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There have been other threads on this but none of the solutions mentioned have helped me.

Spotlight has stopped showing any results for my Applications.

  • I've tried reindexing and removing the index so it rebuilds it. No change.
  • I've tried adding Applications to the Privacy tab and removing it, no change.
  • I tried repairing disk permissions and redoing the above, no change.
  • I've tried removing everything from the index except Applications and then I just get nothing for any search at all (except dictionary entries).
  • I tried adding a symlink in my homedir to Applications and reindexing, but no change.

Any ideas on what to do? I'm running Snow Leopard. This is driving me crazy!

Update: I've noticed that when I start a reindex with sudo mdutil -E / and then immediately do a spotlight search for an app that the app shows up temporarily until spotlight gets disabled due to active indexing. After the indexing is done the app entries go away.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

After much more experimentation I hit on something that fixed the problem. I went through the Applications directory looking for anything that didn't belong, and removing any and all cruft. I didn't find anything blatantly out of place, but there were a number of files, directories, PDFs, etc. that had gotten stuck in there over the last couple years. I removed it all, rebuilt the index with sudo mdutil -E / and it is now working perfectly. In fact it's faster than I can ever recall.

Hope this helps someone else.

(p.s. I wasn't sure if answering my own question was the right way to do this. If it's not, please let me know.)

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It is indeed the right way to do this. Cheers :) – JoshP Sep 19 '12 at 13:39

I just got off the phone with Apple and after a ton of troubleshooting, I was able to solve this issue... but it is the WEIRDEST thing....

System Preferences > Displays > Scaled > Choose a smaller scale

Try spotlight again and voila! It was finding all my apps perfectly. I put my screen back to default and it still works perfectly :)

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