Sometimes, you will be able to find files manually but Spotlight doesn't see them. Spotlight does not search everywhere on the hard drive and you can see the possibilities in the Search Results tab of the Spotlight preference pane (accessed via System Preferences). (If you search using Finder's File menu > Find command or pressing Command-F in the Finder, you can alter the search criteria to look in other places.)

If the files in question are found within those locations but Spotlight doesn't see them, forcing Spotlight to re-index the hard drive often cures the problem. The procedure:

1. Open System Preferences > Spotlight and select Privacy.
2. Drag the hard drive icon into the Privacy pane and drop it there.
3. Select the hard drive that is shown in Privacy and click the minus sign to remove it from Privacy.

You can also reset Spotlight with Cocktail, OnyX and TinkerTool System

In a few moments, Spotlight will begin to re-index the drive. Re-indexing can take a considerable amount of time and may slow down the computer while it is occurring. Do not be alarmed if this happens and be patient until it is finished. Then, see if all is well.

Written by jchuzi with contributions from dkmarsh and joemikeb in Reindexing contents of a volume or drive.
(Note: you must be logged in to read the development thread.)

Last edited by FAQster; 01/10/10 02:53 AM. Reason: Updated title of development thread (01/05/10), added login requirement note (01/09/10).

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