Fix: macOS Ventura Spotlight Not Working or Very Slow

If you use your Mac every day for work and your personal life, chances are you have a lot of files, photos, folders, documents, and other data all over your Mac. It can make finding one specific file a pain. Luckily, Spotlight lets you search your Mac for almost anything, making it easy to find whatever you need. But sometimes Spotlight stops working due to system errors, indexing errors, or improper settings. Let’s know how to fix macOS Ventura Spotlight Not Working or Very Slow.

Spotlight macOS Ventura

Solutions to fix macOS Ventura Spotlight Not Working or Very Slow

Here are the most likely reasons why Spotlight Search might not work or act strangely:

  • Problems with the system
  • Spotlight indexing mistakes
  • Poorly adjusted spotlight settings

In the following sections, you’ll learn to find out what’s wrong and fix Spotlight.

1. Restart Spotlight Services

If Spotlight regularly freezes or crashes when trying to use it, start by restarting Spotlight-related services. You’ll need to force the system service that manages Mac’s user interface to shut down. To do this,

  1. Open Launchpad and click Other > Activity Monitor.
  2. Next, use the search field in the top right corner of your screen to find System-UI Server under the CPU tab.
  3. Once you find the service, click the name.
  4. Force it to stop by clicking the Stop button at the top of the screen.
  5. A pop-up window will appear, asking you if you want to quit this process. Click Force Quit to shut down the program.

Continue the process through other services related to Spotlight Search as necessary, such as “Spotlight” and “Mds”.

2. Restart Your Mac to fix macOS Ventura Spotlight Not Working or Very Slow

Sometimes, restarting your Mac is enough to refresh itself and fix Spotlight issues. First, shut down your Mac, then reboot it after it shuts down completely (or select the “Restart” option in the Apple menu).

Once it powers up again, attempt to use the Spotlight Search tool to see if the macOS Ventura Spotlight Not Working problem persists.

3. Restart the System UI Server

System-UI Server takes care of system menu items and shows search results in Spotlight Search. As a result, if Spotlight stops functioning, restarting System-UI Server should do the trick.

  1. Start Activity Monitor by going to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Utilities.
  2. Then, type sys in the search bar at the top right of the window to find System-UI Server.
  3. In the window that appears, click the button addressed as “Quit.” Rather than completely shutting down, this action will only restart System-UI Server. Because the computer will start up this application right away.

The Activity Monitor on a Mac lets you see MDS stores, one of Spotlight’s indexing daemons. If the MDS stores process is consuming a lot of CPU time, it might be to blame for Spotlight’s inefficiency.

4. Check Your Keyboard Shortcuts to fix macOS Ventura Spotlight Not Working or Very Slow

If rebooting the computer doesn’t work, check your keyboard shortcuts for function: press Command + Space or Option + Command + Space. If nothing happens using these functions, double-check the keyboard shortcut for Spotlight Search or Finder Search to see if it’s active.

  1. Start by opening System Preferences (or System Settings if you’re on macOS Ventura like me) in the Apple menu.
  2. In the window that opens, select Keyboard. In this window, click on Keyboard Shortcuts…, then select Spotlight from the sidebar.
  3. In this section, check the boxes next to Show Spotlight search and Show Finder search window if they aren’t already checked.

You can also uncheck boxes next to categories you don’t want as an option. Click on the Spotlight Privacy button to view excluded apps, folders, and files.

Remove excluded apps by clicking on the app you want to move, then click the “Minus” button to delete it from the list. Once you delete these items from the list, they’ll not appear in your Spotlight search results again.

5. Update The System

Periodically updating your Mac is essential to avoid buggy system software, which can lead to varying issues with your system. So, check for available updates by opening System Settings in the Apple menu.

Select Software Update, then give your Mac a minute or two to scan for updates. Your Mac will display an Update Now button if it finds available updates. Click on this button to upgrade your system to the new software.

6. Look For Disk Errors to fix macOS Ventura Spotlight Not Working or Very Slow

Persistent Spotlight issues might be associated with drive errors. So check for problems here using the Disk Utility applet in macOS (built-in utility). To use this app,

  1. Open Launchpad and select Other.
  2. Select Disk Utility, then switch to Macintosh HD on the sidebar.
  3. Look at the top of the screen for the button addressed as First Aid.
  4. Click the button, then select Run in the pop-up window.
  5. Give the Disk Utility a few minutes to scan and repair disk errors, then select Done when the window pops up.

If your system detects disk errors but fails to fix them, you can repair them by booting your Mac into macOS recovery.

7. Reindex Spotlight Search

In some cases, it may be necessary to rebuild the Spotlight index manually. This will allow you to adjust specific directories or the entire internal storage on your Mac. To reindex the Spotlight search,

  1. Start by opening System Preferences, then select Siri & Spotlight.
  2. To rebuild the entire Spotlight index for your Mac, drag Macintosh HD from your desktop into the Privacy tab.
  3. In the pop-up window, click OK to confirm you don’t want Spotlight to index the directory or drive.
  4. Next, select the item you added and click the “Minus” button to delete it.

This tells your Mac to delete the Spotlight index and then completely rebuild it, which usually takes a while, especially if you’re reindexing the entire internal storage. It can take up to an hour or more for your Mac to finish the process and make Spotlight usable again.

So, that’s all for today. For more troubleshooting guides, follow GetDroidTips!


  1. Respectfully, it’s not “System-UI Server”; it’s “SystemUIServer.” (No spaces, no hyphen.) These details are important.

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