Skip to content
Thoughtful, detailed coverage of everything Apple for 28 years
and the TidBITS Content Network for Apple professionals
Photo of a spotlight illuminating the Safari icon

Photo by fsHH

No comments

Safari 12 Crashes Spotlight in Sierra—Here’s the Fix

If you’re still running macOS 10.12 Sierra and have upgraded to Safari 12, you may have noticed Spotlight crashing when you invoke it with Command-Space and start typing a search term. Thanks to TidBITS reader Christopher Stone for alerting us to the problem, which other readers have since confirmed and which has been discussed in the Apple Support Communities. The crashes may not occur on every use of Spotlight, perhaps due to the specifics of individual searches. The problem is limited to those using Sierra and Safari 12; it doesn’t occur with any other version of macOS or Safari.

Our friend Matt Neuburg shared one way to avoid the crashes if you’re only searching for files—use the Search field in Finder windows instead. But there’s another workaround that eliminates the crashes entirely with only a small hit to Spotlight’s capabilities. Open System Preferences > Spotlight > Search Results, and deselect the Bookmarks & History category.

Screenshot of the Spotlight preference pane

Presumably, doing that prevents Spotlight from searching through Safari 12’s bookmarks and history, and something in that data is causing  Spotlight in Sierra to choke. We anticipate that Apple will fix this in the next update to Safari.

Subscribe today so you don’t miss any TidBITS articles!

Every week you’ll get tech tips, in-depth reviews, and insightful news analysis for discerning Apple users. For 28 years, we’ve published professional, member-supported tech journalism that makes you smarter.

Registration confirmation will be emailed to you.

Comments About Safari 12 Crashes Spotlight in Sierra—Here’s the Fix