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@Paul Harrison Apple have moved it around a few times during betas, but iCloud Drive is currently in ~/Library/Mobile Documents/ - Is this in your default search scope? (it should be by default). If it is, is Spotlight finding files in iCloud Drive?


Try dragging one of the files which can't be found into Alfred's File Search Troubleshooting, found in Alfred's Help preferences.




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Hi Andrew


Thanks for your reply.  I forgot to say that ~/Library/Mobile Documents/ is also added to the search scope.


All diagnostics on the file search troubleshooting are fine.


The file details are:


File: 'Toffee.pdf'
Path: '/Users/paul/Library/Mobile Documents/com~apple~CloudDocs/Documents'


This path is included in


~/Library/Mobile Documents/


so it should appear in search results?


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@Paul Harrison Are the files appearing in Spotlight's results?


If you open System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud, is Optimised Storage on or off? In order for iCloud to store the actual files on your Mac (rather than storing them in the cloud and requesting them only when needed), Optimised Storage should be off.



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OK, this is now working, I simply had to switch on "Search all file types".   This is presented as a strongly discouraged option, but to me it's essential that search look at all file types.  So I own up to this one.  It's been worthwhile as I've learned more about how Alfred's search works.

Edited by Paul Harrison
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OK - here is the diagnostic for a file which is in 'iCloud Drive',  but doesn't show up in search unless "search all file types" is on.


Starting Diagnostics...

File: 'testmp4.mp4'
Path: '/Users/paul/Library/Mobile Documents/com~apple~CloudDocs'


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: testmp4.mp4
 Other Names: 
Content Type: public.mpeg-4
   Last Used: 2020-09-20 20:30:09 +0000


Check mdls file metadata...

Metadata contains required items

_kMDItemDisplayNameWithExtensions      = "testmp4.mp4"
kMDItemAudioBitRate                    = 47
kMDItemAudioChannelCount               = 1
kMDItemCodecs                          = (
    "MPEG-4 HE AAC"
kMDItemContentCreationDate             = 2020-09-20 20:29:44 +0000
kMDItemContentCreationDate_Ranking     = 2020-09-20 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemContentModificationDate         = 2020-09-20 20:30:06 +0000
kMDItemContentModificationDate_Ranking = 2020-09-20 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemContentType                     = "public.mpeg-4"
kMDItemContentTypeTree                 = (
kMDItemDateAdded                       = 2020-09-21 09:17:56 +0000
kMDItemDateAdded_Ranking               = 2020-09-21 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemDisplayName                     = "testmp4.mp4"
kMDItemDocumentIdentifier              = 39300
kMDItemDurationSeconds                 = 48.179
kMDItemFSContentChangeDate             = 2020-09-20 20:30:06 +0000
kMDItemFSCreationDate                  = 2020-09-20 20:29:44 +0000
kMDItemFSCreatorCode                   = ""
kMDItemFSFinderFlags                   = 0
kMDItemFSHasCustomIcon                 = (null)
kMDItemFSInvisible                     = 0
kMDItemFSIsExtensionHidden             = 0
kMDItemFSIsStationery                  = (null)
kMDItemFSLabel                         = 0
kMDItemFSName                          = "testmp4.mp4"
kMDItemFSNodeCount                     = (null)
kMDItemFSOwnerGroupID                  = 20
kMDItemFSOwnerUserID                   = 501
kMDItemFSSize                          = 889304
kMDItemFSTypeCode                      = ""
kMDItemInterestingDate_Ranking         = 2020-09-20 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemKind                            = "MPEG-4 movie"
kMDItemLastUsedDate                    = 2020-09-20 20:30:09 +0000
kMDItemLastUsedDate_Ranking            = 2020-09-20 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemLogicalSize                     = 889304
kMDItemMediaTypes                      = (
kMDItemPhysicalSize                    = 892928
kMDItemPixelHeight                     = 400
kMDItemPixelWidth                      = 224
kMDItemProfileName                     = "HD (1-1-1)"
kMDItemStreamable                      = 0
kMDItemTotalBitRate                    = 143
kMDItemUseCount                        = 3
kMDItemUsedDates                       = (
    "2020-09-19 23:00:00 +0000"
kMDItemVideoBitRate                    = 95


Troubleshooting passed

Screenshot 2020-09-29 at 15.59.08.png

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OK thanks very much. That works.  This has been a lot of learning. I understand that Alfred is all about power and flexibility, but all of this underlines to me that the search system isn't the most intuitive - and I still don't understand why I wouldn't want to "search all file types" by default.



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6 hours ago, Paul Harrison said:

I still don't understand why I wouldn't want to "search all file types" by default.


Because it would be slow and you would have to sift through a large number of results to find the one you're interested in. And it wouldn't work particularly well because Alfred isn't optimised to be used that way.


Alfred is designed around the idea of having multiple, tightly-focussed searches. You set up a custom search that only shows folders (with the keyword f, for example), and then you can go directly to the folder you’re interested in without having dozens of other types of files cluttering up the results. Or you set up a search that only looks in the directory where you keep your software licences or PDF manuals for your household devices, or your reference materials for a particular project.


The point is most of the time, you don’t want to search everything and see what turns up. You already have a fairly good idea of what you’re looking for and where it is. So you set up individual searches for your most common search tasks and the rest of the time, you use Alfred's open command (or Spotlight).


You can configure Alfred to search everything if you really want to. But you’d be throwing away most of its power and speed by doing so.

Edited by deanishe
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