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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac OS X > How often to you manually index spotlight?

How often to you manually index spotlight?
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Mac Elite
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Dec 1, 2012, 04:13 PM
 
How often to you manually index spotlight? I mean force it to re-index. This seems to come up in the forums a lot — this need for do that in system prefs.

Should I should do monthly or every few months? And why does anyone ever need to do this? Shouldn't Apple have this perfected by now?
     
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Dec 1, 2012, 07:09 PM
 
Never. Why?
     
Clinically Insane
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Dec 2, 2012, 03:59 AM
 
Never.

I also don't defragment, nor do I repair permissions.

I don't have time to fix stuff that's already working.
     
jeff k  (op)
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Dec 2, 2012, 08:12 AM
 
thanks J and S.
Well it comes up on some of my threads that I Need to put a hard drive into the privacy tab and delete it to push spotlight to index. You have never seen this on a thread?

This force indexing of Spotlight?
     
Clinically Insane
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Dec 2, 2012, 09:39 AM
 
Of course I've seen this as a troubleshooting tip. In fact, I've DONE this as a troubleshooting step.

But there are idiots out there who recommend doing so regularly, just like they recommend repairing permissions regularly, and before and after installing anything, and before and after repairing permissions.

They're not maintenance tasks. They're recovery or repair tools, and using them at any other time is almost certainly a complete waste of time and effort.
     
jeff k  (op)
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Dec 2, 2012, 12:15 PM
 
thanks S, got it. cool.

Final question:

why does anyone ever need to do this? Shouldn't Apple have this perfected by now?
     
Clinically Insane
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Dec 2, 2012, 12:40 PM
 
Things break.

There is no such thing as perfect code under all imaginable (and, more importantly, UNimaginable) circumstances.

I don't remember exactly, but I think I've only ever had to reset the Spotlight index once on a client's machine, and once on mine. But that was years ago.
     
jeff k  (op)
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Dec 2, 2012, 12:46 PM
 
thanks S. I see it a lot on threads as something I should do. oh well...
     
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Dec 2, 2012, 08:50 PM
 
I saw no need to index Spotlight since it is crippled anyway. I use EasyFind.
     
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Dec 3, 2012, 12:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by jeff k View Post
why does anyone ever need to do this? Shouldn't Apple have this perfected by now?
Spotlight works by getting notifications from the kernel about all directory changes. This is a form of dead reckoning: It knows where it starts (because Apple provides a database at install, or because it has trawled the entire directory structure in response to a reset event) and it knows what has changed, but it never rescans unless prompted. This means that if it misses a change event, the Spotlight database is wrong and it will never know and never correct it. In these cases it might be useful to force a rebuild.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Dec 3, 2012, 08:10 AM
 
Every time spotlight breaks (produces no results, just searching forever), which is generally 1-2x a year.
     
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Dec 3, 2012, 09:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Every time spotlight breaks (produces no results, just searching forever), which is generally 1-2x a year.
I had this the other day, and five minutes later, it worked again (though mdworker spiked the CPU in the meantime).

It would seem that Apple has fixed some of this in 10.8?
     
jeff k  (op)
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Dec 3, 2012, 04:27 PM
 
Thanks C, yes I have Easy find too. Good info here. I'm afraid, I will then probably do a force re-index, as how will I know it's broken and not indexing? Would be nice if some alert came up.
     
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Dec 4, 2012, 07:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I had this the other day, and five minutes later, it worked again (though mdworker spiked the CPU in the meantime).
It would seem that Apple has fixed some of this in 10.8?
I'm on 10.6.8, I can't stand the Lion/ML shit.
     
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Dec 4, 2012, 08:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I had this the other day, and five minutes later, it worked again (though mdworker spiked the CPU in the meantime).
It would seem that Apple has fixed some of this in 10.8?
I'm on 10.6.8, I can't stand the Lion/ML shit.
They fixed what was shit in Mountain Lion. Welcome to Rocksville.
     
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Dec 5, 2012, 12:24 AM
 
ML does seem to work better. It seems that Apple adds one annoying feature to every version of the OS, but the one for ML (minimum size for Finder windows) is easy enough to work around. The one visible plus from Lion - fullscreen with multiple desktops and gestures - is a real enough boost.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
   
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