how to find them.

    Here are the details:

    I recently had an external hard drive quit working. I was able to use time machine backups to save most of my files to a new external hard drive.

    Since the move, when I search for Text Edit and Numbers documents using spotlight or finder, some of the documents are not found. Most documents are found without a problem, but certain ones seem to have disappeared.

    The strange thing is, some of the files I need are listed under "open recent" in the "file" menu for text edit or numbers, and I can open the files from there. Even though it is clear that these files exist, they are not showing up in finder.

    I tried making some edits and saving one of these files, but the file I have saved is not listed in finder (I checked by clicking "today" on the left side of the finder window) and is still not coming up in spotlight. The document does not appear to exist anywhere, even though it is right in front of me. The document can be open or closed, re-opened, re-closed.... and still spotlight and finder are not finding it!

    I have recently made sure spotlight has re-indexed all of my hard drives so I cannot think of a reason why the files aren't showing up. Finder has always worked so well before.

    My main concern is the missing documents that are not listed in the "open recent" menu. I think they must be there somewhere - but how can I find them? And what about the ones that are in this menu? Obviously they are are on my computer - somewhere - but according to finder do not exist.

    Where are the files? How can I find them?

    I appreciate any suggestions you can offer.
  2. matthewscott661 macrumors 6502


    Jun 27, 2009
    If you open the document using the open recent menu, go to save as and see what folder it tries to save to. I just tried with a number of files, and every time I did it, the default save to location was the same folder where the document was located.
    Try this and see if it leads you to where these files are hiding.
  3. revs macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2008
    you can also control click on a document/window title and it shows you the hierarchy of where that document is.
  4. Candida8 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2009
    Alberta, Canada
    Thank you revs and matthewscott661! By using both of your suggestions I was able to find the files I was looking for. They do exist! The missing ones have been found too! :D

    The control-click function revealed a mysterious location listed under Macintosh HD - "Volumes." The name of my broken drive is listed under the Volumes folder, and there are the documents in question, including the missing files.

    What is this "Volumes" folder? How can a no-longer-existent hard drive be listed there and contain most recent documents saved on the drive before it crashed?

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