How to Rebuild the Spotlight Index in OS X

How to Rebuild the Spotlight Index in OS X

OS X Spotlight is a great feature that will help you find anything on your hard disk. By creating an index of everything on your computer, it can help you find apps, files, documents, contacts, and more. Occasionally though, you’ll find that it’s NOT finding what you’re looking for. The Spotlight index can sometimes become corrupted or will be incomplete. If you find your results aren’t quite what you’re expecting, maybe it’s time to rebuild the Spotlight index.

Here’s How:

1. Click the Apple in the upper-left hand corner of the desktop, and then click “System Preferences.”

2. In the System Preferences windows shown below, click Spotlight.


3. Click “Privacy.” You’ll see the window below.

SIR_spotlight_select4. Click the “+” button.

5. Select the hard disk or volume you want to rebuild the index on.


6. Now, select the hard disk or volume you just added to the list, and then click the “-” button. Now Spotlight will rebuild the index of that hard disk or volume. The rebuilding process can take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours, depending on the size of the disk, how many files you have on the disk, and the speed of the disk.

7. Click the Spotlight icon in the upper-left hand of the Desktop to verify that the index is being rebuilt.


After the index is rebuilt, your Spotlight results should once more be up to date and accurate.

For more helpful tips, check out our full collection of tutorials by visiting our How-To category!