How to index a NTFS partition on Mac

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Recently I found myself in a strange situation, where I was searching for a certain document located on my NTFS Data partition, but Spotlight wasn’t able to find it.

I have Paragon NTFS for Mac installed, and I thought that with this Spotlight could understand NTFS, but it didn’t.

With a tool called mdutil you can check if indexing is enabled on a specific partition or drive.

mdutil -s /Volumes/DRIVE_NAME

The flag -s stands for status, so check if indexing is enabled on your desired partition:

To turn indexing on just run the following command:

sudo mdutil -i on /Volumes/DRIVE_NAME

Good, now the only thing left to do is rebuilding the index.

To do that simply run this in your terminal:

mdutil -E /Volumes/DRIVE_NAME

Now either restart your system or wait until Spotlight schedules a new index refresh.


Ale Mello suggested to the following method:

  • In your System preferences navigate to Spotlight > Privacy

  • Add the drive you want to be indexed by Spotlight (if already in the list, remove and then add the drive)

  • Spotlight will now reindex the drive.