Finder won't search sub-folders

Discussion in 'macOS' started by GGJstudios, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #1
    This just started happening today.
    • I have a folder on my internal drive (same symptoms with all folders, so it doesn't matter which one).
    • The folder has sub-folders and files (any type of files, so the filetype doesn't matter, but let's use .mp3 files as an example).
    • I type a space in the search window and select to search "folder name", rather than "This Mac".
    • The search results show only the first folder's contents, including the sub-folders in the main folder.
    • The results do not show any files that are in any sub-folders.
    • I've tried various combinations of search terms and criteria, created new folders, restarted Finder, etc.
    • I haven't tried creating a new account (I will, as a last resort, if needed).
    Is there some setting I'm forgetting that enables searching sub-folders? Any other ideas?
     
  2. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #2
    Spotlight is the engine for searching. Perhaps your plist file is corrupt.
    That's com.apple.spotlight.plist
    Found in Users/YourUserName/Library/Preferences
    Move it to the Desktop and try again.
     
  3. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #3
    Spotlight doesn't seem to be finding file names on my external drive. Internal drive doesn't appear to be an issue (10.6.2)

    mt
     
  4. GGJstudios thread starter macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    Thank you for responding! When I tried it this morning, it works again. If the problem pops up again, I'll try the .plist solution.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2409
     
  5. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #5
    Correct me if im wrong but if you tell it to search a folder it does just that. It searches within that folder. Any items in a folder within the folder being searched are technically in another folder (a sub folder) and so wont be searched.
     
  6. GGJstudios thread starter macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    Not true. For example, if I open my music folder, it has hundreds of sub-folders and thousands of .mp3 files. I can search for any term and select "Music" instead of "This Mac" to restrict the search to the Music folder. The search will find any file or sub-folder under the Music folder that matches my search terms. It just wasn't doing that last night. Now it works fine.
     
  7. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #7
    Hmm... your right. :) I never really took notice of it to be honest. I guess how I described it, it would be pretty lame as a search tool. Check your spotlight settings for which folders it is allowed to look in.
     
  8. GoodPoint macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    #8
    Searching Nested Folders for all contents

    How about if I want to select a folder, let's say, "College" and I want to search for ALL files and folders nested within it. The hierarchy may be multiple layers deep. How would I get that result without doing multiple searches on something like each of the vowels. Does Mac accept wildcards?

    In case it is helpful, I'd want to do this for tagging purposes. I can select "College" and then tag everything in it with the word "college" and the name of my school.
     
  9. GGJstudios thread starter macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #9
    You could simply use a space as your search term and it will find all files/folders within any folder you select. Make sure you haven't restricted it to file names.
     
  10. GoodPoint macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    #10
    Thank you

    Not sure why that works since there are no spaces in many of the file names. Still, it does work, so Thank You!
     
  11. GGJstudios thread starter macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    That's because you're not searching file names, but contents.
     

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