Spotlight on macOS Sierra not Indexing

Spotlight stopped working for me – always showing the same set of files regardless what search I tried. After trying a few things, I reinstalled macOS Sierra from a USB and restored from a Time Machine backup.

Once the restore had completed, I noticed that Spotlight was returning no results whatsoever, not even installed applications. I restarted indexing with the following steps:

Check indexing status on the Macbook’s drive:

Titanium:~ warwick$ sudo mdutil -s /
/:
	Indexing and searching disabled.

Enable indexing on the drive:

Titanium:~ warwick$ sudo mdutil -i on /
/:
	Indexing and searching disabled.

Check if there is a hidden file blocking indexing on the drive:

Titanium:~ warwick$ ls -la /.metadata_never_index
-rw-r--r--@   1 root  wheel      0 Feb  8 23:12 .metadata_never_index

Remove the file and renable indexing:

Titanium:~ warwick$ sudo rm /.metadata_never_index

Titanium:~ warwick$ sudo mdutil -i on /
/:
	Indexing enabled.

More details here.

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