4 Ways to Fix Slow Spotlight Search on iPhone

Spotlight Search is a favorite feature on iPhones because of its ability to quickly access apps and content. However, some users have been experiencing slow search results, taking anywhere from 5 to 10 seconds. This issue has been particularly prevalent since updating to iOS 16. If you’re one of those experiencing slow search results, don’t worry. We have some solutions that may help.

Fix Slow Spotlight Search on iPhone

The slow Spotlight Search may be due to a bug in iOS 16, so while waiting for an official update from Apple, try out the following fixes:

1. Restart Your iPhone

Restarting your iPhone is a quick fix that often works for various issues. You can either do a normal restart or force restart. To restart normally,

1. Press the volume up/down button and the side button simultaneously until the “Slide to power off” screen appears.

2. Then, drag the slider to power off your phone.

slide to power off
slide to power off

3. Wait a few seconds and turn it back on by pressing the side button until you see the Apple logo.

Check if Spotlight Search is working correctly.

2. Update Your iPhone

If there are any pending updates, it’s best to install them as software updates often fix bugs from previous iterations. To do this:

1. Open the Settings app and go to General.

2. Tap the Software Update option.

Update software on your iPhone

3. Download and install any pending updates.

3. Enable Siri and Spotlight Search for Apps

For some users, slow Spotlight Search results may be due to disabled Siri and Spotlight settings for their apps. Enabling these settings might seem counterintuitive as it could increase the amount of data Siri needs to index before returning results. However, it may fix the issue.

1. Open the Settings app and go to Siri & Search.

2. Tap the app name.

3. Turn on the toggles for the following options under the While Searching section.

  • Show App in Search
  • Show Content in Search

4. Also, enable the toggles for the following under the Suggestions section.

  • Show on Home Screen
  • Suggest App
  • Suggest Notifications

Note that not all apps have these options, so enable the options that the app does have.

5. You’ll need to enable these settings for each app. While it may take some time, it’s better than resetting all settings.

4. Reset All Settings

Resetting all settings is a more drastic measure, but it can fix the lag in Spotlight Search. Note that this won’t delete any data on your iPhone, but it will return all settings to factory defaults. You’ll need to set up the following again:

  • All network settings will be reset. Saved networks or VPN settings (unless configured using a profile) will be removed.
  • The keyboard dictionary will be reset. Your home screen layout will be reset.
  • All location and privacy settings will be reset to default.
  • You’ll need to set up your Apple Pay cards again.
  • Other settings, like Face ID, Control Center layout, iCloud and iMessage settings, alarms, etc., will also be affected.

You can back up your iPhone before resetting your settings. Here’s how to reset the settings:

1. Go to General in the Settings app.

ios settings general fix photo shuffle

2. Scroll down and tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.

transfer or reset iphone settings

3. Tap on the Reset option.

reset iphone settings

4. Select Reset All Settings from the menu and follow any on-screen instructions.

reset all settings iOS 16

Spotlight Search should work normally again.

A slow Spotlight Search can be frustrating, but hopefully, Apple will address the bug in a future update. If you can’t wait, try these fixes to get your Spotlight Search back to its speedy self.

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Posted by
Bhanu Pratap

Hi! I am Bhanu Pratap, co-founder of Yorker Media Group. A die-heart fan of tech and keeps track of every little happening of the same. When not writing, I usually keep myself busy on YouTube making and exploring new and awesome tech content.

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