My macOS Ventura can't search any file in the Finder (top right).

I already add the folder in System Preference -> Spotlight (added) User folder.

My Spotlight can search by filename, but Finder top right text search is always no result.

I did select the "This Mac", it does search, but not the result file (other system file.

I downloaded a filename "invoice.pdf", i can't search the file when select "Downloads", but I click "This Mac" also no result show up.

File is inside Downloads Folder: enter image description here

When I search in the top right: invoice (no result) enter image description here

When I search "This Mac" enter image description here

I also notice "Recent" always empty. enter image description here

How can I index all the file and make my Finder search work again. Looking for: I want to use Finder search instead of Spotlight.


I followed AVelj Solution, but still the same result.

Here is the output: enter image description here

What is the reason?

  • Finder search is using Spotlight.
    – Thinkr
    Apr 17 at 13:54
  • It does not work. Now I use Path Finder to search File, not idea why Finder still not working.
    – Shiro
    Apr 17 at 15:35
  • Alright, thx for explaining.
    – Thinkr
    Apr 17 at 15:55
  • Same issue. Spotlight search works instantly, Finder only shows results when "This Mac" is selected. Searching within any folder shows no results. Jun 21 at 16:25
  • 1
    Thanks @Shiro, I just wanted to add a comment to help make this more discoverable for others. It took me quite some time playing with search terms for this to finally show up in the results. Jun 24 at 14:24

1 Answer 1


macOS Finder uses Spotlight. By default all files are indexed automatically.

  1. Make sure ALL checkboxes are enabled in System Preferences → Siri & Spotlight → Search results
  2. To force and rebuild the Spotlight index, click the Spotlight Privacy button. Add your user folder (~username) to the list of locations.

Add user folder to macos Spotlight to prevent from searching.

  1. Now, REMOVE your previously added user folder and any folders that show up in the privacy list which is prevent Spotlight from searching. Click Done and Spotlight will reindex your user folder.

Indexing may can take some time. Usually files will show in a couple of minutes in the Spotlight search and macOS Finder. Keep your mac running.

  1. Also, open Finder Preferences → Advanced → When performing a search select Search the current folder
  • As I mention, in the spotlight it is able to search the file, but my goal is using Finder, not Spotlight. The folder I had added to the privacy, so spotlight is working well. Just Finder is not working.
    – Shiro
    Mar 7 at 10:47
  • @Shiro Does it find the file when you change to "Search the current folder" in the Finder Preferences → Advanced → When performing a search?
    – user136834
    Mar 7 at 10:57
  • As I check my Finder Preferences → Advanced → When performing a search: It is set as "Search the current folder".
    – Shiro
    Mar 7 at 12:50
  • @Shiro: Did you reindex your user folder as described?
    – user136834
    Mar 8 at 15:46
  • yes, I did remove all the folder in Spotlight Privacy, then add user folder again, still the same.
    – Shiro
    Mar 9 at 7:56

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