Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

For some inexplicable reason, I decided to delete (not hide) Spotlight from my Mac via a terminal command. I downloaded the 10.7.2 update, hoping it would fix this by redownloading Spotlight, but it did not.

This is what happens when you give an idiot access to the terminal.

For reference, I this is my menubar right now:

enter image description here

I tried this method to be sure I simply didn't hide the Spotlight icon.

Spotlight is still in the system preferences.

I am just interested in fixing this. I should note that I didn't reinstall the OS.

Thanks for the help.

share|improve this question
What terminal command did you run to delete Spotlight? – bneely Dec 11 '11 at 21:06
What did you initially do to "delete" Spotlight? And (other topic): Can you still search directly in a Finder window? – patrix Dec 11 '11 at 21:08
And what happens if you issue the shortcuts (keyboad commands) to initiate Spotlight (Cmd-Space and Cmd-Opt-Space by default)? – patrix Dec 11 '11 at 21:10
At this point, I don't remember. I know I deleted it, as I'm getting this error. – Peter Dec 11 '11 at 21:12
patrix- no response when I press the default keyboard commands. As for Finder, I can still search there. – Peter Dec 11 '11 at 21:14

I would imagine that inverting your commands would do the trick. Try:

sudo mdutil -a -i on
sudo chmod 755 /System/Library/CoreServices/Search.bundle/Contents/MacOS/Search
sudo killall SystemUIServer
share|improve this answer
I did try that. Nothing. – Peter Dec 13 '11 at 1:07

While there may well be a more granular approach, this should work (but will take a bit of time):

Step 1: Back up your machine to an external drive using Time Machine

Step 2: Boot holding R to boot from the restore partition

Step 3: Re-install Lion

Step 4: Use Migration Assistant to reinstall your documents and applications from your Time Machine backup.

This should leave you with an intact system, but all your data and applications.

share|improve this answer
I will probably do that, I just wanted to avoid the reinstall process. Thanks. – Peter Dec 12 '11 at 0:17
I'm sure there is a better solution than this, but it's a baseline. – Daniel Dec 12 '11 at 0:19

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.