Dealing With Big Sur Spotlight Previews and Other Problems

Spotlight in macOS Big Sur isn't as useful as it used to be. You don't het previews by default and suggestions get in the way of actual results. Which there's no fix for this problems, there are some workarounds that can make Spotlight more useful.

Comments: 11 Responses to “Dealing With Big Sur Spotlight Previews and Other Problems”

    Hugh Vail
    1 month ago

    Thank you. I was wondering where the preview went. The time it saves appears to of little consequence to me.

    Janis
    1 month ago

    The Tab key doesn’t bring up the preview as described in the video on my MacBook Pro. Tab does absolutely nothing. Please advise. Thanks!

    Janis
    1 month ago

    Disregard the tab issue I previously mentioned – I discovered it depends on what the search is whether it works (which I found it does most of the time).

    Thanks for your time and your videos :)

    Gina Ferrare
    1 month ago

    Good “rant” Gary. I had not yet found the tab solution. I had instead switched to using the FindAnyFile.app, shareware available on the App Store, which is a bit slower but much more comprehensive in its results than Spotlight.

    There ought to be a huge sign over the entrance to the Apple campus: IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT!

    1 month ago

    Gina: If you just want to find files, then skip the Spotlight windows and do what I suggest in the video and go right to a file search. Then you don’t need any odd third-party app slowing you down.
    As for “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…” Wouldn’t we be all still using Apple IIe computers today then? Or, more likely, Apple would have stuck with the Apple IIe, gone out of business, and we’d all be using Windows and flip phones.

    Christy Hemenway
    1 month ago

    Great rant, yes.
    But Gary, every so often you drop such gems! I had no idea I could jump to Finder with Command Option Space. That’s a winner, that one.
    I guess the way I look at this “upgrade” is if I”m searching my computer, that’s all I need to see. And if I need to ask the Internet, I’ll open a web browser, not Spotlight. It’s annoying how it tries to do everything when it used to do one thing really well before, but… no longer. But – Command Option Space! Thanks! :-)

    Richard Thompson
    4 weeks ago

    Greetings,
    Ever since upgrading to Big Sur, Spotlight has been broken. Apple apps show up in the results but not 3rd party apps (shocking…)… I have searched around and many are having this problem without a workable solution (aside from nuke and pave). Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.

    4 weeks ago

    Richard: I don’t know why that would be. Have you tried re-indexing? I definitely see all my apps.

    Marjorie Green
    3 weeks ago

    In Spotlight, when you see the Preview and press the Cmd key to see where the file is located, is there anyway to jump to the folder instead of opening the file?

    3 weeks ago

    Marjorie: Hold Command and double-click the file. You can also select it and Command+R, though it depends on the file type.

    Robert
    3 weeks ago

    With Big Sur (11.1) i’ve noticed that spotlight noticeably lagging, at times not showing *any* results for a search.
    This seems to be due to a connected HDD I have for Time Machine. When that drive sleeps, doing ⌘ Space pends until macOS wakes up that drive. Googling around, it seems like there’s beaucoup problems with spotlight and Big Sur.
    I haven’t used Alfred for some time now. Would be interested in anyone’s opinion on it.

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