No Spotlight on NTFS?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by bay2sacto, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. bay2sacto macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2008
    Sorry if this is a newbie ish question...Am I correct, that Spotlight doesn't index NTFS formatted volumes? I have a 1tb external with about 700gb full of apps, media and other data I'd like to be able to search. Am I out of luck?

    Thanks -- Kevin
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    Spotlight relies on getting filesystem update notifications to know what and where to index. NTFS does not generate these so Spotlight will not index NTFS drives (or anything other than HFS+ I think).
  3. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    If you go to the terminal, you will see a hidden directory called .Spotlight-V100 for the index for each drive.

    $ cd /Volumes/[Your Drive]
    $ ls -la

    Mac OS X can't write to NTFS. I didn't know about the filesystem update notifications. Haven't tried a FAT-32 filesystem but it sounds logical.
  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Add-ons are available so that OSx can write to NTFS. However, I don't know if this will help wth spotlight.
  5. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    It doesn't; trust me. :(
  6. yudilks macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2006
    You need to force it to index

    I found the answer here

    Make sure your Mac can write to NTFS, then do this command:

    Type in Terminal:

    sudo mdutil -i on /Volumes/yourdrivename


    sudo mdutil -i on "/Volumes/your drive name"

    This should do the trick just fine...

    Ouh, BTW, your drive name here must be change with an actual name of your drive OK...
  7. Dennis Huiberts macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2009
    Download this and this and you're done! The only downside is that it's not blazing fast writing and copying files from the disk and you have to safely remove the drive each time. If you don't data can be corrupted...

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