Recently I noticed that if I do a Spotlight search (using the Spotlight menu on the menu bar), the iPhoto application is not included in the results. If I open a Finder window to the Applications folder and search there for iPhoto, it doesn't show up either. Other applications are included in the results if I search for them (including iMovie and GarageBand).

The only folder in the list of folders to exclude from searching in the Spotlight Privacy tab is my Time Machine backup drive.

I'm running 10.8.3.

Do you know why iPhoto isn't showing up when I do a Spotlight search? What can I do to get it to show up again?

1 Answer 1


Try rebuild index

From the Apple () menu, choose System Preferences.
Click Spotlight.
Click the Privacy tab.
Drag a folder or an entire volume (your hard drive) to the list.
If prompted for confirmation, click OK.
Remove the item or volume you just added to the list by clicking
it and then clicking the minus ("-") button.
Close Spotlight preferences.
Spotlight will re-index the contents of the folder or volume.

You can also use the command line to rebuild Spotlight’s index.
Open the Terminal application and enter the following command:

sudo mdutil -E /

Authenticate with your administrator password,
and a message appears indicating that the index will be rebuilt.
Spotlight rebuilds the index of your hard disk.
You can track the rebuilding progress by clicking the Spotlight menu.

  • excellent answer - thanks for the info about mdutil!
    – MmmHmm
    Jul 29, 2017 at 5:23

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