10 Fixes for Spotlight Search Not Working on iPhone and iPad

Spotlight search is one of our favorite features on the iPhone. We love how simple it is to swipe down and find whatever you want on your iPhone. However, there are times when it doesn’t work. Because of how dependent we are on this feature; It becomes a distraction. If you are facing a problem, Here are some ways to fix highlight search on iPhone and iPad.

Although there is already an article on fixing highlighted search not working on Mac. This article focuses on fixing the issue on iPhone and iPad. The methods we include are very easy to follow. In addition, These issues help you if app search is not working. But before we prepare, let’s first understand the reason for this problem.

Why is Spotlight Search not working?

There are many reasons why Spotlight Search might not work on your iPhone. There may be a problem with configurations and settings. In addition, It can also have a few issues with language and storage as it requires indexing a lot of files and folders to give you search results.

Here are ten ways to fix the Spotlight Search bar on iPhone and iPad and get all the features back. Let’s get started.

How to Fix iPhone Spotlight Search Not Working

The main requirement for Spotlight Search to provide online search results is a good internet connection, make sure you have one and let’s slowly move on to other fixes.

1. Check the Internet connection.

to load online search results from Safari; A good internet connection is required. Make sure you are operating on a strong cellular signal. If you’re running on Wi-Fi, Make sure you are within range of the network for best results.

If the signal is full power but not good speed. You can contact your service provider to find out if your plan is active or not.

If it doesn’t work, You can try and remove the Shortcuts widget from your iPhone.

2. Remove Widget Shortcuts.

Some bugs were fixed in mysterious ways, and these methods were accidentally discovered by users in the community forums. Removing the Shortcuts widget on your home screen is one way to fix Spotlight Search not working.

Step 1: Swipe right from the first page of your homepage.

Step 2: Long press the Shortcuts widget.

Step 3: Click Remove Widget.

Step 4: Click Remove again to remove the widget.

Here’s how to remove the Shortcuts widget from your iPhone. Another way to fix the problem is by disabling home controls from Control Center.

3. Turn off ‘Show home controls’

Step 1: Open the Settings app.

Open Settings iPhone.

Step 2: Select Control Center.

Step 3: Turn off the switch for ‘Show home controls’.

Here is a fix for Spotlight Search not working on iPhone and iPad. Another viable option is to check if you have enough storage space.

4. Check Storage Space.

Spotlight Search needs to index every file or folder on your iPhone, so the process can be slow; Or it won’t work at all if you run out of storage space. Here’s how to check your iPhone storage.

Step 1: Open the Settings app and select General.

Click General.

Step 2: Tap on iPhone Storage. Check if you have enough storage space left.

Step 3: If not, clear your storage space.

To quickly clean up your storage space; Remove unnecessary apps and delete duplicate photos. If it doesn’t work, You can try changing the default language of your iPhone.

5. Change the default language.

Sometimes, Spotlight Search may have some problems working in certain default languages. So you can try and change the default language. How to do that?

Step 1: Open the Settings app and select General.

Step 2: Select ‘Language and Region’.

Step 3: Click on ‘Add Languageā€¦’.

Step 4: Choose a language you are familiar with. If you prefer English, You can always choose an alternate version of it.

Step 3: now, You can confirm that the language selected for your iPhone is used as the primary language.

You can go back and try to fix the problem. However, We also encountered an issue where the keyboard wouldn’t load while using the search bar. This mainly happens when using a third-party keyboard. Therefore, You can try and remove the external keyboard to fix the problem.

6. Remove Third-Party Keyboards.

Step 1: Open the Settings app and select General.

Step 2: Select Keyboard.

Step 3: Select Keyboards and enable external keyboard.

Step 4: now, Turn off the switch for ‘Allow Full Access’.

This will ensure that you always use the original iPhone keyboard. If this does not resolve the issue. You can try turning Spotlight Search off and on within apps.

7. Turn off and on the search for apps.

When you turn off Spotlight Search and turn on Spotlight Search in the Settings app; You give it a refresh. Also, there is a high chance of solving the problem this way. So it’s the same step by step.

Step 1: Open the Settings app and select ‘Siri & Search’.

Step 2: There’s no button to completely turn off Spotlight Search across your iPhone and iPad. However, You can turn this off on a per-app basis. So select an app from the list.

Step 3: Turn off the switch for ‘Show app in search’ and turn it back on.

Can you fix the problem of Spotlight Search not working on iPhone and iPad? However, Doing this for all apps is a tedious process.

Therefore, You can generally try some methods to fix any problem on your iPhone. Let’s try and restart your iPhone or iPad.

8. Restart the iPhone.

Follow the steps below to restart your iPhone or iPad.

Step 1: First, turn off your device.

  • On iPhone X and above Press and hold the volume up and side buttons.
  • iPhone SE 2nd or 3rd gen; In the 7 and 8 series: Press and hold the side button.
  • iPhone SE 1st gen; 5s. 5c or 5 in: Press and hold the power button on the top.
  • On iPad: Hold down the power button at the top.
Restart iPhone.

Step 2: now, Drag the power slider to turn off the device.

Step 3: Then turn on your device by pressing and holding the power button on your iPhone.

If that doesn’t work either. You can try to update your iPhone.

9. Check for iOS updates.

If you’re using an iPhone 8 or later. We assume your iPhone or iPad is running iOS 16. Although we love the new update and the new features that come with it. It’s very new and needs a little repetition. Updates to fix all bugs.

There is a good chance that a bug in iOS 16 is causing Spotlight Search to not work. So make sure you are on the latest version of iOS.

Step 1: Open the Settings app and open General.

Step 2: Select Software Update.

Step 3: Make sure you’re using the latest version of iOS. If not, You will get the option to ‘Download and install update’.

Update to iOS 16.

Finally, If none of these methods work, You can try and reset your iPhone.

10. Reset your iPhone.

Here’s how you can reset your iPhone to fix Spotlight Search not working issue.

Step 1: Open the Settings app and tap General.

Click General.

Step 2: Select ‘Transfer or reset iPhone’.

Step 3: Click Reset.

Step 4: Click on ‘Reset All Settings’ to return all custom configurations to their original state. This will mostly solve this problem.

Select Reset all settings on iPhone.

As a last option, you can ‘wipe all content and settings’ and start fresh on your iPhone or iPad. Of course, This will erase all your data, so make sure you have a backup.

Select Erase all content and settings.

Here are some recommended ways to fix Spotlight Search not working on iPhone or iPad. However, if you have any further questions, Please see our FAQ section below.

FAQs not working in iPhone Spotlight Search

1. Why don’t some apps show up in app search?

They can be uninstalled or offloaded. If not, you can solve it using some of the methods mentioned above.

2. Is Spotlight Search draining battery?

no It is not known that the battery capacity drops significantly.

3. Does Spotlight Search show deleted messages in iMessage?

no Deleted messages are not displayed.

4. Does Spotlight Search show emails?

yes It only loads emails from the default mail app.

5. How to delete Spotlight search history?

You can long tap on a recent search and select ‘Clear Recent Results’ to delete the search history.

Restore Spotlight Search on iPhone and iPad.

These are the methods you use to solve Spotlight Search not working on iPhone and iPad. Most users, including us, use the search bar for app searches, and it’s obviously a feature you can’t afford to break. However, Some of the methods mentioned in this article will surely help you to solve the problem.

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