Forum Question: Why Am I Getting So Many Erroneous Results In Spotlight/Finder?

When I use spotlight I have a difficult time finding specific results…even when I use the “show all in finder” option after the initial spotlight search.
I will then narrow results by “type”(document) and then by “file contains”(word or word string) but still, I get a lot of unrelated results that don’t have any related words in them at all. It will still even list images and applications…even though I specify “type” as document.
I have noticed that if I’ve used the file recently, it’s pretty easy to find using spotlight. Otherwise, I have the problem I listed above.
There must be a simple solution to this, but so far, I have found nothing that addresses this issue.
Any hints or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for reading!
—–
Nick A.

Comments: 4 Responses to “Why Am I Getting So Many Erroneous Results In Spotlight/Finder?”

    1/19/12 @ 12:18 am

    So keep in mind that a plain spotlight search looks for content, for a filename. And content can be found in a lot of places, like the metadata of image files.
    Can you give me an example of a search term that you are using?
    Now if you are specifying that images should not be included, and yet they are, then I have no explanation. Perhaps something is wrong then. I’ve never seen Spotlight misbehave like that. I’d think about taking the Mac to the Genius Bar to have them check it out.
    One thing you can do is to force Spotlight to re-index your drive. Do that by going to the Spotlight preferences, adding your drive to the exclusion list. Then returning to the preferences and removing it from the preferences. Then leave the Mac alone overnight to re-index.

      Nick A.
      1/19/12 @ 1:33 am

      Gary, in response to your question about what search term I was using, here’s one of them:

      I did a spotlight search with the word “hospital” and then narrowed it to “kind” is “document” and then added “contents” “contains” “hospital”

      The results are displayed in the following order: address book, web browser (chrome), powerpoint, iTunes, Word, Pages, Preview, Safari and Text Edit.

      I think I’ll try re-indexing my drive and see if that helps.

      Thanks so much Gary. I really appreciate it.

    Nick A.
    1/20/12 @ 1:51 pm

    I re-indexed the hard drive. It has helped with initial spotlight searches in the upper right hand of the screen. If I click on “show all” the finder window appears and the search results show up just as I described in my previous post.

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