Finder won't search sub-folders

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
Original poster
May 16, 2008
44,419
768
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?
 

Gregg2

macrumors 603
May 22, 2008
6,009
470
Milwaukee, WI
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.
 

mysterytramp

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2008
1,334
3
Maryland
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
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
Original poster
May 16, 2008
44,419
768
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.
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.

Spotlight doesn't seem to be finding file names on my external drive. Internal drive doesn't appear to be an issue
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2409
 

MacBoobsPro

macrumors 603
Jan 10, 2006
5,114
6
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.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
Original poster
May 16, 2008
44,419
768
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.
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.
 

MacBoobsPro

macrumors 603
Jan 10, 2006
5,114
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.
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.
 

GoodPoint

macrumors newbie
Jun 8, 2010
7
0
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.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
Original poster
May 16, 2008
44,419
768
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.
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.
 

GoodPoint

macrumors newbie
Jun 8, 2010
7
0
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!
 

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