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glawrie

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 31, 2005
56
5
Maidenhead, UK
Have a 2015 13" MBA running (now) Catalina, but previously Mojave.

Prior to the update to Catalina something happened to the spotlight configuration on the computer, and it stopped providing results for applications. This has continued after updating to Catalina.

I have tried following Apple's advice for how to reset spotlight (open system preferences, drag Macintosh HD to Privacy Window, and then delete it again) and it has not helped.

For good measure, I repeated this action using just the Applications directory too. That didn't help either.

Spotlight for things other than applications appears to be working OK.

Any suggestions about what might be going on / how I can get applications back into my search results?

Thanks in advance for whatever help you can provide.
 

bogdanw

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2009
5,680
2,720
Check in System Preferences - Spotlight for Applications to be enabled
spotlight.jpg

If it is, try do uncheck it and recheck it again.
 

glawrie

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 31, 2005
56
5
Maidenhead, UK
thanks for the suggestion.

I tried unticking applications, and putting applications into the exclude list and then ticking / removing them again, but it has made no difference :(

Any other methods I can try?
 

glawrie

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 31, 2005
56
5
Maidenhead, UK
Sounds like you need to re-index spotlight, I had this same issue and it worked for me.


Well I tried all the methods in that article that I had not tried before - including

Code:
mdutil -i off /
sudo rm -rf /.Spotlight-V100
sudo rm -rf /.Spotlight-V200
mdutil -i on /
mdutil -E /

And so far still not got Applications appearing in the Spotlight output.

It is mystifying and frustrating in equal measure...

Any other ideas anyone?
 

Dahoffman85

macrumors newbie
Feb 24, 2020
20
9
Do you happen to use Alfred? If not my out of the box suggestion would be to download it, then use it to try and reload your macOS metadata. TBH I actually think this was how I ended up fixing my issue and I stuck with using Alfred as its a fantastic program. If you do try this, once downloaded, type “reload” into Alfreds search bar, then go to the Advanced tab in Alfred's Preferences and click "Rebuild macOS Metadata". It will ask for a password but you might not see anything when entering (that’s ok just hit enter when done). It might take a while for the index to complete so find something else to do for the next 45min. Once complete type “reload” again and you should be all set. If this works and you don’t really want Alfred just uninstall it and you should be good to go from there.
 

glawrie

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 31, 2005
56
5
Maidenhead, UK
Well I tried the Alfred reset as suggested, but it didn't fix it either.
I'm drifting towards simply nukeing the setup and reinstalling Catalina as a clean install and then resyncing the data back... fortunately my setup allows for this (it is just tedious to do).
 
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