iOS Spotlight Search Slow and Not Working? How to Fix it!

 This article talks about how to solve the iOS spotlight search slow. If your iPhone is experiencing this problem, read the article and find the solutions!

Clara by Clara Updated November 10, 2023
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Is anyone else experiencing their iOS Spotlight Search being slow? It's driving me nuts! I'm using an iPhone 12 running iOS 16. Did anyone find a fix for this? Please!

- Question from Reddit

Why My iPhone Spotlight Search Working Slow?

Many iOS users have responded to Spotlight Searches slow on iPhones. Imagine when you desperately need to search for an answer to a question, and it's slow to load, or even the search engine not working. This must be agonizing.

ios spotlight search slow

Why does this happen? There could be several reasons that affect the speed of your iPhone Spotlight Search. Including many files on your device, outdated software, excessive indexing, or even a lack of available storage space. But don’t worry, there is some advice to help you.

How to Fix iPhone Spotlight Search Very Slow - 6 Ways

Here, you will learn 6 easy and effective ways to solve the problem of the iOS Spotlight Search response so slowly. These methods are applicable to iOS 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15, etc. Let’s read!

Way 1. Check Your Internet Connection

iOS Spotlight works by getting data from the internet and displaying it on your iPhone. This process requires good network conditions. If you find that non-local search queries take time to show up in a spotlight search, check your Wi-Fi or cellular data to confirm that they are stable and sufficient to support you online.

Way 2. Clear Spotlight Search History

Another way to save slow Spotlight Search on iPhone is to clear the search history. Every search task needs some space to execute smoothly, and if we can't provide the free space it needs, Spotlight performance drops dramatically. Therefore, you should clear your Spotlight history regularly to ensure the smooth operation of your device.

Here's how to clear Spotlight history:

Step 1. Open Settings > Find and tap Siri & Search.

Step 2. Tap on Siri & Dictation History.

Step 3. Select Delete Siri & Dictation History on the screen.

ios spotlight search slow

Way 3. Close Siri Suggestions on iPhone

Based on how you use apps, Siri intelligent assistant is able to predict what you might want to do next. For example, when you type your first letter, some related apps will quickly appear on the spotlight search screen. While this is convenient, it can leave the iPhone stuck because it loads too quickly. Which will cause the iOS Spotlight Search slow. Chick the steps to close this function:

ios spotlight search slow

Step 1. Navigate to Settings > Tap Siri & Search > Select Suggestions From Apple.

Step 2. Switch these buttons off: Allow Notifications, Show in App Library, Show When Sharing, Show When Listening.

Way 4. Release the Space on Your Device

If the iPhone doesn't have enough storage space to perform its work, it will move slowly. So it’s necessary to clean it up once in a while. This way also applies to the spotlight search issue. Follow the steps to release the storage space, and then check if your spotlight search can work at normal speed again.

Step 1. Open Settings > Click General > Tap iPhone Storage to see apps sorted by storage usage.

Step 2. Click on an app and select Offload App.

ios spotlight search slow

Step 3. Tap on Delete App to delete the undesired apps and all of their data.

Step 4. For useful apps, you can delete some data on the Documents & Data or Cache.

If you also want to know how to remove all website data on iPhone, you can click this link.

Way 5. Update to the Latest iOS version

iOS 14/15/16 Spotlight Search slow? The latest iOS 17 version is released and this moderator corrects many bugs in the iteration. So, if your iPhone is still on iOS 14/15/16, updating it to the latest version is worth trying to fix the Spotlight Search on your iPhone. Follow the guide to do the software update.

mail Note:

  • Make sure you have enough storage space on your device (You can go to Way 4 to learn how to do it).
  • Ensure that there is a stable network condition.
  • You'd better back up iPhone data in advance, because the process may lead to data loss.

Step 1. Open the Settings app > Click on General > Tap on Software Update.

ios spotlight search slow

Step 2. When a new update is available, select Download and Install to finish the update process.

Without Data Loss: The Best Way to Back up iOS Device

Before updating iOS, backing up the iPhone data in advance can avoid data loss. Apple officially offers iTunes or iCloud for making backups. But many users are not satisfied with them, because they have slow speed and require strong internet. Are there any other ways to back iPhone?

FoneTool, which is a powerful iOS backup & transfer tool. It allows you to selectively and fully backup iPhone data to PC, or backup iPhone to iPad. If you want to back up iOS data without iCloud/iTunes, FoneTool is one of the best choices for you.

enlightened Why do you choose FoneTool?
  • Easy to use. With the user-friendly interface, you can simply operate the process.
  • Fast and Free to backup data. You can quickly back up all the iPhone files and the process is free.
  • Fewer limitations. It allows you to back up all types of data even without the internet.

Now, download and install FoneTool to avoid losing data when you update iOS.

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Step 1. Connect your iPhone to computer via USB > Run FoneTool.

Step 2. We take full backup as an example: Choose Phone Backup > Mouse over to Full Backup > Click Get Started.

ios spotlight search slow

Step 3. Then, you can select Backup encryption to encrypt local backup > Set a backup storage path > Click Start Backup and wait until it finishes.

ios spotlight search slow

Once you finish the backup, you can go to Backup History page > Locate the latest iPhone backup > Tap the three-dot and Restore to restore these backups to any iOS devices.

Way 6. Restart your iPhone

If none of the above methods worked well, then move on to try the fifth method. Restarting your iPhone, it may seem basic but it works in many situations. When you restart the iOS device, you can avoid the issue of iPhone Spotlight Search slow. Below is the guide to do this:

ios spotlight search slow

Step 1. Please press and fast release the Volume up button.

Step 2. Next, quickly press and release the Volume down button.

Step 3. Press the Side button, release it until the Apple logo shows up.


After reading this article, hope you can solve the iOS spotlight search slow issue. The above are the 6 useful solutions, you can choose the ways according to your needs. Also, do not forget to back up your iPhone data if you need to update the iOS version or plan to delete data.

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