Finder not finding files on external hard drive

Discussion in 'macOS' started by leishie, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. leishie macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2010
    Recently the finder application stopped finding certain types of files on an external drive. The external drive (WD 80GB) is recognised and I have access to all files, however, when I search for specific files in the finder window it wont find pdf, txt, doc files. It does find picture files such as jpg. I have tried using the drive on my laptop (snow leopard) and macmini (leopard) and have the same problem.

    Thanks for any advice
  2. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2003
    Is it possible that you have Spotlight set up not to index the external drive?

    System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy

    If the external drive is in that list, Spotlight will not index it, which might mean searching in the finder won't find it
  3. leishie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2010
    I have checked the preferences and its not on the privacy list.

    The finder does find some files on the drive. I thought it was only image files but it appears to be finding all files except those in one folder. Everything appears to be normal under the settings for that folder (ie. its not locked).

  4. cam970 macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2008
    You can search an external drive by changing finder preference options in the advanced tab from search this mac to search the current folder. Worked for me!
  5. lithoart macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2010
    cam970's solution worked for me! I'm sooo happy!

    Go to Preferences for Finder, and then go to Advanced icon.
    On When performing a search:, make sure you select "Search This Mac"

    Worked for me!

    I'm so happy!!! :):):)
    Have been missing this capability for ages.
    And since I used it extensively before, I am extremely pleased to have found this solution.

    Thanks, cam970!

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