We use the Spotlight index on your system to list apps and preference panes in Raycast's root search. If you're not seeing any apps, Raycast notifies you with a new item in root search and leads you to this troubleshooting page:


Raycast notifying you when it cannot find any apps

You can check a couple of things to make sure that Spotlight is enabled on your system. Please make sure that you run the latest version of Raycast (use the Check for Updates command in Raycast) and that you run through this guide from top to bottom.

Spotlight alternative from Raycast v1.2.0 on: we added a feature that does not rely on the machine's Spotlight index. You can enable that via Preferences β†’ Advanced β†’ App Search. You can check and see if that leads to better results for you. If you want to stick to the default Spotlight index instead, you can run through the following sections.

Update via Raycast

First you can try to manually trigger an apps and preferences refresh by running the "Refresh Apps and Preferences" command in Raycast:


Manually triggered apps and preferences refresh through Raycast root search command

Wait a bit and see if your apps can be found now. If not, see the next step to check your Spotlight Preferences.

Spotlight Preferences

Go to macOS System Preferences β†’ Spotlight and check both the Search Results and Privacy tabs. Check that Applications are enabled and no applications folders you want to get searched by Raycast are excluded on the Privacy tab.

You can still leave the checkbox Allow Spotlight Suggestions in Look up unchecked since Raycast has its own suggestions system.

Note that it might take a while until changes in Spotlight preferences take effect.


Spotlight System Preferences

Rebuilding Spotlight Index

In case both Spotlight and Raycast do not show expected results, Apple suggests to rebuild the Spotlight index by first adding and then removing folders via the Privacy tab under macOS Spotlight preferences (see above). Try adding the applications folder (or other folders where your apps are located that you cannot find via Raycast) to the Privacy tab and removing it again. This is also described here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201716 If that still does not lead to to the apps being shown, you can try some commands on the terminal:

Spotlight Indexing (via Terminal)

You can check via the terminal if Spotlight indexing is enabled and in case it’s disabled, turn it on again:

Open a new Terminal window and enter:

mdutil -sa

This should print information about your volumes and whether indexing is enabled or disabled.