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When I type anything into the Spotlight menu in the top right corner, I get the normal list of top results. But if I then click "Show All", or if I just go to the Finder and initiate a search there, it returns no results. The status bar says "Searching This Mac…" and I get the spinner in the corner, but it never goes away and never shows any results.

I have had Spotlight reindex my entire hard drive twice, and it doesn't help. Rebooting doesn't help either.


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If you arrow down to the item and hit Command+Enter (or Command+Click) it should open a Finder window containing the file. What happens if you do that? – michaelmichael Jul 6 '11 at 20:46
Thanks for your attempt at help, michaelmichael, and I'm sorry I ultimately wasted your time. :) – 75th Trombone Jul 6 '11 at 21:11
up vote 0 down vote accepted

It turns out that the problem was that I had the Finder window list set to sort by the Kind column. Spotlight apparently does not like that arrangement, and refuses to display results. I had to sort by Name, close the window, and reopen it. Now Spotlight works perfectly.

This problem was originally with Snow Leopard, and persisted on Lion 10.7.0, but seems to have been fixed at some point before Mountain Lion 10.8.4.

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