Thursday, September 13, 2007

Quicksilver Tip: Fix a Slow Quicksilver

Over the last week or so, my much beloved Quicksilver has gotten very, very slow and sluggish. I'd hit the hot key (option-space in my case) and start typing. And then I'd wait. After a few seconds, the command would register and the action would take place.

After snooping around for what the problem is, I found a few web pages that suggested reducing the catalog size. Yes, I did have a large number of items in my catalogue. Therefore, I promptly unchecked many of the items in my catalogue and issued a rescan command. However, contrary to my expectations, this had no noticeable effect.

Apparently deselecting items does not actually remove them. The whole lot is still sitting in memory. They are only cleared out after Quicksilver is shut down and restarted. Ugh. That's the way I had to fix things on my old operating system.

Gripe aside, here's the lesson. To really fix a dawdling Quicksilver, pare down your catalogue and restart the application.


  1. Thanks for this tip! After checking my catalog, I had created a custom index for my Developer folder (Over 21,000 files!) Unchecking it and restarting fixed it all.

  2. With Leopard, Spotlight is far more effective at searching for files. Now, I strictly use Quicksilver for the actions (e.g., run an app, move a set of files, empty the trash). I never use it for file searches anymore.

  3. Thank you for this! I had added an enormous documents folder to my catalog and didn't realize that this was why Quicksilver had gone wonky. I went a month without Quicksilver because it became so unusable. Computing without Quicksilver felt like my dog had died or something.

  4. I just found this while looking for the cure to speeding up my suddenly sluggish Quicksilver... thanks so much!

  5. thank you thank you thank you thank you

    also to smithco for reminding me i don't need QS for doc's since spoltlight shines there (pun totally intended)

  6. Thanks, this helped me out too.

  7. Hmm. I just looked through my quicksilver catalog and found these items:

    pictures 957
    movies 410
    dropbox 100
    music 198
    downloads 1541
    documents 3087
    address book 9769
    applications 566

    ... are these the reason mine is slow? The address book functionality is my single favorite thing about quicksilver -- I'm loathe to remove it. Spotlight is slow for me too. Advice?

  8. Hi Ben,

    My advice is to pare Quicksilver down to what you need to run actions.

    For regular searches, Spotlight often is faster -- particularly on 10.6. Though, if you do still want Quicksilver for search keep the list down to things you often search for. In my case, getting the pictures, movies and music out of the list helped me a lot. The actual best solution for you depends entirely on your usage patterns.