I have a folder on my mac which I access occasionally, let's say its name is FolderABC. I usually hit CMD + Space to bring up Spotlight, then type the name into it and it will be the first result. Recently, Spotlight crashes instead, as soon as I type Folder and before typing any more letters. If I type any other query, it works normally. I can tell it crashes since the Loupe icon briefly disappears from the menu bar (Spotlight restarts immediately) and looking in system.log in Console shows this, whenever the problem occurs:

Oct  4 18:27:21 my-macbook-pro com.apple.xpc.launchd[1] (com.apple.Spotlight[16126]): Service exited due to signal: Illegal instruction: 4 sent by exc handler[0]

I'm currently having Spotlight rebuild its index, but what else could I try? Specifically, are there any debugging tools available to get a more detailed stack trace of what's causing the app to crash?

My OS version is 10.12.6

  • OK ,let me crash my Spotlight, or do you have some special add on to it
    – Ruskes
    Oct 4, 2018 at 17:30
  • can you look at the mds and mds_stores in your activity monitor (cpu usage) before and after
    – Ruskes
    Oct 4, 2018 at 17:37
  • mds_stores briefly goes from 0 to around 10 while mds goes from 0 to about 2. So they are doing something.
    – oarfish
    Oct 5, 2018 at 6:33
  • that looks normal to me
    – Ruskes
    Oct 5, 2018 at 6:55
  • something is in your mysterious folder that scares Spotlight
    – Ruskes
    Oct 5, 2018 at 6:59

1 Answer 1


Old answer:

My first solution was simply reindexing all folders by running

sudo mdutil -E /

This did not help. I then renamed the folder in question, reindexed again, named it back and reindexed another time. The problem has now disappeared.


The bug seems to have been introduced with the update to Safari 12. As discussed in the apple product forums, a workaround is to disable Bookmarks & History in the Spotlight system preferences.

  • Up-voted for keeping your post updated.
    – Ruskes
    Oct 8, 2018 at 15:49

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