Unable to Type in Spotlight Search Bar

I am unable to type in the spotlight search bar occasionally. I can bring it up using the command + space shortcut. The input field appears as it should be doing, but when I start typing. Nothing is appearing in the search box. Even though the keyboard works just fine in other applications. If I start textedit for instance typing there works perfectly.

It was difficult to search for help about this issue because the search terms: spotlight, and typing are so broad, but eventually I found a forum post somewhere that had suggestions on how to solve this annoying issue.

To solve this issue you can try the following:

  1. Click once on your desktop
  2. Click the spotlight icon in the top bar
  3. Press backspace when the search bar is open
  4. Click the spotlight icon in the top bar again
  5. Press backspace when the search bar is open again
  6. Does it work now?

It did for me…

I have no idea why this is happening and what I am doing to get this problem. It may appear to be a focus issue. When you have a application open but if it isn’t in focus it won’t accept input. Just a theory. Hopefully Apple have plans to fix this in upcoming software updates. Let me know down in the comments if you have other solutions to this issue.

18 thoughts on “Unable to Type in Spotlight Search Bar

  1. Thanks for this. I woke up to this exact problem this morning. I’ve never seen this happen before. No idea why it happened. Your solution worked.

  2. Happened to me as well, followed the instruction but not working for me.
    Found another fix, restart spotlight on terminal: killall Spotlight

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