14 Replies Latest reply: Feb 1, 2016 10:01 PM by Maruskaimac
Swiggen Level 1 (0 points)

After updating to Mountain Lion Spotlight is still indexing. This is easily over 24 hours and it is still saying 'estimating indexing time'


I also cannot use Time Machine as it has backed up under 200mb in 20 hours.


Any hints???

MacBook Air, OS X Mountain Lion, Just upgraded to Mountain Lion
  • Alfred DeRose Level 5 (7,145 points)

    Depending on the number of files you have, Spotlight can take a veeeeery long time. Give it a bit longer and see what happens.


    As to your Time machine issue, is it not backing up because of the load Spotlight is placing on your Mac? Connectivity issues?


    Try pluging in to Ethernet to see if it works better. Others have reported problems with WiFi connections so this might be the problem.

  • Swiggen Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks. I will continue to wait for the indexing


    Regarding the TM it is an external HD so there is no connectivity issue. I have checked permissions and verified the disc.


    Very frustrating. I am thinking about rolling back to Lion but that is going to be a major pain

  • Swiggen Level 1 (0 points)

    It  is still indexing 2 days later saying 'estimating indexing time'....this is ridiculous

  • Alfred DeRose Level 5 (7,145 points)

    Yeah, that's too long. Try a restart. Seems like something got hung up. Do you see the mdworker process still running and consuming a lot of resources?

  • Swiggen Level 1 (0 points)

    I have restarted for the 3rd time and this time the indexing has stopped.


    I have now tried my time machine again (which was the original problem) but it is no better, hanning on 370kb after 20 mins.


    Any ideas????

  • Yiota Siapera Level 1 (0 points)

    I had the same issue. Restarting the computer didn't resolve anything. I had to reset the PRam to resolve the problem.


    Here’s how to reset your PRAM:


    Shut down your machine. Yes, all the way down, not sleep or logging out.

    Press the power button and then press command-option-p-r. You have to make sure you get those keys pressed before the gray screen comes up or it won’t work.

    Hold those keys down until your Mac reboots again and you here the startup chime.

    Let go of the keys and let your Mac reboot normally.

  • BigTunaAK Level 1 (15 points)

    I had the same issue and just rest the PRAM. All is good so far Thanks

  • dansandiego Level 1 (0 points)

    Swiggen - have you found a solution since Aug? I'm having your exact issue for the past week. PRAM reset doesn't help, I've removed Spotlight library files in three locations. I have the weird TimeMachine freeze as well, that's what originally got me looking into spotlight but now that's not working. I keep this Mac clean and pristine so no malware or clutter.


    I also noticed before my spotlight issue that I have unusual hard drive activity. If I stop all processes down to only Activity Monitor and I still get between 400KB/sec and 2MB/sec write activity. It doesn't start for a couple minutes after login though. Makes no sense to me, especially when I've closed all running processes.


    I'm thinking of giving up and reinstalling the OS but hoping someone has figured this out by now. Thanks!!

  • Eric Root Level 9 (50,050 points)

    Here are some troubleshooting articles. Pondini is usually a recommended place to start:






    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3275 (note - older article)

  • dansandiego Level 1 (0 points)

    Someone on another forum found my solution. This resovles the spotlight issue that was in turn preventing my TimeMachine from backing up more than a few MB then freezing, and also resolved the mysterious constant disk activity. It was all Spotlight's fault! But this fix worked 100% for all my issues. Thanks


    I posted this workaround in that topic. Here it is (it is not a solution, only a temporary workaround to let my backup and Spotlight work until a fix is released).

    Using Terminal:

    1. I disabled Spotlight indexing:
      sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist
    2. I deleted Spotlight index in all my drives (including the backup drives):
      sudo rm -rf /.Spotlight-V100/Store-V1 /.Spotlight-V100/Store-V2  /.Spotlight-V100/VolumeConfiguration.plist
    3. sudo rm -rf /TimeMachineDrive/.Spotlight-V100/Store-V1 /TimeMachineDrive/.Spotlight-V100/Store-V2  /TimeMachineDrive/.Spotlight-V100/VolumeConfiguration.plist

    (rm -rf /.Spotlight-V100/* did not work for me.) (This can also be done by excluding the whole drive using privacy setting of Spotlight and then reincluding it.)


    1. I deleted /var/folders content (see this topic to know why): sudo rm -rf /var/folders/*
    2. I deleted the .inProgress files from my Backups.backupdb subfolders (put to trash then empty the trash is the only way to do this).
    3. I rebooted and then I restarted Spotlight:
      sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist
    4. sudo mdutil -i on -E /
    5. I waited until Spotlight finished indexing process
    6. I launched a new backup using TimeMachine
    7. I opened a bugreport to Apple with the title: "TimeMachine hangs when Spotlight is in use under Mac OS X 10.7" praying that many other people will do the same to make this bug a priority.

    Some steps may be useless, but I took all what I learn by reading different topic about slow TM and Spotlight.

  • djedi Level 1 (0 points)

    It seems like I have tried 10 other solutions. This was finally the answer! Thanks so much dansandiego! Spotlight is finally working.

  • nmorea Level 1 (0 points)

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! This also fixed my issue!

  • TimPollard Level 1 (20 points)

    I had a similar problem after updating from ML to Mavericks. After trying everything suggested above without the problem being resolved, I was advised by a very helpful Apple 2nd line technician to re-index Spotlight WITH TM TURNED OFF AND THE TM DISK UNMOUNTED. I had previously exluded the disk, but turning it off and ejecting the disk before re-indexing fixed the problem. To be safe I also ejected all other drives as well.


    Spotlight then re-indexed happily, I re-enabled time machine and plugged in the disk and it was all good.


    Hope this helps someone.

  • Maruskaimac Level 1 (0 points)

    After I readed tons of info, here and elsewhere,  and have tried all possible solutions - even the reinstall option, then the updates proposed in this community - under this sun, the issue still rocks.


    The marvelous small dot inside the spotlight loop still with me and my MBP, together the perpetual, mutant remaining time to finish the indexing.

    Impossible to work with large amount of files inside Hd's.

    I start to think to a fresh install to get things working.