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Alfred stopped finding files on Google Drive File Stream


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I use Google Drive File Stream at work so sync files between my Mac and Google drive and I used to be able to [spacebar]file_name and anything with that name would come up. That's no longer the case and Alfred is only finding local files. At first I thought maybe the files on the Google Drive folder needed to be available offline but that didn't work either. And yes, I have added Google Drive to the search scope.

 

 

Has anybody run into this problem? Did anything chance with either Alfred or Google Drive that's causing this issue?

Screen Shot 2020-02-25 at 2.27.35 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-02-25 at 2.31.06 PM.png

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17 minutes ago, omorillon said:

Has anybody run into this problem?

 

Google Drive File Stream is a constant source of problems, tbh. It's not a real filesystem, and it's up to GDFS to keep the OS's metadata index (which Spotlight and Alfred both use) informed of what's in the volume.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
On 3/18/2020 at 7:08 PM, Pearcen said:

Yeah this one is annoying me. Spotlight picks it up fine so have to resort to that.

If spotlight works so should Alfred. Alfred uses spotlights index. I’d imagine something fishy is going on 

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@Terminal @Pearcen Doing an mdls on these files or using the Alfred metadata tool (https://cachefly.alfredapp.com/tools/AlfredMetadataTool_v1.1.zip) should give more insight into whether these files even have any relevant metadata associated to them. 

 

As Dean suggests, GDFS isn't a real file system. Google haven't put a high priority on making it work reliably with Spotlight and macOS, unfortunately. 

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On 2/25/2020 at 4:59 PM, deanishe said:

 

Google Drive File Stream is a constant source of problems, tbh. It's not a real filesystem, and it's up to GDFS to keep the OS's metadata index (which Spotlight and Alfred both use) informed of what's in the volume.

Deanishe,

 

File Stream is constantly giving my team problems too. Can you a recommended another cloud storage solution which is reliable and works better with Spotlight and Alfred?

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@RajunCajun The key feature of the cloud storage solution you choose needs to be that files are stored locally and always available on your Mac, not just as virtual files that are actually stored online. 

 

For example, Dropbox* keeps all your files locally on your Mac, which means that there's a tangible file for macOS to reliably include in its index.

 

[* I'm referring to Dropbox in its vanilla form, I do believe they also now have a feature where you can choose to only store files online and keep just a reference locally on your Mac.]

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  • 3 months later...

@vero

I know it's been a while, but I haven't been here for a bit. Here is an mdls of a file in 'My Drive' path: /Volumes/GoogleDrive/My Drive

 

 My Drive mdls General\ notes.txt
_kMDItemDisplayNameWithExtensions      = "General notes.txt"
kMDItemContentCreationDate             = 2020-06-24 01:51:30 +0000
kMDItemContentCreationDate_Ranking     = 2020-06-24 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemContentModificationDate         = 2020-08-28 00:08:08 +0000
kMDItemContentModificationDate_Ranking = 2020-08-28 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemContentType                     = "public.plain-text"
kMDItemContentTypeTree                 = (
    "public.plain-text",
    "public.text",
    "public.data",
    "public.item",
    "public.content"
)
kMDItemDisplayName                     = "General notes.txt"
kMDItemDocumentIdentifier              = 0
kMDItemFSContentChangeDate             = 2020-08-28 00:08:08 +0000
kMDItemFSCreationDate                  = 2020-06-24 01:51:30 +0000
kMDItemFSCreatorCode                   = ""
kMDItemFSFinderFlags                   = 0
kMDItemFSHasCustomIcon                 = (null)
kMDItemFSInvisible                     = 0
kMDItemFSIsExtensionHidden             = 0
kMDItemFSIsStationery                  = (null)
kMDItemFSLabel                         = 0
kMDItemFSName                          = "General notes.txt"
kMDItemFSNodeCount                     = (null)
kMDItemFSOwnerGroupID                  = 20
kMDItemFSOwnerUserID                   = 502
kMDItemFSSize                          = 5433
kMDItemFSTypeCode                      = ""
kMDItemInterestingDate_Ranking         = 2020-08-17 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemKind                            = "Plain Text Document"
kMDItemLastUsedDate                    = 2020-08-17 01:59:02 +0000
kMDItemLastUsedDate_Ranking            = 2020-08-17 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemLogicalSize                     = 5433
kMDItemPhysicalSize                    = 8192
kMDItemUseCount                        = 10
kMDItemUsedDates                       = (
    "2020-07-08 16:00:00 +0000",
    "2020-08-16 16:00:00 +0000"
)

 

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@Pearcen Since the post above, we've added a File Search Troubleshooting tool to Alfred.

 

Ensuring you're using Alfred 4.1.1, go to Alfred's preferences > Help > Troubleshooting and run the File Search Troubleshooting, dragging in some of the files you can't locate. This will give you more information on whether the metadata for these files is complete, and if they're correctly included in Alfred's index. 

 

I would recommend trying moving a file off GDFS and to your Desktop for a moment to establish whether it's found. If it is found when it's anywhere but on GDFS, it puts the issue squarely in Google's camp in making files properly indexable.

 

Cheers,
Vero

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I have the same problem as people describing above. The result after the troubleshooting tool ran is:

 

Quote

Starting Diagnostics...

File: 'Sportsting.gsheet'
Path: '/Users/michal/Google Drive/Sport'

-----------------------------------------------------------

Check file cache database...

File cache integrity is ok

-----------------------------------------------------------

Check if file is readable...

Alfred has permissions to read this file.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Check file is in search scope...

File exists within Alfred's default search scope

-----------------------------------------------------------

Check if volume '/' is indexed by macOS...

Indexing is enabled on this drive

-----------------------------------------------------------

Check direct file metadata...

Direct metadata available

Display Name: Sportsting.gsheet
 Other Names: 
Content Type: com.google.gsheet
   Last Used: 2020-04-10 16:49:53 +0000

-----------------------------------------------------------

Check mdls file metadata...

macOS metadata missing essential items

kMDItemFSContentChangeDate = 2020-04-10 16:49:53 +0000
kMDItemFSCreationDate      = 2020-04-10 16:49:53 +0000
kMDItemFSCreatorCode       = ""
kMDItemFSFinderFlags       = 0
kMDItemFSHasCustomIcon     = 0
kMDItemFSInvisible         = 0
kMDItemFSIsExtensionHidden = 0
kMDItemFSIsStationery      = 0
kMDItemFSLabel             = 0
kMDItemFSName              = "Sportsting.gsheet"
kMDItemFSNodeCount         = 180
kMDItemFSOwnerGroupID      = 20
kMDItemFSOwnerUserID       = 501
kMDItemFSSize              = 180
kMDItemFSTypeCode          = ""

-----------------------------------------------------------

Troubleshooting failed
 

 

Anything I can do to fix this?

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@Michal Bryxí Are Google Spreadsheets real files or do they just take you to the Google Sheets in your browser?

 

If you can choose a real file (such as the example of a text file as @Pearcen used) and you drag it to your Desktop, wait a moment, then drag that to the File Troubleshooting tool, what metadata do you see? And what happens if you try to do the same with your .gsheet file? 

 

I think in your case, it could be a combo of 1. GDFS not allowing Spotlight to index files, and 2. .gsheet potentially not being a file at all. A little more investigating as suggested above will give you more insight into that.

 

Cheers,
Vero

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5 hours ago, Vero said:

@Michal Bryxí Are Google Spreadsheets real files or do they just take you to the Google Sheets in your browser?

 

If you can choose a real file (such as the example of a text file as @Pearcen used) and you drag it to your Desktop, wait a moment, then drag that to the File Troubleshooting tool, what metadata do you see? And what happens if you try to do the same with your .gsheet file? 

 

I think in your case, it could be a combo of 1. GDFS not allowing Spotlight to index files, and 2. .gsheet potentially not being a file at all. A little more investigating as suggested above will give you more insight into that.

 

Cheers,
Vero

 

Hello Vero, Google Spreadsheets are "gdoc" files and they are just links to a drive.google.com URL inside of chrome. They don't act as the actual file, and thus one can not search inside of them. A solution for this is to export the document as a DOCX (or XLS), and then upload it again and keeping it a DOCX (google now supports this, before they automatically converted the file to google drive's format). After that, a .docx file would be synced on your computer, and this file can be edited both in Google Drive via browser and locally through word, and it syncs very well.

 

I also post this in case it works for anyone having issues with GDFS and it's search:

 

The fact that GFS "mounts" is very inconvenient. Alfred can indeed index files by name (as can spotlight) but I am having issues with searching for content inside the files, for instance, phrases inside a PDF. And this is both from spotlight and from alfred (although alfred uses spotlight's index, so it's the same). This was a deal breaker for me, the ability to search within the files I feel it's extremely important.

 

The only solution I found was not to use Google Drive File Stream and switch to Google's Backup and Sync. The main difference (that I can see) is that it doesn't offer real time view on Office's products when someone is editing the file on drive.google.com. This isn't a deal breaker for me, I use it mostly as a personal tool. As a note: I don't know how Backup and Sync manages having multiple drives, I don't know if it supports it (I don't use them). Other than that, Backup and Sync actually creates a folder on your Mac, with all content stored locally (as Dropbox or iCloud do). 

 

This might help anyone, so here's what I did. In case anyone wants more info, here's a comparison between both tools: https://support.google.com/drive/answer/7638428?hl=en

 

Cheers!

 

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