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Fix: Safari app not showing in Spotlight Search

Is Safari not appearing in Spotlight Search results? Learn to resolve this indexing issue to include Safari app in Spotlight on your Mac.

MacOS has the spotlight search (shortcut: + Spacebar) feature that allows quick opening of applications or documents. However, it might face intermittent issues due to data indexing that can stop the Safari browser from displaying in search results.

In that case, we can check the Spotlight settings page under System settings, reindex the applications folder to include the missing app, and even restart the system to fix any temporary glitches.

In this guide, we have shared the different methods to fix the issue with Spotlight Search not displaying the Safari app.

Method 1: Re-check your Search Text

If your Spotlight Search doesn’t yield the right suggestion, first check whether you have made any typos in the Search.

It shows you a list of suggestions based on your search text. For instance, if you type safari, the search result might show all the resources containing saf....

Spotlight Search to open Terminal App

Therefore, if that is what you are going through, consider using double-quotations to contain the word or phrase something like this "safari". It will increase the probability of generating more accurate results.

Method 2: Include the Applications folder in the Spotlight Search

If you are particularly experiencing this issue for the Safari app or any other application, it might happen if the Applications folder is excluded from your Spotlight Search. Here’s how to re-include them:

  1. Click on the Apple apple logo menu and select System Settings options.
    Apple Menubar with System Settings highlightedIt will open the Safari Settings window.
  2. On the sidebar, open Siri & Spotlight and enable the checkbox for the Applications folder.
    Include Applications items in Spotlight search on Mac

Since the Safari app is inside the Applications folder, it will automatically be included in search results. Once you are done, try to access the app through Spotlight Search again.

Method 2: Re-index Files and Folder using Spotlight Settings

If the above fixes don’t work, you may have to re-index your Spotlight Search. This process varies depending on the macOS you are using.

Re-indexing on Ventura and later

  1. Click on the Apple apple logo menu and select System Settings options.
    Apple Menubar with System Settings highlightedIt will open the Safari Settings window.
  2. On the sidebar, open Siri & Spotlight and scroll down to click on the Spotlight Privacy button.
    Spotlight Privacy Settings command on macOSIt will open the Spotlight Privacy pop-up window.
  3. Click on Plus + to add the Applications folder for indexing and hit on the Done button.
    Adding Applications folder into Spotlight Privacy window
  4. Again, open the Spotlight Privacy window and remove the same Applications folder using the Minus command from the list.
    Remove Applications Folder from the Spotlight Privacy window
  5. Hit the Done button and close the System Settings window.

Reindexing will start in the background and take time based on the folder size. Later, you can try searching for the Safari app on Spotlight Search.

Re-indexing on Earlier Versions of macOS

  1. Go to Apple apple logo menu and select the System Preferences menu.
  2. Now, click on Spotlight and switch to the Privacy tab.
  3. Click on Plus + to add the Applications folder for indexing.
    Alternatively, drag and drop the Applications folder from the Finder window.
    macos system preferences spotlight privacy add
  4. Select the same Applications folder in the Privacy tab and Click the Remove or button.
  5. Close the System Preferences window.

The Spotlight will automatically re-index all the contents in the Application folder and make all apps available in search results.

Method 3: Restart your Mac System

Restarting devices often rectifies the most common issues that we cannot troubleshoot. A simple restart can fix the problem with Spotlight search and also clear any glitches that might have occurred.

Apple Mac Restart menu under Apple Logo

A system restart will also ensure that the changes made on the Spotlight settings page are saved and applied across the device.

You can check out our basic browser troubleshooting guide, which can help with many simple methods.

Bottom Line

Apple users who have upgraded their Macs to macOS Sierra or higher versions have yet to encounter Safari issues from Spotlight search. Reindexing the applications and folders and restarting the system can resolve the issue.

If you think the search results are too slow to load, uncheck the useless folder items and exclude them using the Spotlight settings page. It will enhance the search performance and might deliver accurate results.

Do you know? We can configure the system to open Spotlight Search results in the Chrome browser.

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Kushal Azza

Kushal Azza

Kushal Azza is a Google Certified IT Professional, Digital Content Creator, and Go-To Digital Marketer with Engineering Degree. He has over a decade of experience solving tech problems, troubleshooting, and innovating digital solutions. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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