Recently, there are complaints that spotlight search isn’t working for many users. You might be faced with problems like no search results or spotlight search crashing and closing. This has left many users with questions like why is spotlight search not working and how can I fix it?
The current software that you’re using might have bugs in it. Your drive might have failed or there might have been a glitch in your OS. Besides these, there might be several other reasons to make your spotlight search a failure.
Fortunately, this is not something that needs a visit to a technician. You can stay home and fix it by following the mentioned fixes in this article.
Why Is My Spotlight Search Not Working?
The spotlight search on your device might not be working due to different reasons. We have mentioned some possible causes for why your spotlight search is not working.
- Spotlight Settings: Your system settings can also affect how your spotlight search works. There might have been some changes in the spotlights search settings that you are unaware of.
- System Error: Sometimes, the system contains issues and errors. Due to these errors, your device slows down and also shows glitches. But these errors are not something that you can not fix. Sometimes a simple restart/reboot can be the ultimate solution for them.
- Bugs in the Software: Older software version may contains bugs that are fixed in the newer versions. That is why it is important to update your device when available.
- Searching for Unavailable Files and Documents: You might have searched for deleted or unavailable files on your device which is why you’re seeing messages like “no search results.” If you are searching for deleted files then spotlight search will not show any results, which you might have mistaken as spotlight search not working.
How Do I Fix Spotlight Search Not Working on Mac?
You can fix your spotlight search when it’s not working by following some simple steps. Start out by restarting your device and updating your software. I have listed several plausible methods to fix the spotlight search not working below.
Reboot Your Device
Restarting your device can solve many problems including spotlight search. Try to restart your Mac for it to function smoothly.
To restart your Mac, you need to follow these steps:
- Click on the Apple logo at the top left corner.
- Click on Restart.
Update Your OS
As we have mentioned earlier, the version of your current OS might be outdated or it may have bugs in it. Apple provides software updates to fix those bugs. You should update as soon as the software update is available.
Here are the steps to update your Mac:
- Click on the Apple logo.
- Select System Preferences.
- Click on Software Update.
You can see if the software update is available or not. If it is available, you can update it immediately.
Check Your Stored Files
What if the files you are looking for are not stored? You cannot find it using a spotlight. You should make sure your documents and files are stored in the correct name. You should also make sure that you have typed the correct name in the search bar.
The SystemUIServer manages the spotlight search. So, if you have any problems with the spotlight search you can try to restart SystemUIServer.
Follow these steps to restart SystemUIServer:
- Go to Finder.
- Go to Applications > Utilities.
- Go to Activity Monitor.
- On the search bar, find SystemUIServer.
- Double click on it
- Select Quit.
Rebuild Spotlight by Preference
If your spotlight is still not working even by restarting your device, you should try fixing your preferences. Here are some simple tricks to fix the spotlight preference:
- Click on the Apple logo.
- Select System Preference.
- Click the Spotlight option.
- Click on the Privacy tab.
- You can see the ‘+’ button at the bottom left. Click the ‘+’ button.
- Add content that Spotlight failed to locate.
- Restart after completing these steps.
Re-Index Spotlight With Terminal
You can also try to re-index the spotlight by terminal if the previous step did not work. To re-index spotlight with terminal follow these steps:
- Open Finder.
- Go to Applications.
- Go to Utilities.
sudo mdutil -E /in the terminal window
- Press Return
- Type your password.
- Press Return
Indexing spotlight is now enabled.
Run Disk Utility in Recovery Mode
Running disk Utility in Recovery mode will let your device check for any errors and fix them. Restart your device in recovery mode by:
- Restart by pressing the command + R keys. You may be asked to select any user and put the password in it.
- Select the user and enter the password.
- Select Disk Utility.
- Click on continue.
- Choose First Aid at the top menu bar.
- Click on Run.
- After completion of FIrst aid, Restart your device.
How to Fix Spotlight Search Not Working on iPhone?
When spotlight search stops working on your iPhone the first thing you should do is restart your device.
Press down the volume down/up button and power button at the same time then slide the slider for iPhone X and above. For iPhone 8 or earlier press down the power button and then slide the slider.
Disabling and Enabling Spotlight Search
You can also try Disabling and Enabling Spotlight Search and see if it works. Here’s how to do it:
- Open Settings.
- Click on Siri & Search.
- Scroll and tap on any application.
- Turn off the following settings:
- Learn from this app
- Show App in search
- Show on Home Screen
- Suggest App
- Suggestion Notifications
- Do the same for every app in the given list.
Now, check if the spotlight search works or not. If not then turn on the same features for some apps. You can repeat this process to find out which app is causing the problem.
Change Language Settings
Issues with language files can also be the reason for your spotlight search not working. Check your language settings and fix any errors. You can follow these steps:
- Open Settings.
- Go to General.
- Go to Language and Region.
- Click on iPhone Language settings.
- Change it to DIfferent Region.
- Go to General settings.
- Tap on Shutdown.
- Now, turn on your phone.
- Change the language to default.
- Restart your device.
Remove Shortcuts Widgets
Shortcuts are by no doubt very useful features but many iPhone users have complained that once they put shortcuts and widgets, spotlight search has stopped working for them. If it is the same for you then try removing them. Follow these steps to do so:
- Go to the home screen
- Swipe to view widgets.
- Tap on Edit
- Tap the red icon next to shortcuts
What Is the Shortcut for Spotlight Search on Mac?
To open Spotlight search with the help of your keyboard shortcuts, you can press the Command + Space Bar.