Finder Search Not Working? Here’s How To Fix Finder Search FOREVER

How To Fix Finder Search

Finder Search Not Working? Here’s How To Fix Finder Search FOREVER

This video tutorial will show you how to fix finder search & get files to show up.

We’ve all been there. You’re working on your mac, and you need to find or attach a file.

You head over to a new finder window, enter in the name of the file in the search bar and….


Crickets. Nada.

But you KNOW that the file is in there. You KNOW exactly what it’s called.

You probably even know exactly where it is! But for some reason finder isn’t finding much at all.

It turns out this is a pretty common problem. Luckily – There is a VERY easy, quick fix that will get finder search working the way it’s supposed to in about 20 seconds.

To get your files to show up in finder, all you need to do is reset the spotlight index.

It sounds confusing & complicated, but it’s actually really simple.

This video tutorial walks you through how to fix finder search & reset the spotlight index

Turns out, the reason finder doesn’t do so well at finding things is most often because of something called Indexing.

Indexing is like a treasure map Finder has to keep track of where all the different files are kept in your computer.

But because you’re constantly moving files, deleting files, making new files etc. The treasure map is always changing – And sometimes Finder loses track.

In fact, sometimes finder apparently throws up it’s hands in the air and completely gives up!

Luckily, all you have to do to fix finder search is to reset the index.

Basically you’re getting finder to make a NEW treasure map of where everything on your computer is hanging out.

Simple right?


So how do you do it?

How To Fix Finder Search

Rebuild the Spotlight index in 5 steps direct from Apple

  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Spotlight.
  2. Click the Privacy tab.
  3. Drag the disk or folder that you want to index again to the list of locations that Spotlight is prevented from searching. Or click the add button (+) and select the disk or folder to add.
    folder named "Documents" dragged into the "Prevent Spotlight from searching these locations" list in Spotlight System Preferences
    You can add an item to the Privacy tab only if you have ownership permissions for that item. To learn 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 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 reindex the contents of the disk or folder. This can take some time, depending on the amount of information being indexed.

It sounds too good to be true, but 99% of the time, this will fix finder search and your files will start showing up!

Having an organized computer is an extremely important part of having a photography business & efficient client workflow. Getting finder search working better will save you a LOT of time manually tracking down files.

Did this fix work for you?! Let us know in the comments below!