Search / Spotlight not finding everything.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Garrod, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. Garrod macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2008
    The search option in each Finder window and Spotlight, for some reason, is unable to find every file etc. with the name that I search for. This only seems to be only files (mostly movies files but it does include other apps and suchlike) that I've downloaded in recent times (say, a couple of months or so). I've run Disk Utility and repaired everything but still no use. I even re-installed Leopard and ran software update but still to no avail.

    Any ideas anyone?

    2.16ghz Core 2 Duo iMac 24", 2gb ram.
  2. zachsilvey macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2008
    Battle Ground
    if those files are extremely recent they might not be indexed yet but, it should have no problem if they have been on your computer for a couple months
  3. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Where are these files located? Spotlight doesn't search certain folders.
  4. forafireescape macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2008
    Are all your search options in System Prefs checked? If not, that could be limiting your results.
  5. Garrod thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2008

    Mainly in my Documents, Movies or Pictures folders.
  6. Garrod thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2008
    Sadly, yes they are! It's getting to be a real drag now!
  7. jongriff macrumors member

    May 28, 2003
    I'm having a similar issue. My Spotlight is not finding any files that are located in my "Movies" folder in my Home directory. The folder is not on the exclude list, I have tried adding it and then removing it to force an index and also using terminal to re-index my computer all to no avail. Is there anyone who can shed any light on this anomaly?

    p.s. as far as I can tell all my other files have been indexed
  8. MacGloster macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2008
    Check Owner of the missing files

    After a long search i finally found out, why spotlight does not find files that are definitely on my HDD.

    Open terminal and type SUDO ->type password

    Go to the desired directory where a file is that can not be found

    ls - l
    Shows User and group

    If the user is "_unknown" there is no Metadata (check with mdls <filename> ) in the file the file will not be indexed and thus Spotlight does not find them.

    Even rebuilding the index will not work then.

    Changing the user with "chown" will immediately add the indexing information and Spotlight finds the files.

    B.T.W. if you type ls -l as normal user you will not get "_unknown". Instead the logged in user is displayed (very confusing)

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