How to rebuild the Spotlight index on your Mac

“Spotlight, a system-wide macOS feature, allows you to find apps, documents, bookmarks, contacts, emails, items from third-party apps and more, from one central place on your Mac,” Christian Zibreg writes for iDownloadBlog. “In order to work properly, Spotlight relies on an indexed database of all the disks and files on your system that you haven’t explicitly excluded from searching.”

“When Spotlight is acting up, searching your Mac may not return results you’d expect,” Zibreg writes. “If that’s your case, then rebuilding the Spotlight index might help fix your problems.”

“For those wondering, Spotlight for Mac was announced at the June 2004 Worldwide Developers Conference and released with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger in April 2005. A similar feature for iOS 3.0 with the same name was announced on March 17, 2009,” Zibreg writes. “iOS 11 has renamed the Spotlight feature as ‘Search.'”

How to rebuild Spotlight index on your Mac here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is a good thing to do for those of us who like to keep their Macs in operation from many years. A periodic Spotlight re-indexing can clean up any wonky Spotlight behavior that may develop over time.


  1. The link isn’t working
    Easy enough to rebuild Spotlight index – open Spotlight Pref Pane and drag your hard drive to the privacy pane; this will delete the index. Wait 10 minutes then drag your hard drive out of privacy pane and spotlight will rebuild index.

  2. Is there a way to empty the tags from your Apple iCloud account?
    When you start to put a tag on a file it throws up previously used tags which can be a pain in the ass if you are not the world’s greatest typist. Save one spelled wrong and it shows up as you type forever.

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