Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > Spotlight is SLOW or no?

Spotlight is SLOW or no?
Thread Tools
pptech1
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jan 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 4, 2007, 01:14 AM
 
How long does it take for you guys to find something using Spotlight? I haven't compared with others, but I keep hearing it's blaaaaazing fast, but I don't think it's that fast.
     
mitchell_pgh
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Washington, DC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 4, 2007, 01:32 AM
 
IMHO, it's not that fast. Much faster as compared to XP.
     
Ganesha
Senior User
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Arizona Wasteland
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 4, 2007, 04:23 AM
 
Depends on what you mean by fast.

Fast at returning responses? Maybe not so much, but I'm willing to let it take its time.

Fast at letting you find what you are looking for? Depends on your search query, but it can be a great timesaver.
     
CaptainHaddock
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Nagoya, Japan • 日本 名古屋市
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 4, 2007, 06:59 AM
 
I think the problem is its actual speed versus what was promised. It was presented as the best and quickest way to open files and even launch applications. The truth is, I can find an application in the Finder much more quickly than Spotlight, and if I know where a file is located, I can drill down through my folder hierarchy faster than Spotlight can locate the file.

There are usability issues too (it takes way too many clicks to use Spotlight). I expect most of this will be fixed in Leopard.
     
mitchell_pgh
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Washington, DC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 4, 2007, 10:46 AM
 
I've uses some faster/newer systems, and it's much faster on those systems.

My iBook just doesn't scream when using it.
     
Cold Warrior
Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Polwaristan
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 4, 2007, 12:41 PM
 
I find it speedy on my MBP C2D. I don't use it to locate apps or burrow through folders. I use it to search for documents and/or words in documents.
     
JKT
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: London, UK
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 4, 2007, 01:28 PM
 
It varies for me - mostly it is pretty fast, so long as you input enough information to narrow down the search as much as possible (e.g. the first three letters of something will take much longer to find than the whole word, unsurprisingly). If it is slow, it is usually because disk swapping is going on due to the search.

Whoever compared it to XP - it is night and day. The default Find in Windows has been abysmally slow for years... it makes me cringe every time I need to search for an e-mail in Outlook or a file in Explorer.
     
slpdLoad
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2006
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 4, 2007, 01:32 PM
 
It's "useable" on my machine. I only use it when I can't remember where a document is, or when I have multiple drives mounted and I don't know which one the file is on.

The Apple stores and various other places where they demo Spotlight aren't realistic because there's hardly anything except for a few applications on the hard drives of those demo machines.
     
JazzCatDRP
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Sep 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 4, 2007, 04:23 PM
 
Don't let spotlight index your entire drive...just the stuff you actually need. For example, I dragged my music library to the "do not search" box in the spotlight preferences, and it sped up my spotlight search by 500% easy. I can type something and have a result within a second, and that's on my PPC 1.25 Mac Mini. Besides, if I want to find a song, I can do that from within iTunes anyway.
     
Cold Warrior
Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Polwaristan
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 4, 2007, 05:04 PM
 
Seconded. I tell it not to search certain folders as well - albeit with an understanding that I do not need any results from those folders.
     
gorgonzola
Admin Emeritus
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: New Yawk
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 4, 2007, 05:09 PM
 
It's fast on my MBP. If I'm looking for some PDFs with some specific words in them it spits them out in a few seconds. And it's definitely faster to find an application in Spotlight than use the Finder, though I use QuickSilver for that (which is vastly faster since it caches just those things). In general, if there are certain things you want to frequently access by searching (as opposed to truly finding something), it's better to use QuickSilver because it will cache the stuff you need and learn abbreviations for them. For application launching or "music launching" (searching your iTunes library), it's a much better solution. Spotlight could feel slow if you're using it for app launching, but I don't think that's a realistic use of it in the current version, especially on an older machine. It's a really fast search engine, it's not a fast app launcher.
"Do not be too positive about things. You may be in error." (C. F. Lawlor, The Mixicologist)
     
arcticmac
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Apr 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 4, 2007, 09:58 PM
 
The thing I don't like about Spotlight is that it insists on continually indexing my drive. If it would be willing to just do it once a day or something, that'd be cool. It could do it when I wasn't there to care. But I don't need it eating CPU and I/O when I'm trying to be productive. Which is to say that I've disabled it / and /Volumes (just in case)
     
mdc
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: NY²
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 4, 2007, 10:35 PM
 
My PowerBook (17" 1.67 G4) started to slow down a lot last week. It just got slower and slower. The dock for example wasn't smooth at all, Safari beachballed often.
I checked and, thankfully, there is no hardware issue and I was about to reinstall Mac OS, but I figured I'd download Onyx and run all the maintenance I could. I ran through all the maintenance tasks, rebooted, and my PowerBook is blazingly fast again.

I just did a search for my last name in Spotlight now and in a few seconds it found a few thousand items. Searching for an application normally takes around 2 seconds.
     
JKT
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: London, UK
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 5, 2007, 05:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by arcticmac View Post
The thing I don't like about Spotlight is that it insists on continually indexing my drive. If it would be willing to just do it once a day or something, that'd be cool. It could do it when I wasn't there to care. But I don't need it eating CPU and I/O when I'm trying to be productive. Which is to say that I've disabled it / and /Volumes (just in case)
Spotlight doesn't constantly index your drive. Once it has completed indexing your hard drive the first time, it only does so for individual files when you write them to the hard drive (i.e. save something). Unless you are constantly saving things, then Spotlight has a minimal impact on performance.

Also, it would make Spotlight very confusing if it only indexed once per day. That is, newbies would be coming here constantly, asking "why can't it find that file that I just saved?"
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:22 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,