Reindexing a Folder

This is yet another one of those “hopefully someone will google across this and save themselves frustration” write-ups. Today’s topic is Spotlight.

When you search Apple Support for help on re-indexing folders or volumes, the help page (currently this one, but these things change often over time) instructs you to open System Preferences, click Spotlight > Privacy, and to drag folders or volumes into the the list and then remove them.

This support post was the first thing I stumbled across when trying to figure out why a new app I had added to /Applications wasn’t indexed and couldn’t be launched via spotlight.

Don’t do that.

After I followed the instruction, this morning I discovered that none of my Applications were now indexed or launchable by Spotlight.

Once more, I googled into the breech until I found this write-up over at OS X Daily. It mentioned using mdimport to re-index  files and directories instead.

I ran the following from the command line:

% mdimport /Applications

My Applications were re-indexed and ready to launch in just a minute or two

One Comment

  • mdimport has saved me a couple times. I think it can also be used to remove and re-index the entire computer. Great tool!