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Alfred Not Searching for Folders in Dropbox

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I have seen this problem noted before. I want Alfred to be able to search for folders within my Dropbox file.

1. My folders are in Dropbox at the standard location on my harddrive

2. I have rebuilt my index (running macOS Sierra) - spotlight finds the folders as top hits instantly.

3. I have a simple File Filter work flow to find files.

4. I have a carried out all the troubleshooting steps outlined in "Troubleshooting indexing issues"

5. I also deleted Alfred 2 preferences and files left in Application Support


A. If the folder is outside of Dropbox, Alfred finds the folder instantly.

B. If the folder is one that I have opened, then it is found. This is true even after reloading the Alfred cache (which seems odd to me? Could the resetting the Alfred cache not be working?)

C. If the folder is one I have not opened in the finder but inside Dropbox, it is found by Spotlight, but not Alfred.


Any suggestions how to troubleshoot? I am guessing that the Alfred cache is not being deleted - but I am not sure that explains the behavior.



Mike Z



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3 hours ago, meiotic_Drive said:

If the folder is one that I have opened, then it is found. This is true even after reloading the Alfred cache (which seems odd to me? Could the resetting the Alfred cache not be working?)



Alfred's cache only contains applications and preference panes. Resetting it has no effect on other kinds of results. Alfred relies on the same index as Spotlight for everything else.


Afraid I can't help you with the actual issue :(

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Thanks for the note. I am seeing if I can recreate this same behavior on other Macs that I use to try to narrow the possible causes. LaunchBar behaves as expected, but since it makes its own index (and seemingly does not use the Spotlight index), I do not think this is a meaningful comparison. The fact that Spotlight behaves as expected suggests that this could be an Alfred bug - but if it is, I should be able to replicate on another Mac. I will find out.

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@meiotic_Drive Here are a few things to check on your Mac where you can't find the Dropbox files:

  • Check Alfred's Search Scope and make sure your Dropbox folder is included in the scope
  • Depending on how many file types you've included in your default search, have you scrolled down to make sure it's not just past the top visible results?

A way to force reindexing of a specific folder is to drag it into Spotlight's Privacy tab, waiting a minute or so, then dragging it back out. Wait a few minutes, then search again. This will have forced OS X to reindex that folder specifically, and may resolve your issue.


Let me know how you get on. :)




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I explicitly added Dropbox to my scope. And few of my main nested folders in Dropbox - and the search seems to work better. But spotlight just finds these folders, so it seems a bit odd to me that I need to add these nested folders to the Alfred scope to have them returned.

The folders are not down the search - nothing is found and I a given the option to search google etc.

I am reindexing Dropbox - but I do not think that is/was the problem, since Spotlight was able to find all the folders (before the reindex).

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After a bunch of experimentation, I think I am convinced that there are occasional issues with spotlight/Dropbox that seem to cause this weirdness. I am now seeing concordant results from Alfred and Spotlight (after manually deleting the entire index and rebuilding). It seems to me that the spotlight indexing either is slightly buggy with the Dropbox folder (which changes a lot) or it simply drops certain folders from its index if they are not frequently accessed.

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