Your Mac’s Finder Search is a really helpful feature for quickly locating any files or folders you require. It looks through your iCloud Drive, Mac hard drive, and other connected storage devices. Despite how helpful it may seem, the Finder Search occasionally has issues.
And when this error occurs, despite your conviction that a particular file or folder should be present, it fails to locate it. Even worse is when you search for something and absolutely nothing is returned by the Finder. But don’t panic; there are solutions available. Permit me to describe these troubleshooting procedures for the majority of Mac issues with Finder Search not working.
How to Use Finder Search on Your Mac
It’s very understandable if you haven’t been utilizing Finder Search on your Mac. Instead of utilizing Finder or Spotlight Search, some people prefer to navigate around the Finder window and look through the various folders to find what they’re looking for.
But if you’re curious, you may click the search symbol in the Finder window’s upper-right corner. After entering the filename, folder name, or file extension, press Return to start the search. By default, Finder Search begins looking through your Mac’s hard drive, but you may click on Desktop to limit your search to that particular folder.
And that is how straightforward the Finder Search is to use. Finder Search does not always perform as it ought to, though. In fact, Finder Search issues on Macs are among the most frequent issues that Mac users deal with. When that occurs, even if you keep typing the name of what you are looking for, Finder Search won’t find any files or folders.
How to Fix Finder Search Not Working on Your Mac
So, to fix the problem when Finder Search stops working on macOS Ventura (or previous macOS versions), follow the troubleshooting advice provided below.
1. Check Spotlight Search Settings If Finder Search is Not Showing All Files
If you didn’t know, Finder Search and Spotlight Search both use the same search index. Therefore, you can check the Spotlight Search settings to see if the search index includes all folders. It’s possible that you unintentionally omitted one or more folders when using macOS’ privacy settings.
One minute is required.
To Check the Spotlight Search Settings, Adhere to The Steps Below.
- Click the Apple logo from the menu bar.
- Click System Settings (or System Preferences).
- Click Siri & Spotlight > Spotlight Privacy.
- If you see folders listed that you actually do want Spotlight and Finder Search to look in, remove them from the list. Click on the folder you want to be indexed, then click the icon.
- Click Done.
Rebuild the Search Index of the Spotlight App If Finder Search is Not Finding Files
The Spotlight Search and Finder Search share the same search index, as was already mentioned. Therefore, you can attempt rebuilding the search index to resolve the issue when Finder Search is unable to search the Downloads or Desktop folder. Using the terminal app, you can rebuild the Finder Search index.
Rebuild the Finder Search index by following the instructions listed below.
- Open the Finder App, then click Applications.
- Click Utilities > Terminal.
- Type sudo mdutil -E / in the Terminal prompt.
- Type your Mac password when prompted, then hit Return.
Rebuilding the search index could take a long time, depending on how much data needs to be indexed on your Mac. Check to see if Finder Search is now operating properly when reindexing is complete.
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Change the Default Search in Finder App
Altering the Finder app’s default search behavior is the final thing you can do to resolve the problem with Finder Search not functioning on your Mac.
To alter the Finder tool’s default search, adhere to the methods below.
- Open the Finder App on your Mac.
- Click on the Advanced tab.
- When performing a search, change the default behavior of the search in the Finder app to any of the other two options. This could be Search This Mac, Search the Current Folder, or Use the Previous Search Scope.
In addition to the aforementioned methods, some people who experience this issue reported taking additional actions to resolve it. If the aforementioned suggestions don’t resolve your problem, you can attempt these troubleshooting actions. But most of the time, just rebuilding the search index will fix the issue when Mac Finder Search isn’t working.