I migrated from a 2015 MacBookPro to a new 2022 MacBook Pro with M1. The MacOS was updated as part of the Migration process to 12.5.1.
Finder and Outlook Search worked fine on the 2015 laptop.

Finder Search will work if I am searching "This Mac" but will not find anything if I search in a specific folder. Here is an example. First image shows the Downloads folder with file AB-CD-EF.png in it. enter image description here

The Second image shows the search with "This Mac", and it recognizes (at the bottom) that the file is in the Downloads folder. enter image description here

The third image is with selecting the Downloads folder for the search. It finds nothing.

enter image description here

I have tried searching in multiple folders with multiple file types, and the problem occurs. I am sure it is related that when searching in Microsoft Outlook, every search ends up blank, no matter what the search criteria is.

Note that everything can be found in Spotlight - all files and emails. However, I did try looking at the Spotlight settings and all categories are checked on and there are no locations listed in the privacy area that restrict Spotlight.

I once had this happen a few weeks ago, but the next day there was a MacOS update, and that resolved it. Unfortunately, I don't have an OS update to perform this time.

Anyone have ideas?

  • Did you do the Migrate as part of the initial setup? If not & you did it as a separate step later, you now have two accounts rather than one, so you're possibly looking in the wrong folder.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 30, 2022 at 9:30
  • 1
    Migration was part of the initial setup.
    – Hugh Magen
    Aug 31, 2022 at 14:29
  • It is correct that the search index, which is Spotlight's index, is used for both Finder searches and for Outlook searches on macOS. Have you tried rebuilding the index for Spotlight? Sep 2, 2022 at 20:38

1 Answer 1


Had the same problem and an Apple Care guy helped me fix it by re-indexing the entire Macintosh HD disk:

  1. Follow the instructions on "Rebuild the Spotlight index on your Mac"

  2. Make sure to drag the entire Macintosh HD disk.

  3. Leave the Macintosh HD disk in the list for 1-2 minutes and then remove it as the instructions say.

  4. Open Spotlight and search for something. It won't work at the beginning, but you'll see a loading bar labeled "indexing" below the search bar. Wait for it to finish and BOOM!!! Your finder will work again =)

It worked for me so I hope it works for you. If this hadn't worked the next step was to reinstall macOS.

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