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macOS indexing issues causing results to be missing in Alfred


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I have my application folder added in the index, and Alfred is pulling up some of the apps in that folder but not all. Here's the diagnostics I'm seeing. (Spotlight sees it just fine)

 

 

Starting Diagnostics...

File: 'Adobe InDesign 2021'
Path: '/Applications'

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

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: Adobe InDesign 2021
 Other Names: 
Content Type: public.folder
   Last Used: 

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

Check mdls file metadata...

Metadata contains required items

_kMDItemDisplayNameWithExtensions      = "Adobe InDesign 2021"
kMDItemContentCreationDate             = 2020-10-28 20:18:06 +0000
kMDItemContentCreationDate_Ranking     = 2020-10-28 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemContentModificationDate         = 2020-10-28 20:21:06 +0000
kMDItemContentModificationDate_Ranking = 2020-10-28 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemContentType                     = "public.folder"
kMDItemContentTypeTree                 = (
    "public.folder",
    "public.directory",
    "public.item"
)
kMDItemDateAdded                       = 2020-11-14 14:01:13 +0000
kMDItemDateAdded_Ranking               = 2020-11-14 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemDisplayName                     = "Adobe InDesign 2021"
kMDItemDocumentIdentifier              = 0
kMDItemFSContentChangeDate             = 2020-10-28 20:21:06 +0000
kMDItemFSCreationDate                  = 2020-10-28 20:18:06 +0000
kMDItemFSCreatorCode                   = ""
kMDItemFSFinderFlags                   = 1024
kMDItemFSHasCustomIcon                 = (null)
kMDItemFSInvisible                     = 0
kMDItemFSIsExtensionHidden             = 0
kMDItemFSIsStationery                  = (null)
kMDItemFSLabel                         = 0
kMDItemFSName                          = "Adobe InDesign 2021"
kMDItemFSNodeCount                     = 13
kMDItemFSOwnerGroupID                  = 0
kMDItemFSOwnerUserID                   = 0
kMDItemFSSize                          = (null)
kMDItemFSTypeCode                      = ""
kMDItemInterestingDate_Ranking         = 2020-10-28 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemKind                            = "Folder"

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

Troubleshooting passed
 

Screen Shot 2020-11-22 at 2.05.43 PM.jpg

Link to post

Yep:

 

Starting Diagnostics...

File: 'Adobe InDesign 2021.app'
Path: '/Applications/Adobe InDesign 2021'

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

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: Adobe InDesign 2021.app
 Other Names: Adobe InDesign 2021.app
Content Type: com.apple.application-bundle
   Last Used: 2020-11-22 19:15:45 +0000

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

Check mdls file metadata...

Metadata contains required items

_kMDItemDisplayNameWithExtensions      = "Adobe InDesign 2021.app"
_kMDItemEngagementData                 = {length = 11, bytes = 0x09000000c0f0b4c2410002}
kMDItemAlternateNames                  = (
    "Adobe InDesign 2021.app"
)
kMDItemCFBundleIdentifier              = "com.adobe.InDesign"
kMDItemContentCreationDate             = 2020-10-28 20:20:43 +0000
kMDItemContentCreationDate_Ranking     = 2020-10-28 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemContentModificationDate         = 2020-10-28 20:20:43 +0000
kMDItemContentModificationDate_Ranking = 2020-10-28 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemContentType                     = "com.apple.application-bundle"
kMDItemContentTypeTree                 = (
    "com.apple.application-bundle",
    "com.apple.application",
    "public.executable",
    "com.apple.localizable-name-bundle",
    "com.apple.bundle",
    "public.directory",
    "public.item",
    "com.apple.package"
)
kMDItemCopyright                       = "16.0, Copyright 1999-2020 Adobe. All rights reserved."
kMDItemDateAdded                       = 2020-11-14 13:49:00 +0000
kMDItemDateAdded_Ranking               = 2020-11-14 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemDisplayName                     = "Adobe InDesign 2021.app"
kMDItemDocumentIdentifier              = 0
kMDItemExecutableArchitectures         = (
    "x86_64"
)
kMDItemFSContentChangeDate             = 2020-10-28 20:20:43 +0000
kMDItemFSCreationDate                  = 2020-10-28 20:20:43 +0000
kMDItemFSCreatorCode                   = ""
kMDItemFSFinderFlags                   = 0
kMDItemFSHasCustomIcon                 = (null)
kMDItemFSInvisible                     = 0
kMDItemFSIsExtensionHidden             = 1
kMDItemFSIsStationery                  = (null)
kMDItemFSLabel                         = 0
kMDItemFSName                          = "Adobe InDesign 2021.app"
kMDItemFSNodeCount                     = 1
kMDItemFSOwnerGroupID                  = 0
kMDItemFSOwnerUserID                   = 0
kMDItemFSSize                          = 1105178328
kMDItemFSTypeCode                      = ""
kMDItemInterestingDate_Ranking         = 2020-11-22 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemKind                            = "Application"
kMDItemLastUsedDate                    = 2020-11-22 19:15:45 +0000
kMDItemLastUsedDate_Ranking            = 2020-11-22 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemLogicalSize                     = 1105178328
kMDItemPhysicalSize                    = 1211219968
kMDItemUseCount                        = 5
kMDItemUsedDates                       = (
    "2020-11-22 05:00:00 +0000"
)
kMDItemVersion                         = "16.0.0.77"

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

Troubleshooting passed
 

Link to post

@Vero - it does on the desktop, not in the Applications folder. Something funky is happening with the Applications folder. Alfred picks up some apps in the Applications folder, but not others. When I run it through the troubleshooter-o-matic the log is the same for both - Alfred should be picking it up but it's not for many apps.

 

Would love to get this fixed. Have had Alfred for YEARS and never had this problem, but not finding apps in the application folder for unknown reasons definitely a game-breaking bug for me!

Link to post

+1 on this issue. I’m seeing the exact same symptoms. I am not sure if it started with my last Alfred update or with Big Sur. I’ve been trying to re-train muscle memory to launch via Spotlight instead (all apps are found via Spotlight). Hard (and undesirable) transition to make!

 

Glad to help with troubleshooting if there is any additional information I can add.

 

** edit **

Similar to original post, my problem is also with Adobe product (Lightroom). I just checked most of my other apps and they seem to be fine. The problem, at least in my case is isolated to Adobe apps. 

 

 

----

 

Starting Diagnostics...

File: 'Adobe Lightroom Classic.app'
Path: '/Applications/Adobe Lightroom Classic'

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

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: Adobe Lightroom Classic
 Other Names: Adobe Lightroom Classic.app
Content Type: com.apple.application-bundle
   Last Used: 2020-11-28 04:11:02 +0000

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

Check mdls file metadata...

Metadata contains required items

_kMDItemDisplayNameWithExtensions      = "Adobe Lightroom Classic.app"
_kMDItemEngagementData                 = {length = 13, bytes = 0x09000000c0aaafc24100010e01}
kMDItemAlternateNames                  = (
    "Adobe Lightroom Classic.app"
)
kMDItemCFBundleIdentifier              = "com.adobe.LightroomClassicCC7"
kMDItemContentCreationDate             = 2020-11-13 17:29:56 +0000
kMDItemContentCreationDate_Ranking     = 2020-11-13 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemContentModificationDate         = 2020-11-13 17:29:56 +0000
kMDItemContentModificationDate_Ranking = 2020-11-13 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemContentType                     = "com.apple.application-bundle"
kMDItemContentTypeTree                 = (
    "com.apple.application-bundle",
    "com.apple.application",
    "public.executable",
    "com.apple.localizable-name-bundle",
    "com.apple.bundle",
    "public.directory",
    "public.item",
    "com.apple.package"
)
kMDItemCopyright                       = "© 2006-2020 Adobe. All rights reserved."
kMDItemDateAdded                       = 2020-11-23 22:24:13 +0000
kMDItemDateAdded_Ranking               = 2020-11-23 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemDisplayName                     = "Adobe Lightroom Classic"
kMDItemDocumentIdentifier              = 0
kMDItemExecutableArchitectures         = (
    "x86_64"
)
kMDItemFSContentChangeDate             = 2020-11-13 17:29:56 +0000
kMDItemFSCreationDate                  = 2020-11-13 17:29:56 +0000
kMDItemFSCreatorCode                   = ""
kMDItemFSFinderFlags                   = 0
kMDItemFSHasCustomIcon                 = (null)
kMDItemFSInvisible                     = 0
kMDItemFSIsExtensionHidden             = 1
kMDItemFSIsStationery                  = (null)
kMDItemFSLabel                         = 0
kMDItemFSName                          = "Adobe Lightroom Classic.app"
kMDItemFSNodeCount                     = 1
kMDItemFSOwnerGroupID                  = 0
kMDItemFSOwnerUserID                   = 0
kMDItemFSSize                          = (null)
kMDItemFSTypeCode                      = ""
kMDItemInterestingDate_Ranking         = 2020-11-28 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemKind                            = "Application"
kMDItemLastUsedDate                    = 2020-11-28 04:11:02 +0000
kMDItemLastUsedDate_Ranking            = 2020-11-28 00:00:00 +0000
kMDItemUseCount                        = 10
kMDItemUsedDates                       = (
    "2020-11-13 06:00:00 +0000",
    "2020-11-16 06:00:00 +0000",
    "2020-11-22 06:00:00 +0000",
    "2020-11-23 06:00:00 +0000",
    "2020-11-27 06:00:00 +0000"
)
kMDItemVersion                         = "10.0 [202010011851-ef6045e0]"

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

Troubleshooting passed
 

 

Edited by jayelevy
Link to post

@jayelevy @verypleasant It strikes me as very odd that you're both having the same issue with Adobe apps specifically. 

 

Could you please check the Adobe folder within the Applications folder and see whether the apps are indeed stored there? Or whether there's some funky symlinking going on, with the app actually being stored somewhere else?

 

If the apps are symlinked, establish where the app is really stored and add that path to your Alfred search scope, so that Alfred knows to include it in your apps results.

 

Let us know how you get on, as this will likely be helpful for other users in the future :)

 

Cheers,
Vero

Link to post

@jayelevy Looking back a few posts, you said that the app was found when moved the Desktop. Can I just confirm, was it then not-found again when returned to the Applications folder?

 

If you move the app to be directly in the Applications folder rather than within the enclosing app's own named folder, what happens?

 

Adobe have their own way of doing things, and I'm scratching my head at what non-standard setup could cause this behaviour. 

Link to post

@jayelevy Moving the file around causes macOS to reindex them. This just confirms that the issue was caused by macOS not correctly indexing the files.

 

@verypleasant Take a look at how @jayelevy resolved his issue above. Just move the apps to desktop and back, forcing macOS to reindex them. Let me know if that solves the issue for you too. (You might also want to type "reload" into Alfred afterwards to ensure Alfred's cache is as up to date as can be)

Link to post

@Vero, I spoke to soon. Just came back to my Mac. Invoked Alfred to launch Lightroom. Same symptom. Not showing in Alfred.

 

As before, I moved the app to the desktop. Invoked Alfred and it found the app as expected

 

Moved the app back to the Applications folder. Invoked Alfred and the app was not found.

Tried 'reload' after that. Made no difference... app is not being found again

 

What are next steps for troubleshooting? -- jay

 

edit:

I see that this is not limited to Adobe apps. None of the apps within this folder are seen by Alfred either. The problem seems to be limited to apps that are within folders within the Application folder. Moving one (or more of these apps) to the desktop and then back to the original folder does not correct the problem. Alfred sees the app when on the desktop. Alfred does not see the app when it is returned to the folder (Nik Collection, in this case)

 

 

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 4.44.49 PM.png

Edited by jayelevy
additional information
Link to post

Hi @Vero, so a couple things - it's not just adobe apps. Alfred doesn't even index Alfred.app (ha) but Alfred is pulling up other apps in the Application folder. I can move the app out of the Applications to the desktop and back to the Applications folder, and Alfred will pick it up. I'd prefer not to do that with EVERY app that I don't find so if there's another way, I'd love to do that.

 

I did upgrade to both Big Sur and Alfred 4 from Alfred 3. I was not having this issue on Big Sur while using Alfred 3. 

Link to post

@jayelevy @verypleasant Could you please try using Alfred's file search to find the files? Press the spacebar first, which will show the "Open File..." prompt, then type the name of your app.

 

This will allow you to establish whether the apps are indeed indexed correctly by macOS, in which case it should show up in the File Search mode. 

 

Next, can you both please create a new user account on your Mac temporarily, and run Alfred (don't need to activate your Powerpack) in the same File Search mode, then again with no prefix. Do your apps appear in File Search? Do they appear in a normal app search?

 

This will help narrow down whether there's an issue on your primary user profile, or more broadly on your Mac as a whole. Something doesn't ring right that you're both seeing very similar issues with very similar apps, while no one else has reported this particular issue. The more narrowing down can be done and the more information you can provide, the more likely we'll work out what's happening.

 

Just to be clear, Alfred does not maintain his own index of your Applications; He uses the data provided by macOS's metadata index, which is why we're asking you to work out at what point the issue occurs.

Link to post

@Vero 

1. Alfred file search on my current user did NOT find the apps we are discussing

I think I mentioned it in my prior post, but I'll repeat here to be sure... Spotlight Search DOES find these apps

 

2. I setup a new user per your request. The exact same behavior is observed. That is, Alfred did not find these apps either directly typing in their name or using the File Search.

 

Let me know what additional information I can provide.

Link to post

@jayelevy The fact that apps are found by Spotlight right now isn't an all-conclusive guarantee that the index is correct, complete or otherwise free from corruption; It just means that Spotlight's current caching contains those apps. Does Alfred find other, non-app files on your Mac? E.g. in your Documents or Downloads?

 

When you have a moment, could you please open System Preferences to the Security & Privacy > Privacy tab, and drag Terminal into the Full Disk Access permissions.

 

Once you've done this, go to Alfred's Advanced preferences, rebuild the macOS metadata and check the Delete Spotlight-V100 box. Pay close attention to any error messages shown in Terminal when typing your admin password and shortly thereafter.

 

You'll then need to wait an hour or so, then once it's completed,  type "reload" into Alfred, then search again.

 

Let me know how you get on.

 

Cheers,
Vero

Link to post

Thanks @Vero. Yes, Alfred finds other non-app files.

 

I just initiated the process that you've outlined. It seems to have started without incident. I'll post back later today. -- jay

 

Attempting to delete .Spotlight-V100...

Password:

Requesting metadata reindex...

/:
	Indexing enabled. 

You can see the progress of the reindexing by performing a search in Spotlight

Press any key to finish...

Saving session...
...copying shared history...
...saving history...truncating history files...
...completed.
Deleting expired sessions...none found.

[Process completed]

 

Link to post

Hi @Vero- I did the same thing and the re-index helped.

 

While I'm here I did want to say that it seems like something has shifted with Alfred 4 and/or Big Sur. I've been using Alfred for years - I just checked and my first version was 2.04 in 2013 - and this new version is the least reliable in terms of search indexing. As an example, I use Dropbox a lot and probably 80% of my queries are in the Dropbox folder. Yet Alfred 4 refuses to prioritize those search results. I am constantly having to hunt and fight to get to the folder, OR I just end up using Spotlight and it finds it right away. I don't know enough about coding or Aflred to know why this change has occurred, but it's made Alfred far less usable than it ever has been. My understanding is that outside of shortcuts there is no way to prioritize folders. But if Alfred is not prioritizing the things I need the most, then it stands to reason I should find another solution, which is a real bummer. I didn't have any real reason to upgrade to Alfred 4- there isn't anything in there that I a) understand, and/or b) need that Alfred 3 wasn't already doing for me. But I upgraded because Alfred has - up until now - been my top used and most essential app, and I believe in supporting developers!

 

 But I really regret upgrading to 4 as it's made Alfred almost useless at times. I don't know if that was simply a re-indexing or it's related to Alfred 3.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Edited by verypleasant
Link to post
9 minutes ago, verypleasant said:

My understanding is that outside of shortcuts there is no way to prioritize folders.

 

Alfred remembers and prioritises what you've chosen in the past. It also prioritises more recently accessed files/folders, so you can bump something up Alfred's results by opening it, and get Alfred to remember it by selecting and actioning it.

Link to post
On 12/4/2020 at 6:43 PM, verypleasant said:

this new version is the least reliable in terms of search indexing

 

Alfred uses the macOS metadata index for file search, he doesn't create or maintain his own index of your Mac's files.  When using the "Rebuild macOS metadata" button in Alfred's advanced preferences, Alfred instructs macOS to rebuild its index.

 

Do keep in mind that Big Sur has just been released and while it's been far more reliable than Catalina was last year, it remains a very new OS and unless you've done a completely fresh install of Big Sur, it's possible that there are hangups or corruption from the OS upgrade. 

 

If you haven't done so yet, look back up a few posts for the steps and do a full reindex, including granting Terminal full disk access and clearing the Spotlight-V100, which is how Jay above resolved his indexing issues. This will give macOS the best possible change to rebuild its index and remove anything corrupted from the index it uses to provide Alfred (and many other apps) with results.

 

We keep a very close eye on threads like this one to see if there's anything we can do to improve the situation for the handful of folks who are having Big Sur / Catalina indexing issues. 

 

Cheers,
Vero

Link to post

Thanks for the responses. 

@deanishe - totally get that, though for me it doesn't quite work for that. Alfred's search results are limited to 10-20 (depending on settings). It becomes a long guessing game just trying to find the app. After a few times of this a day, it just makes sense to not use Alfred. The prioritization doesn't seem to work for me either - I don't know why or what's going on under the hood. I appreciate the explanation @Vero - though that doesn't really help me solve my problem, even though I understand it's complicated. I realize that the poor operation may not be Alfred's fault but if changes in Big Sur mean that Alfred is less reliable, then the end result for me is that Alfred is less reliable.  

 

Anyway - I paid for Alfred 4 so I'm a user! I think I will just be leaning more heavily on Spotlight in the future. 

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  • Vero changed the title to macOS indexing issues causing results to be missing in Alfred
16 hours ago, verypleasant said:

Alfred's search results are limited to 10-20 (depending on settings). It becomes a long guessing game just trying to find the app.

 

Its default results are quite limited because its default search is only designed to be used for a limited set of things. File Filters can show up to 200 results.

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