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Alfred 5 not displaying Applications or folders or files unless I specifically add to Default Results

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One of my iMacs is running Catalina and was working just fine with Alfred. Then I installed LuLu security and think this might have caused Alfred to stop finding ...

- Documents by name

- Applications


I've added a folder to the Default Results > Search Scope but even then Alfred doesn't display a file inside of this specific folder.


I don't want to add every file by name to this.


I've gone through every step in the https://www.alfredapp.com/help/troubleshooting/indexing/ Troubleshooting File Indexing Issues page. I restarted my Mac. Nothing has changed.


Then I disabled LuLu security and ran through the same troubleshooting steps. Alfred is not back to working how it used to.



Below is a copy from a Diagnostic file after troubleshooting many files....


Starting Diagnostics...

File: 'JMack-Primer 2023 _ First Shared Version.pdf'
Path: '/Users/asteryou/Documents/Jonathan Mack'


Check file cache database...

File cache integrity is ok


Check if file is readable...

Alfred has permissions to read this file.

Unix Permissions: 420
Underlying Type: NSFileTypeRegular
Extended Attributes: (


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

⚠️ Indexing may not be enabled on this drive

    Error: unexpected indexing state.  kMDConfigSearchLevelTransitioning


Check direct file metadata...

⚠️ Direct metadata is missing, this file is likely not indexed by macOS


Check mdls file metadata...

macOS metadata missing essential items

/Users/asteryou/Documents/Jonathan Mack/JMack-Primer 2023 _ First Shared Version.pdf: could not find /Users/asteryou/Documents/Jonathan Mack/JMack-Primer 2023 _ First Shared Version.pdf.


Troubleshooting failed



Anyone with thoughts on other steps I could take much appreciated.





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@asteryou The error you're seeing relating to indexing shows that the metadata index on your Mac isn't in good shape.


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

⚠️ Indexing may not be enabled on this drive

    Error: unexpected indexing state.  kMDConfigSearchLevelTransitioning


First, I would recommend following step 6 from the Indexing troubleshooting page, which will result in a deeper reindex on your Mac. Once your metadata has been rebuilt, try using the File Troubleshooter again, and hopefully you'll see a green tick next to the Indexing status. 


I'm not familiar with LuLu Security, but I wouldn't recommend using any tool that meddles with the macOS metadata going forward.


Let me know how you get on.

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Hi Vero,


Yes, I completed step 6 again and restarted my Mac and then went out for a walk hoping (magically) that things would 'settle.'


So now I can do a quick search for Applications that are not default Apple apps.


For example, if I type....

  • p  - I get 1Password, TechTool Pro, Adobe Photoshop, etc but not apple Podcasts
  • m  - I get show Music.app Mini Player but not actually apple Music  
  • q - can Quit all kinds of applications but not display Quicktime
  • Qui - websearch but no Quicktime
  • ca - Carbon Copy Cloner but not calculator or calendar  


I have a folder that will still call up when I start typing "J" and get the folder "Jonathan Mack" (because I added this particular folder to the Alfred preferences), but can't call up any story within that folder. I duplicated a story and renamed it "Primer.pdf" and then did a quick call up for P but only get applications. 


Any other steps I might take to get Alfred working how it used to?





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@asteryou Could you provide the output from the File Troubleshooting tool again? It doesn't sound like your index is fixed.


To be clear, this is the underlying macOS index, not an Alfred feature - Once your Mac's index is fixed, you should see results in Alfred normally.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Vero, not sure how it happened but all the functionality seems to have returned. 


Maybe my mac is just slow and I was too itchy trigger finger-y? I waited a couple of days and attempted to call up Apple applications, which worked. And then to call up individual files, again working.


So ... either I've got to do some more investigating of my hard drive or <something technical magically cleared up>...& thanks again for your help in troubleshooting.

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