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How to move the Spotlight search bar on macOS

The Spotlight search bar opens in the center of the screen. If you’ve used Macs all your life, you’re probably used to it always being in the center. Even if you do not like it taking up that spot, you may still have learned to live with it obstructing your screen whenever you want to open something. The thing is, the Spotlight search bar can be moved around, and it can stick to wherever you place it. Here’s how you can move the Spotlight search bar on macOS.

Move Spotlight search bar

Open Spotlight by tapping the Command + Spacebar keyboard shortcut. It will be centered as always. To move it, hold down the Command key and click and drag the Spotlight search bar to wherever you want it to appear. It doesn’t dock to any corner or edge of the screen. Release the mouse button and the search bar will stay. You can dismiss it and the next time you open Spotlight, it will open at the new position.

If you decide you don’t like Spotlight not opening in the middle of the screen anymore, and want to move it back to the middle, you can. To move it back, click and hold on the Spotlight icon (the search bar) for a few seconds and it will move to the center again. The next time you open it, it will open in the middle.

While you’re free to move the Spotlight search bar anywhere you want but it’s a good idea to not move it to the top right of the screen since that’s where notifications appear. The right side should generally be avoided since the notification center opens there but it is up to you where you place it.

If you have a multi-monitor set-up, you can also move the Spotlight search bar to the secondary monitor. It’s a pretty good way to get it out of the way but still be able to use it.

This has been a feature on macOS for quite a while. If you’re coming from a different operating system, one that tends to have the search bar elsewhere on the screen, you can use this trick to make it easier to adjust to macOS. Windows 10 has the search bar at the very bottom near the left corner. It sits in the taskbar which isn’t something you replicate since the Dock is down there and it tends to take up quite a bit of space but the Dock can be moved too.

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