Tip: Re-indexing Spotlight in Tiger

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Feedback

Listener Sam sent in this tip:

Spotlight is a wonderful wonderful thing, but some people have noticed occasions when a document or group of documents have not been captured during the indexing process. In such cases, one might want to reindex the volume. Apple did not build into Spotlight a way to reindex, but it can be done quite easily.

1. Open Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities/)

2. Type the following:

sudo mdutil -E /

to reindex the root volume, or:

sudo mdutil -E /Volumes/volumename

to reindex another volume named volumename.

3. Enter your admin password when prompted to do so and press enter.

4. You will receive the message “Volume index removed. Index will be rebuilt automatically.” in the Terminal window. You can monitor the reindexing progress in the Spotlight toolbar drop-down window.

5. Hooray, get back to using Tiger!

There are 2 comments on Tip: Re-indexing Spotlight in Tiger:

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  1. Mike | May 07 2005 - 01:26

    I found another way to re-index Spotlight on Macworld’s Website.

    1. Open the Spotlight system preference and click the ‘Privacy Tab’
    2. Click the ‘plus’ button and add the volume you want to re-index
    3. Wait 5 Minutes
    4. Select the volume you want to re-index and click the ‘minus’ sign
    5. Exit system preferences

    Seems to work for me.

  2. Dudley Warner | May 28 2005 - 07:13

    I will check this solution out. I need to re-index Spotlight after using DiskWarrior to rebuild my disk. It is missing lots of files on searches.

    Thanks –