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Seems to be an issue with Monterey. I got this in a chat with Dropbox support:
"Thanks for this. I can see that the issue here is that you are on a version of MacOS Monterray, where they have implemented the File Provider API. On these versions, it limits what can be accessed from Dropbox.. So you won't be able to use spotlight search from local folders for teh Dropxbo items., Whereas the global search should still work. However, one other way that you should still be able to search for files in Dropper is through our own search feature. (The one when you click on the Dropbox icon in the menu bar, at the top right near the clock)"
Never heard of "File Provider API". I sure don't understand why Spotlight can't find local files in my local Dropbox folder, but apparently it can't. If I search "This Mac", Spotlight finds all those local Dropbox files. It's a Mac Mystery.
Hi John, have you seen any alteration in this? This obviously requires me to drop dropbox, which I will probably do today since I just ran into this issue. Probably 10 years on dropbox but this would be idiotic as an on-going issue. Doesn't sound like it is even on the radar as an issue from what you got in chat. Any updates you care to share?
Yes! The problem seems to have mysteriously gone away. Who knows if it was Apple who fixed the problem or, much less likely, Dropbox. Either way, I can now search in my Dropbox folders from Finder.
FYI, I'm using a latest-release MacBook Pro and Monterey 12.2.1. Maybe the last update to Monterey fixed the issue. The MBPro shipped with an earlier version of Monterey, and one or two subsequent updates hadn't fixed it. Maybe it was the 12.2.1 update that did it.
I'm seeing the behavior reported originally by the OP in macOS Monterey 12.3, but worse: searching from the Spotlight menu does not produce any results either.
Only searching from the Dropbox menu and using Dropbox's own search mechanism produces results.
I'm using the Mac version of Dropbox v145.3.4888 running on macOS Monterey 12.3 and all files in the folders I'm searching are downloaded on my Mac — none of them are cloud-only files.
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