Spotlight Search not Working on iPhone and iPad? Try These Hacks!

The spotlight search feature on iOS is pretty handy as it allows you to search within apps, files, and the web. It is a powerful, built-in search engine that lies on the home screen that can simply be accessed by swiping from top to bottom. You can type anything in the search box and the results will be displayed on the spotlight panel in a flash of seconds. If you are using the spotlight search to its full potential, it can help you save a lot of time, effort, and taps.

But yes, if the spotlight search fails to work on your device, it can get you quite disappointed. So, if you are facing some serious issues in using the spotlight search feature on your iPhone or iPad, we’re here to help you. The spotlight search may fail to work due to misconfigured settings, poor network connectivity, issues related to language and storage, and so on.

In this post, we have listed a variety of workarounds that you can use to fix the “Spotlight search not working” issue on iOS.

Let’s get started.

Also read: How to Stop iPhone Spotlight Search From Showing App Content

Spotlight Search not Working? Try these Solutions!

Solution 1: Check the Internet Connection

The spotlight search feature requires a good Internet connection to perform smoothly. So, if your iPhone or iPad’s mobile data is off or if it’s not connected to a WiFi network, the spotlight search may fail to respond.


Open the Settings app, and tap on “Mobile Data”. Enable the “Mobile Data” option. Alternatively, connect your device to a Wi-Fi network and check if the issue was resolved.

Solution 2: Remove the Shortcut Widgets

Yes, it may sound bizarre but removing the shortcuts widget from your device can help you resolve the spotlight search not working issue. Here’s what you need to do:

Navigate to the home screen of your iOS device. Swipe to the extreme right. You will now see all the shortcut widgets on the screen.


Long-press on any widget and select “Remove Widget”. Now, one by one, remove all the shortcut widgets on your iPhone/iPad.

Launch the Spotlight search and check if the issue was resolved.

Also read: How To Fix Windows 11 Spotlight not Working

Solution 3: Check the Available Storage Space

Is your iOS device running out of storage space? If yes then it could mess with the spotlight search feature’s functioning. The spotlight search pulls out results after scanning every file and folder of your device. So, if your device’s storage capacity is full, the spotlight search can become a bit sluggish.

To review the storage space of your iPhone, launch the Settings app and select “General”. Scroll down and tap on “iPhone storage”.


Here you will get a detailed insight into your device’s storage space capacity. Remove the unnecessary files and data to free up storage space on your iPhone, launch spotlight search, and check if it is performing smoothly now.

Also read: How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to iPhone

Solution 4: Tweak the Language Settings

Launch the Settings app, and select “General”. Scroll down and tap on “Language and region”.

In the Language settings window, select the “Add language” option.


You will now see a list of languages on the screen. To change the default language, select any other primary language from the list.


iOS will now pop up a confirmation message, select the new language to proceed.

After changing the default language, launch the spotlight search feature and check if the issue was resolved.

Also read: Call Failed On iPhone? 12 Ways To Fix The Issue

Solution 5: Remove third-party keyboards

Launch the Settings app and head to General> Keyboard> Keyboards.


You will now see a list of active keyboards on your device. Review this list and check if your iOS device is connected to any third-party keyboard. If you find a third-party keyboard, tap on it and then toggle off the “Allow full access” button.

Also read: Screen Mirroring Not Working on iPhone: How to Fix It?

Solution 6: Update the iOS

Launch the Settings app and head to General> Software Update.

iOS will now check for available updates. If an update is available for your iPhone or iPad, install the latest version of iOS on your device.


After upgrading the iOS, launch the spotlight search feature and check if the issue still persists.

Also read: Everything You Should Know About Spotlight Search


Here were a few simple yet effective hacks to fix the “Spotlight search not working” issue on iPhone or iPad. You can use any of the above-listed workarounds to restore the functionality of spotlight search on your iOS device. Spotlight search is a handy feature that helps you save a lot of time and effort. Make these quick changes to your device’s settings to troubleshoot this issue. Do let us know which method did the trick for you. Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments box!

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