Rebuild the Spotlight index on your Mac

If you're receiving unexpected results when you're searching on your Mac, rebuilding the Spotlight index may help.

Before rebuilding the Spotlight index


Rebuild the Spotlight index

  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Spotlight.
  2. Click the Privacy tab.
  3. Drag the disk or folder that you want to re-index to the list of locations that Spotlight is prevented from searching in. Or click the add button (+) and select the disk or folder to add.
    folder named
    You can only add an item to the Privacy tab if you have ownership permissions for that item. To find out more about permissions, choose Help from the Finder menu bar, then search for “permissions”.
  4. From the same list of locations, select the disk or folder that you've just added. Then click the remove button (–) to remove it from the list.
    Spotlight System Preferences Privacy tab with add and remove button callout
  5. Quit System Preferences. Spotlight will re-index the contents of the disk or folder. This can take some time, depending on the amount of information that is being indexed.
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