Force spotlight to add new files to index?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by shivohum, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. shivohum macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #1
    I'm running Lion on a Macbook Pro. I have an external hard drive attached. Spotlight seems to have indexed some of it. When I add new files, I have no idea when -- if ever -- Spotlight is going to get around to seeing and indexing them. Is there any way to force it to immediately index those new files without reindexing the entire hard drive?

    Or if not, is there an alternative to Spotlight that maintains its own index? I know there is software like Easyfind that will manually search through the entire hard drive for a file, but on a big hard drive it takes forever. I want some utility that will continuously and instantly index any new files added to my hard drive -- at least the file names, I don't need the file contents indexed.

    Any help? Thanks.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    After Spotlight initially indexes a drive, it updates that index with changes as they are made. It doesn't reindex the entire drive when you add new files. If it's not updating fast enough, you can force it to reindex.

    Spotlight: How to re-index folders or volumes

    If that fails to index, enter the following command in Terminal:
    sudo mdutil -i on "/Volumes/your drive name"​
     
  3. shivohum thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #3
    Thanks for the response. The sudo comments seemed to work -- spotlight started to say it was indexing -- but even now, days later, it still doesn't find filenames and folders that I know are there. Any idea what the issue might be?
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    Where are they located?
     
  5. shivohum thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #5
    All over the place. I'll give you an example -- I have a folder entitled "Endagered Species" under a folder named "Books" on my external hard drive. If I type in "Endangered Species" in quotes into Spotlight, it finds another folder on my main hard drive with the same title -- but not the one on the external. This is true with lots of other files and folders on the external hard drive. It just clearly isn't searching that stuff properly (nor is it indexing that drive anymore -- I mean that clicking on the magnifying class does not show an indexing progress bar...).
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    When you forced Spotlight to reindex, did you specify your external drive?
     
  7. shivohum thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #7
    I did indeed. I specified it right in the sudo command. After the Sudo, Spotlight did start saying that it was indexing the external drive. Later in the day, it no longer was. I assumed that it was done indexing it... but maybe not?
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    Indexing can take from several minutes to a few hours, depending on the drive. You might try it again, just to be sure.
     

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