How To Fix Spotlight Forever Indexing Issue On Mac OS X

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How To Fix Spotlight Forever Indexing Issue On Mac OS X

If i’m asked about the most used feature when i use Mac, i will honestly say: Spotlight. Yup, it’s a killer feature which has not been rivalled in any other operating system and keep going better. I want to explain shortly about Spotlight if you haven’t heard it before or have never used it even though you own Mac with OS X inside. Spotlight is a super search feature on Mac and it can find anything you ask. Too excessive? No, that’s why spotlight created. One of core technology from Spotlight is indexing up to metadata in a file. If you have picture file with “picture 1” name, there’s metadata inside like location, geotag and so on. Spotlight will remember that. Such a cool feature.

But, the annoying thing can occur when we need Spotlight so badly to find something, t doesn’t work well, while searching by using deep dive explore in Finder is so tiring. We need our Spotlight. The symptom which often find by users related to this issue is indexing forever. If Spotlight does so, we cannot use it for searching until the indexing is done or it will only give you a less relevant result. What can we do then? Here, we are going to share my experience in facing Spotlight issue especially how to fix Spotlight forever indexing issue on Mac OS X.

see also: How to Fix OS X Yosemite Cannot Connect to Wifi

How To Fix Spotlight Forever Indexing Issue On Mac OS X

there are 2 issues can be faced by Mac users realted to Spotlight indexing forever: folder indexing file is corrupt or there’s a folder on your Mac which cause the Spotlight do a forever indexing to that file.

Folder Indexing File Is Corrupt

To solve this issue, the idea is: you delete that folder indexing file so that Spotlight can re-indexing from beginning. To be able to do that, you can just follow this steps:

  • Make sure your Mac has an admin password or if it doesn’t have, you can create it first. This is needed to execute order in terminal which can only done if your Mac has an admin password.
  • Launch terminal application, type or copy this command then press return, type your admin password if it’s asked


sudo rm -R /.Spotlight-V100

  • then type this command followed by hitting return key

sudo mdutil -i on /

  • once again type this command below followed by hitting return key

sudo mdutil -E /

There’s A Folder On Your Mac Which Cause The Spotlight Do A Forever Indexing

For this issue, you need to check what is indexed by Spotlight and if the process keep stuck continuously on that folder, try to delete that folder or the file inside to another folder. Make sure the problematic folder is not related to OS X system. If the folder related to certain application, you can re-install that application.

  • launch activity monitor app
  • Then on search field type mdworker.


  • click mdworker with the biggest %CPU.


  • click i (inspect) on toolbar for a further process then choose open files and folder. Scroll to the bottom and look at the folder which one is not run.


  • If you find the stuck folder, you can move that file to new folder or if it related to certain application, you can delete then re-install it later. But if you are not sure which folder that is, you can leave a comment to us for a further check.

Do an exclude to certain folder on Spotlight settings in system preferences (system preferences >> Spotlight >> Privacy) won’t help, according to my experience. Spotlight will keep stuck in that folder even though that folder is included to the folder which will not be indexed by Spotlight.


Another how to: How to Create Firmware Password for Mac