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.

  • What terminal command did you run to delete Spotlight?
    – bneely
    Dec 11, 2011 at 21:06
  • What did you initially do to "delete" Spotlight? And (other topic): Can you still search directly in a Finder window?
    – nohillside
    Dec 11, 2011 at 21:08
  • And what happens if you issue the shortcuts (keyboad commands) to initiate Spotlight (Cmd-Space and Cmd-Opt-Space by default)?
    – nohillside
    Dec 11, 2011 at 21:10
  • At this point, I don't remember. I know I deleted it, as I'm getting this error.
    – Peter
    Dec 11, 2011 at 21:12
  • patrix- no response when I press the default keyboard commands. As for Finder, I can still search there.
    – Peter
    Dec 11, 2011 at 21:14

2 Answers 2


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
  • I did try that. Nothing.
    – Peter
    Dec 13, 2011 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.

  • I will probably do that, I just wanted to avoid the reinstall process. Thanks.
    – Peter
    Dec 12, 2011 at 0:17
  • I'm sure there is a better solution than this, but it's a baseline.
    – Daniel
    Dec 12, 2011 at 0:19

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