Spotlight keeps indexing

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by tanman405, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. tanman405 macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2014
    For the past several days, I have noticed that every time I open Spotlight, it keeps on indexing my hard drive. I know indexing can take a while, but it seems to be taking days. Even when it seems it's about to finish indexing, it starts over again. I tried to have my Mac build the index from scratch by adding it to and then removing it from the privacy section in the system preferences. This hasn't seemed to work either. I've run first aid on disk utility and the hard drive appears to be in good health. Any ideas on a cause or fix?

    I run the latest version of El Capitan on a 2013 retina macbook pro with a 512 GB SSD.
  2. tanman405 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2014
    After trying a couple possible solutions, Spotlight is still indexing forever. I have even tried deleting the spotlight index file in Terminal in the hopes it would create a new index file without the corruption, but there is still no change. Is it possible there is a file or folder that is causing spotlight to keep indexing? I found something on this webpage that says that's possible, but I didn't understand the author's solution.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    From the time Spotlight was introduced, I had an -intense dislike- of it.
    I did not want it continually mucking with my drives in the background, creating its indexes (that I never used).

    So... I chose to disable it, completely.
    And have happily run that way ever since.

    I don't miss it at all.
    I've found other free search tools that work better:
    - EasyFind
    - Find Any File

    My opinion only.
    Others will disagree.
    Some will disagree vehemently.
  4. jbarley macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2006
    Vancouver Island
    Have you needed or found a search replacement for the Apple mail app which relies on Spotlight?
    I'm forever searching in Mail for application registration codes etc.
  5. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    Turning it off is not a solution. The system uses the index elsewhere, e.g. for Time Machine.

    Does it say anything when you type the following command, while indexing?
    mdutil -s

    Have you connected any external drives? Or network drives?
  6. Fishrrman, Sep 3, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016

    Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    KALLT wrote:
    "Turning it off is not a solution. The system uses the index elsewhere, e.g. for Time Machine."

    It WAS "the solution" for me.

    I don't use, and have never used, Time Machine.
    I don't trust it. I've seen too many postings from others who relied on TM, and then in a moment of need -- it didn't work for them.

    I use CarbonCopyCloner instead.

    Also, re the post about searching in Mail -- never needed that.
  7. pmau macrumors 65816

    Nov 9, 2010
    Somewhere in /Library there are Spotlight Plugins from various third-party Apps you might have.
    When one of these crashes, Spotlight crashes and will be restarted.
    This leads to a loop.
    Google Spotlight Plugin Location and you will probably find enough hints.
    I know, I'm being lazy
  8. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    If you have more than one user, exclude the non-active users' home folders from the Spotlight search.

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