Spotlight search is not working. I am searching for a file that I know is on my computer but Spotlight can’t find it.
After updating Mac computers to OS 10.11, the drive will need to be re-indexed to optimize searches. This should happen automatically after the update and can take up to 45 minutes to complete.
If Spotlight stops working, you can force Spotlight to re-index your hard drive with the following process:
- Select the Apple menu in the upper left corner of your screen and choose System Preferences.
- Click Spotlight in the top row.
- Select the Privacy tab.
- Click the "+" (plus) sign in the lower left region of the window.
- Select Macintosh HD from the side bar and click Choose.
- You will see the following prompt. Click OK.
- Select the Search Results tab, and then click back to the Privacy tab.
- Highlight Macintosh HD and click the "-" (minus) sign in the lower left region of the window.
- Close out of the Spotlight window.
- In the upper right corner of your screen, click on the Spotlight magnifying glass. A drop down window will display that spotlight is reindexing your drive and, after a few seconds, display an estimate of the time it will take to complete the process.