SEARCH: Why are Spotlight and Finder results different?

Thor774

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 14, 2007
173
15
Today I was searching for something and found that the results were different depending on how I initiated the search.
I have understood that it did not matter how you initialize a search, the results should be the same because Finder also uses the Spotlight index to power the searches.
The problem is that when I initialize a search from the Finder window I am missing a lot of results compared to what I get when I use Spotlight. There is also a big difference in the way the results are been presented:

SPOTLIGHT: If I select "Show all in Finder..." option my results are presented separated by kind (several separated lists on the window divided by kind) and I get results from a lot of sources including:
- Documents: Excel spreadsheets, Evernote notes, txt files
- Email messages
- Contacts
- Events and reminders
- PDF documents
and others.
For a simple query like the word amanda I get 47 results in total.

FINDER: Using the same query amanda I get only one list of 11 items, not separated by kind. I don't get any results from Evernote, email messages, contacts, events and reminders or Excel files.

Both windows indicate that they are searching on This Mac.

I think that there is something wrong here and appreciate your input about this.

Thanks.
 
Last edited:

!!!

macrumors 6502
Aug 5, 2013
467
445
Today I was searching for something and found that the results were different depending on how I initiated the search.
I have understood that it did not matter how you initialize a search, the results should be the same because Finder also uses the Spotlight index to power the searches.
The problem is that when I initialize a search from the Finder window I am missing a lot of results compared to what I get when I use Spotlight. There is also a big difference in the way the results are been presented:

SPOTLIGHT: If I select "Show all in Finder..." option my results are presented separated by kind (several separated lists on the window divided by kind) and I get results from a lot of sources including:
- Documents: Excel spreadsheets, Evernote notes, txt files
- Email messages
- Contacts
- Events and reminders
- PDF documents
and others.
For a simple query like the word amanda I get 47 results in total.

FINDER: Using the same query amanda I get only one list of 11 items, not separated by kind. I don't get any results from Evernote, email messages, contacts, events and reminders or Excel files.

Both windows indicate that they are searching on This Mac.

I think that there is something wrong here and appreciate your input about this.

Thanks.
Finder only shows individual files and folders. Spotlight shows notes, Safari history & bookmarks, mail, messages, etc.
 

TechThule

macrumors member
Mar 26, 2011
36
8
I can't answer your question, but I found a somewhat different quirky result. Whether I use Finder or Spotlight they neglect to find a document (in Pages '09) that contains the word. Is there a way to refresh the spotlight search index? rMBP OS 10.10.4
It surely should find a file on my Hard Drive that contains a word I am searching for...
 
Last edited:

Thor774

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 14, 2007
173
15
Finder only shows individual files and folders. Spotlight shows notes, Safari history & bookmarks, mail, messages, etc.
Are you sure? I have read on many places that the results should be the same for both.

I can't answer your question, but I found a somewhat different quirky result. Whether I use Finder or Spotlight they neglect to find a document (in Pages '09) that contains the word. Is there a way to refresh the spotlight search index? rMBP OS 10.10.4
It surely should find a file on my Hard Drive that contains a word I am searching for...
I have seen this behavior before. Spotlight does not find everything. The results are not always reliable. When I really need to find something I use Easyfind from Devon Tech. Search in the Mac gets also confused with some combination of letters, specially when the letters come from a language that is not english
 
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