How to Force Spotlight to Reindex Folder & Volumes

If you face problems in Mac OS X Spotlight search result you need to reindex folders or volumes for Spotlight search. Learn how to force Spotlight to reindex folders or volumes.

  1. Go to Apple Menu -> System Preferences.
  2. Select Spotlight.
  3. Select Privacy tabRe-index Spotlight on Mac
  4. Drag an entire volume (hard drive) or folder to the list.
  5. Click OK when it prompted for conformation.
  6. Remove the volume or folder you added to the list by selecting it and then clicking (-) minus button.
  7. Finally Close Spotlight preferences.

Mac OS X Spotlight will reindex the contents of volume or folder.
Reindex Spotlight using Terminal command
1. Open Terminal app from Applications -> Utilities folder.
2. Type or paste the following command.

        sudo mdutil -E /

This command will reindex every mounted volume on Mac OS X Yosemite and mavericks like disk images, external drive and internal hard drives.
3. It will require you to enter administrator password. When you typing password, you can’t see it.
4. Then hit Return.
5. You will get “indexing enabled”.
6. Then type in exit. Press return.
It will reindex search results in Spotlight.

10:39 am

3 responses to How to Force Spotlight to Reindex Folder & Volumes

the command prompt code disables search, not enables.
2016-05-07 15:40:35.262 mdutil[685:39450] mdutil disabling Spotlight: / -> kMDConfigSearchLevelOff
Indexing and searching disabled.

Those messages are indicating that spotlight is already disabled on those volumes, it is not disabling them with that command.
To enable it from the commandline, try this: sudo mdutil -i on /Volumes/NameOfExternalVolume/

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