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macos – Spotlight search window is slow to open

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I found that deleting Spotlight’s metadata and let it rebuild its index made Spotlight much faster for me and uses much less CPU power. You can do this by entering the following commands into terminal.

Note: You may need to disable SIP to run the following commands:

Step 1. This turns off indexing:

sudo mdutil -a -i off /

Note: It’ll prompt you with your Mac’s admin password when running the first sudo command prompt above, but it shouldn’t for the sudo commands in the following steps below. Your password will not show up in the terminal window when you type it, so be careful not to make mistakes or otherwise it’ll just re-prompt you until you enter the correct admin password

Step 2. This kills (quits) spotlight

sudo killall -KILL Spotlight spotlightd mds

Step 3. This deletes spotlight indexing metadata

sudo rm -rf ~/Library/Metadata/CoreSpotlight/

Step 4. This deletes other spotlight data

sudo rm -Rf /System/Volums/Data/.Spotlight-V100

Step 5. This turns on indexing again

sudo mdutil -a -i on /

Step 6 (Optional). Restart your Mac (but not necessary) after completing step 5. Also re-enable SIP again if you disabled it earlier.

Step 7. Give Spotlight some time to reindex your Mac (particularly if it has a large data disk).

This worked for me on my 2013 MacBook Pro (Intel) running on macOS Big Sur, so I’m not sure if this will give you the relief you’re seeking for your M1 Mac, but it is certainly worth giving a try! The commands should be the same on macOS Ventura. If it isn’t, the location of the Spotlight metadata might be in a different directory/file path, but otherwise the commands are the same.

Hopefully this fixes it for you, because it certainly made my Spotlight much more responsive!

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