Big Sur Messages and Spotlight not working at all

Recently I installed Big Sur on my 2017 MacBook Pro 13" and at first everything worked fine.

However, since a few days I am unable to start the Messages App. It just keeps jumping in the dock but it never opens. Notifications for new messages do arrive though, it just cannot be opened.

Maybe it is related, maybe not, but Spotlight also stopped working. I can open up the search bar but whatever I type there is never a result displayed. Nothing.

Really frustrating, is anyone having these issues or even knows a fix to this?

Solved Answer

Just to let you guys know, after I've had this problem for a few days now Messages and Spotlight just started working again.
I do not know how to reproduce this or whether it will come back, the problem came out of the blue and just vanished again.

The best solution so far seems to me to just keep the machine running through the night and hope it will be done with whatever task that causes the problems by the next morning..

I'll mark this as the correct answer as long as there is no definitive solution on how to fix it (except downgrading to Catalina).

13 Replies

I am having the same issue after upgrading to Big Sur.
I've been having the same issues, after several restarts it seemed to fix itself but none of my new message threads are coming through on my MacBook Pro. Hopefully it's a small bug that can be picked up and fixed with the next update.
I also have a 2017 macbook pro 13” and I also have the same problem
Same here. Except, it quit working as soon as Big Sur was installed. Several hours after booting up, it does seem to have some limited results when a search is performed.
Just to let you guys know, after I've had this problem for a few days now Messages and Spotlight just started working again.
I do not know how to reproduce this or whether it will come back, the problem came out of the blue and just vanished again.

The best solution so far seems to me to just keep the machine running through the night and hope it will be done with whatever task that causes the problems by the next morning..

I'll mark this as the correct answer as long as there is no definitive solution on how to fix it (except downgrading to Catalina).
I have the same problem it started when I tried to send a file via iMessage on a M1 MBPro. All I get is an app bouncing and I have to force quit to get it to stop. Not sure what started it because I was able to send messages two days ago.
Update: Messages and Spotlight are useless again. So this is not even a one time problem, it is recurring.
I have been having the same issue on my MacBook Pro 2017. I have been able to temporarily fix this issue but don't shut down the laptop or you will have to redo these steps. I expect apple to come out with an update soon.

Step 1: Open terminal (Finder -> Applications -> Utilities) and type the following command to erase and rebuild index:

sudo mdutil -E /

Step 2: Open activity monitor (Finder -> Applications -> Utilities)
  1. Under CPU find "SystemUIServer"

  2. Double click on this

  3. Then click quit

The OS should restart the process and both messages and spotlight search should work
____
This has helped me while my computer is on but if I shut down and restart the problem will show up again! Hope this helps.
ITs been weeks since I downloaded big sur and spotlight is still not working consistently. How has apple not patched this yet?
Good morning, I am having the same issues. Has anyone been able to solve it?
Thankfully a simple restart worked for me.
same problem here, the 11.1 upgrade did not change anything. Spotlight reindex starts, and reindex some files but not everything. Newer files are not in my index.
Hi there,

I have a similar issue with Spotlight on my brand new M1 MacBook Air! It’s been consistent for at least a couple of months now.
Usually every morning when I switch my laptop on, Spotlight does not work. I type something into the search bar and no results appear. It’s so annoying because I rely on Spotlight a lot. Fortunately, all I have to do to fix it is restart the laptop but this is frustrating to have to do most mornings.
As for the messages app, I’ve also had the same issue but not as frequently as the Spotlight issue. Usually I have to force quit the app via the Apple menu or again, restart the laptop.
please fix this Apple!