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How Do I Force Spotlight To Reindex My Hard Drive?

Spotlight didn’t find my email from this morning, only earlier emails. How often does Spotlight reindex? Can I force a reindex?
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David Sofi

Comments: 2 Responses to “How Do I Force Spotlight To Reindex My Hard Drive?”

    4 weeks ago

    Spotlight indexing is ongoing. You can force it to re-index everything, which could take hours or days, and probably not help your situation as it would certainly be quicker to just let it catch up.

    Email indexing must be pretty tricky as email is not really on your computer. It is a cloud service. It is on the server, and the Mail app is just a viewer (with a cache) to view the messages on your server. If you need to search email, especially recent email, or very old mail, I would do that in Mail, not in spotlight. That will call out to the server for search result.

    Also, another piece of advice: If you are shutting down your Mac at night, stop doing that and let it sleep. Things like indexing take advantage of the times you are not using your Mac to get things done. But if you shut down your Mac the minute you are done working and start it up again just before working, then you aren’t giving it a chance to do things like indexing.

    David Sofi
    4 weeks ago

    Thanks, Gary! Wonderful response time, and a straightforward answer. I’ve learned from you to let overnight sleep function at least si days/week. Apple Support tech suggested it’s a good idea to shut down completely maybe once a week. When I do that it’s when I go to bed. Then I let the iMac shut down on its own 60-second cycle. I probably shut down only every other week, maybe once in three weeks. I’m trying to learn more about Spotlight as I have totally ignored it before.

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