9 Replies Latest reply: Sep 25, 2013 10:54 AM by Timerider4
mkoza Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi,

I'm having problem understanding mac's search behaviour.

Lets say I'm looking for ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.screensaver.plist file.

I'm in ~/Library/Preferences folder but I look on "My Mac" search results, bucuse I pretend I don't know where my file is.

I hit command+f and specify "name:screensaver.pfile" - no luck

I follow a common advice regarding search and specify to include system files - still no luck.

 

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 12.11.18 AM.jpg

and a proof that the file is there

 

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 12.11.44 AM.jpg

 

What am I doing wrong are there any more exclusions? can I get rid of them?


MacBook Pro with Retina display, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.4)
  • 1. Re: how to trick search/spotlight to search everything (no exclusions)?
    leroydouglas Level 6 Level 6 (13,840 points)

    >System Preferences>Spotlight

     

    Be sure to include System Preference in search results for example.

     

    Check your Privacy tab (same location) for excluded files and folders

     

    re-indexing :  http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2409

  • 2. Re: how to trick search/spotlight to search everything (no exclusions)?
    mkoza Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    no luck as well...

    everything is included and there is nothing in Privacy tab.

     

    But I think the problem is that hidden folders are not being indexed.

     

    I created such a hierarchy:

     

    visibleFolder

    --visibleFile_in_visibleFolder

    --invisibleFile_in_visibleFolder

    invisibleFolder

    --visibleFile_in_invisibleFolder

    --invisibleFile_in_invisibleFolder

     

    now when I search for "name:visible" I get only

    visibleFile_in_visibleFolder

    now when I specify to show also hidden files I get

    visibleFile_in_visibleFolder and

    invisibleFile_in_visibleFolder

     

    is there any way to get also files from invisible folder?

  • 3. Re: how to trick search/spotlight to search everything (no exclusions)?
    Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8 (35,275 points)

    There is also a File Visibility criteria, but that wouldn't prevent you from finding the plist you are referencing because it is not invisible. The enclosing folder, ~/Library is, though.

    Screen Shot 2013-08-18 at 8.42.18 PM.png

    My guess is that your Spotligh Index is incomplete or corrupt. You can reindex the hard drive by adding it to the Privacy list, then removing it. You should see it start indexing.

  • 4. Re: how to trick search/spotlight to search everything (no exclusions)?
    FatMac>MacPro Level 4 Level 4 (2,380 points)

    mkoza wrote:


    ...What am I doing wrong are there any more exclusions? can I get rid of them?

    An easier way is to use EasyFInd from the App Store. It searches everywhere, including Resources in Packages in applications and in Frameworks. What it finds you can reveal in Finder. It does it in real time and is very fast, especially with an SSD. And you don't have to create inclusions and exclusions. It just won't search within files. It doesn't use an index, so it doesn't start indexing things at inconvenient times and doesn't get corrupted.

     

    If you remember FastFind from Classic Mac days, it's like that.

  • 5. Re: how to trick search/spotlight to search everything (no exclusions)?
    Jeffrey Jones2 Level 6 Level 6 (8,510 points)

    Items in the Library are considered "System" files. Add the criterion System files - are included.

  • 6. Re: how to trick search/spotlight to search everything (no exclusions)?
    mkoza Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    @Barney-15E

    wow you really see it...

    Is your Library dir hidden as well? What OS version do you have? maybe they changed something...

    Could you check what is the value of PolicyLevel in your /.Spotlight-V100/VolumeConfiguration.plist?

     

    I was almost sure that it simply ommits hidden dirs, but I made reindexing the way you suggested (and also with mdimport -r ~/Library/Preferences and mdutil -E /) - it was indexing quite a while. Now I can see the files from my test hidden folder so it is not that.

    However my com.apple.screensaver.plist is still unfindable

    Is there any way to check if the index is corrupted or not? I found some tip that the indexer job would consume a lot of processor then but this is not the case in my case

     

     

    @FatMac\>MacPro

    thanks for the sggestion EasyFind looks promising (and it has the location column!!!! ), but it would be nicer to have spotlight working predictably....

     

    @Jeffrey:

    I'm affraid you didn't really read my question....

  • 7. Re: how to trick search/spotlight to search everything (no exclusions)?
    lkrupp Level 4 Level 4 (3,135 points)

    My personal solution was to use the free untilty EasyFind for tracking down system files and such. Spotlight is what it is and is useful for what it was designed for. Why try to force it to do something it wasn't designed to do?

  • 8. Re: how to trick search/spotlight to search everything (no exclusions)?
    Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (115,665 points)

    Try Find Any File.  It can search areas that Spotlight can't: system files, packages, invisible folders, etc.  It just can't search for content of files like Spotlight can.

     

    OT

  • 9. Re: how to trick search/spotlight to search everything (no exclusions)?
    Timerider4 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry for bumping a month old topic but I was wondering if there's any way to get the "System files are included" rule to be on by default instead of having to add it every time I open a new search window.

    And if there was any way of getting those results in the Spotlight drop-down menu as well.