After installing Big Sur, I was having issues with Spotlight.
Applications were not listed and generally it didn’t seem to work properly.
These are the steps that helped me to fix Spotlight indexing on Big Sur.
Open “System preferences” and open “Spotlight”.
Make sure that the categories you want are checked, and then click on the “Privacy” tab.
Add and remove your home folder to the list so that the indexing might start by itself.
mdutil to the rescue
mdutil is an utility to manage spotlight indexes.
Check Spotlight indexing status
First, check if Spotlight is enabled with the command
sudo mdutil -s /
This will print out the Spotlight indexing status.
Optional: Enable Spotlight indexing
If it is disabled, you can run
sudo mdutil -i on /
Rebuild Spotlight indexes
To rebuild the Spotlight index, run
sudo mdutil -E /
I read way to many forum posts and stackoverflow questions regarding Spotlight indexes that I really don’t know why this happened.
A few recommended reinstalling MacOS. Others to do a PRAM reset.
I have no clue what happened, but now Spotlight indexing works on my machine.