How to: Move the macOS Spotlight Search Bar to Another Screen Location

Posted in How To, macOS on 27/01/2017 by Chris Hauk


The macOS Spotlight Search Window is a handy item to have around. By simply clicking the Spotlight icon in your Mac’s menu bar, or via the Command + Spacebar shortcut, you’re ready to begin searching for information, be it on your hard drive, or on the internet.

How to: Move the macOS Spotlight Search Bar to Another Screen Location

The Spotlight Window by default pops up in the middle of your Mac’s desktop display, and you may find that gets in the way if you need to use it regularly. Did you know you can put it anywhere you want it? You can even stick it in the upper right-hand corner like the old days, if that’s how you want to roll. Here’s how.

Moving the Spotlight Window

To move the Spotlight Window, summon it clicking the spyglass icon in the Manu Bar, or press the Command + Spacebar shortcut. (You’ve got options!) Now, click and hold on the Spotlight window, and drag it to any location on the screen, and drop it. Wherever you drag and drop it to, that’s where it’ll pop-up the next time you summon it.

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t entered a search term, or there is plenty of information being displayed, just click and drag the window to the desired location.

Reset the Spotlight Window’s Location to the Default

If you get a little too wild and drag the Spotlight Window somewhere that you can’t find it. (Don’t laugh, it could happen…) Just click and hold on the Spotlight icon on your Menu Bar, and it’ll pop back into the top middle location on the screen, just like before.

Note: For this tip to work, you’ll need macOS Sierra or OS X 10.11 or later installed on your Mac, earlier versions of Mac OS X don’t allow the window or search field to move.


Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 9 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, a number of iPads, iPhones, and multiple Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine and the Internet.