Macos – How to quit frozen Spotlight without rebooting the computer


I opened up Spotlight, typed '12*' to do some multiplication and it's been frozen for the last 20 minutes.

I am looking for how to restart the program/service/whatever it technically is, but it's not in the Force Quit menu, so what is the quickest way to kill this process without restarting my computer? (I am on Mac OS X Snow Leopard)

Best Answer

Depending on your OS and luck, it could actually be 1 of at least a few [services]:

  • mds
  • SystemUIServer
  • Spotlight

To me, a while back when they were called feline names, I've had the same issue (as I was saying on the comments) and it was not Spotlight: it was the Menubar. Just like with spotlight, we simply have to kill it so it will be restarted by launchd.

For that, use the Activity Monitor and search for your [service].

Or you may instead use the Terminal, for instance:

killall Spotlight

And if that doesn't work, consider using sudo.

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