August 21, 2015

Re-enable Spotlight Indexing

A few months ago I purposely turned off Spotlight indexing because the service would be running whenever I used the computer. As a result my computer suffered some serious performance issues to the point of frustration. Once the service was disabled, the computer seemed to run faster. Part of the problem was that I didn't have enough disk space available and the Spotlight indexing was using more memory than it should.

Yesterday, I decided to re-enable spotlight so that I could use some of the computer search capabilities. However, I encountered the following error when trying to restart the service.

I ran this command via Terminal:
sudo mdutil -a -i on

I got back the following error:
2015-08-19 21:46:42.541 mdutil[1155:170668] Metadata.framework [Error]: mdsCopyStorePaths failed: (268435459) (ipc/send) invalid destination portSpotlight server is disabled.

I research the error and it turns out that using the 'mdutil' command isn't the right way to restart the service. To successfully turn on Spotlight, simply run this:

sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

and to turn it off, simple use:

sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

If your not familiar with sudo, it makes you run the launchctl command as the superuser. If you haven't setup the password for root, the password will be the primary user on your computer.

Keep in mind that when your re-enable Spotlight that indexing will happen right away. So think twice before turning it back on, and make sure to disconnect any external hard drives that you may not want to index right away.



November 6, 2016.


August 17, 2017.

The solution here worked for me. Other solutions given elsewhere did not work >> Many thanks.

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