After a recent kernel panic & restart, Spotlight no longer seems to know anything about the files under my /Applications folder. I used to launch Safari.app, Opera.app, Textedit.app, etc via Spotlight as a matter of routine. Now, I get "No results found" for all of them (except Textedit.app, which launches a demo text editor from a Qt installation). The programs are still there & still launch directly from Finder.
I've already run disk utility & verified the disk, no issues. I repaired disk permissions, which made several changes, but to no effect.
Is there anything else I can do, short of re-installing MacOS?
Update: I already verified that "Applications" was still checked in my Spotlight preferences. It was still returning applications located elsewhere (the Qt textedit sample app), so that shouldn't have been the issue.
A few hours later it resolved itself; I guess there's a background process running on some interval.