Spotlight on your Mac is a quick way to search your device, the web, the App Store, and Maps for things you need quickly. If you’ve recently updated your Mac, you may notice some issue with the Spotlight feature.

When you make a search in Spotlight, your Mac has to go through all of your indexed directories in order to find what you searched for. Sometimes this feature can fail and instead of looking for what you searched for, the Spotlight feature doesn’t return any results at all.

How to Use Spotlight

1. Click in the upper-right corner of the menu bar. Or press Command-Space bar.

2. Enter what you want to find. You can search for something like iTunes.

3. Double-click the item to open it.

The Reason Spotlight Won’t Work

The main reassure why the Spotlight search feature isn’t working is because there’s a bug in your drive that’s stopping the drive from returning any results when you make a search. Your drive needs to be troubleshooted and repaired for any error before Spotlight can return any results.

1. Repair Drive

Since there may be a problem with the drive that’s containing the Spotlight feature, the first thing you’ll need to do is to repair the disk using disk utility First Aid. First Aid is a utility included with your MacOS for checking and repairing file system errors.

In Mac, it is part of the Disk Utility program. You can also use First Aid if your computer system is crashing frequently. It will check for any errors and repair them.

To repair the drive:

1. Turn off your Mac.

2. Hold both Command + R when turning on your Mac. This will start it up in recovery mode.

disk utility first aid

3. Click on Disk Utility in MacOS Utilities.

4. Click on First Aid.

5. Select Run.

6. Restart your Mac normally. Check if results are returned when you make a search in Spotlight.

2. Re-index Macintosh HD Drive

If you’re searching for something that Spotlight hasn’t indexed, then it won’t be able to return any results because there’s nothing for it to look for. To test this, you can search for something else in the Spotlight such as App Store and check if it gives you a result.

If it doesn’t return results for something else that you search for, you’ll need to get Spotlight to index it so it can return results for you when you make a search. This can be done by re-indexing the Mac drive.

To do this in System Preferences:

1. Click the Apple Menu.

2. Click System Preferences.

3. Click Spotlight.

4. Click Privacy tab.

5. Click + button at the bottom.

6. Add Macintosh HD. You’ll receive a message saying, “Are you sure you want to prevent Spotlight from searching in “Macintosh HD”.”

7. Click OK.

8. Click – to remove Macintosh HD from the list. This will force Spotlight to re-index your whole Macintosh HD drive.

To do this in Terminal:

1. Go to Applications > Utilities.

2. Enter the following command:

sudo mdutil -E /. This will erase and rebuild the Spotlight index.

  1. Press Enter.

3. Uncheck Bookmarks & History

1. Click the Apple Menu.

2. Click System Preferences.

3. Click Spotlight.

uncheck bookmarks and history

4. Uncheck Bookmarks & History.

4. Install Software Updates

If you have current software updates that you haven’t installed on your Mac, installing them might fix the issue with Spotlight. If your software is out of date, then there may be a bug in the Macintosh HD drive that stops your WIFI from working.

You’ll first need to install any software updates on your Mac. Once the installments are done, you need to safe reboot your mac. To start up in safe mode: Restart your Mac, then immediately press and hold the Shift key.

The Apple logo appears on your display > Release the Shift key when you see the login window. Once you’ve done this, restart your Mac again and check if Spotlight Search is working.