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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight System 10.4
Tiger only hintMy gripe:
Why does Apple have to shove this tool down the user's throat by not making it, including that insipid menu, optional? Telling Spotlight to Ignore your hard drive won't delete existing indexes or databases. Telling Spotlight to ignore your hard drive wont turn off the now-useless menu.

I really have no idea if this is the best or even a good way to do this. I want Spotlight gone. I only have Tiger to keep up to date, and I do not run out of date hardware or software.

So here's what I did...

[robg adds: Just a caution if you're going to try this -- I haven't tested it, and I have no idea what the implications may be on other programs that rely on Spotlight. Mail, for instance, uses Spotlight functionality for searching. I have no idea how this hack will affect Mail and the other Spotlight-enabled programs. Consider yourself warned...]

In the Terminal, do this:
$ sudo su
# chmod 0000 /Library/Spotlight
# chmod 0000 /System/Library/Spotlight
# chmod 0000 /System/Library/CoreServices/Search.bundle
# chmod 0000 /System/Library/PreferencePanes/Spotlight.prefPane
# chmod 0000 /System/Library/Services/Spotlight.service
# chmod 0000 /System/Library/Contextual Menu Items/SpotlightCM.plugin
# chmod 0000 /System/Library/StartupItems/Metadata
# chmod 0000 /usr/bin/mdimport
# chmod 0000 /usr/bin/mdcheckschema
# chmod 0000 /usr/bin/mdfind
# chmod 0000 /usr/bin/mdls
# chmod 0000 /usr/bin/mdutil
# chmod 0000 /usr/bin/md
After a reboot, open a new Terminal and do sudo su to make a root shell, then:
# rm -r /.Spotlight-V100
# rm -r /private/var/tmp/mds
# exit
Why use chmod? This hack can be reversed by repairing permissions.
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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: MostlyHarmless on May 13, '05 11:41:55AM

FYI - Over at MacFixit this morning they mentioned you can turn off Spotlight by editing /etc/hostconfig to change "SPOTLIGHT=-YES-" to "SPOTLIGHT=-NO-".

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Not Quite Everything
Authored by: Blacktiger on May 14, '05 05:53:41AM

While this hint will allow you to disable spotlight, it will not remove everything related to spotlight entirely. When new files are created, they have metadata associated with them (in theory anyway...) which is stored in extended attributes. These will remain on your HD and they are attached to specific files, not a global index.

Also, realize that disabling spotlight will also disable spotlight searching in ANY application that uses spotlight for its search engine. That means system prefs, mail, and a host of 3rd party applications will no longer be able to search.

In general, Apple is right on with spotlight searching. Even if you are not sure you will use it you should keep it around. It may turn out to be more useful than you think.

Concentrate on the Solution, not the Problem

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Not Quite Everything
Authored by: barrysharp on May 14, '05 10:32:38PM

I absolutely agree with your statement(s).

Regards... Barry Sharp

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Not Quite Everything - Incorrect on System Prefs
Authored by: Jaharmi on Apr 07, '07 05:50:05PM

I turned off Spotlight by editing its line in /private/etc/hostconfig, and restarted.

I am still able to use the search field in the System Preferences toolbar. I searched for and found "wallpaper." I think this should lay to rest whether or not this feature is Spotlight-based in Tiger, as there is some confusion about it (I think it we demoed along with Spotlight in a keynote address).

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A better way
Authored by: jjccgg on May 13, '05 12:10:55PM
As the previous poster said, first modify /etc/hostconfig to read:
Then to get rid of the existing index, run these two commands from Terminal:

mdutil -i off /
mdutil -E /
The first command disables indexing on the boot volume, and the second erases the existing template. You can then use Activity Monitor to kill any mds or mdimport processes or else just reboot. Futzing with permissions will probably break OS updates that try to update files in the zeroed-out directories and of course won't survive a repair-permissions run.

If you later change your mind and decide you want Spotlight after all, it's easy to reactivate. Set

in /etc/hostconfig, run in Terminal:
mdutil -i on /
and reboot.

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Authored by: mholve on May 13, '05 06:31:11PM
Right on the money. This is the proper way to do it, and works nicely.

Using the original hint is butchery - future Mac OS X updates might have issues (unable to update all parts or worse, updating only some, etc.). Also, running Repair Permissions might very well undo your handywork.

Everything Mac -

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what happens
Authored by: timcrawf on May 14, '05 02:17:52PM

what happens to command-f and the search filed in finder windows once Spotlight is disabled? Do the stop functioning, or revert to Panther searching methods?

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what happens
Authored by: bluehz on May 16, '05 07:44:32AM

I disabled my Spotlight in hostconfig - only to find out that too my HORROR... it now appears all Finder searching is useless. It does not appear to revert back to Panther -style searching. I just tested several Finder searches inside directories with about 20 files in them. Searched for KNOWN file inside that dir. Finder search just chugged and chugged and spun and never found anything. This is DISGRACEFUL and I hope it is changed soon. My aging G4 can not handle the strain of Spotlight - so I have no other option but to disable it... but I still need Finder searches..... what were they thinking!!!

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Finder searching with Spotlight
Authored by: scbarton on Sep 08, '05 08:12:30AM

I did NOT disable Spotlight in hostconfig, but DID turn off indexing.

To my delight, Spotlight now only searches filenames in Finder. DISCLAIMER: Tiger 10.4.2, and I have not tested it extensively yet.

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Finder searching with Spotlight
Authored by: macjonte on Jan 04, '06 03:47:49AM

Great, how do I do that?
I have a data rescue machine, and I can't run Tiger on it since Spotlight goes in and tries to write to damaged disks...

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A better way
Authored by: mirv42 on May 24, '05 01:50:21PM

How about a way to disable spotlight (even temporarily) but *without* rebooting?

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A better way
Authored by: g3ski on Mar 21, '07 02:46:55PM

mdutil(1) BSD General Commands Manual mdutil(1)

mdutil -- manage the metadata stores used by Spotlight

mdutil [-pEs] [-i on | off] volume ...

The mdutil command is useful for managing the metadata stores for mounted

The following options are available:

-p Publishes the local copies of the metadata stores for the volumes
indicated to their real drives.

-E This flag will cause each local store for the volumes indicated to be
erased. The stores will be rebuilt if appropriate.

-i on | off
Sets the indexing status for the provided volumes to on or off. Note
that indexing may be delayed due to low disk space or other condi-

-s Display the indexing status of the listed volumes.

mdcheckschema(1), mdfind(1), mdutil(1), mdimport(1)

"I want my two dollars!"

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: Makosuke on May 13, '05 02:22:45PM

Actually, at least with the drives I've tried it on, adding a drive to the "Privacy" list in Spotlight's preference pane does indeed immediately delete the index file for the drive. It's going to leave an invisible folder, but only to tell itself not to index it.

I say this not because I like Spotlight that much (good idea, still too funky and I miss the simplicity of the old Finder filename search), but because one of my partitions was incessantly indexing every time I downloaded something with Thoth (apparently it interpreted the temp files as text that needed indexing, leading to a ridiculous amount of scanning), even when I told it to ignore that folder, so I eventually just added the whole drive. At which point, I suddenly had 500MB more free space, leading me to believe that indeed, the index is deleted.

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Thoth sends mds out of control
Authored by: dogen on May 25, '05 02:06:56PM

I've run into the same problem. I have the downloads folder in the privacy list, but mds still goes crazy after grabbing files with Thoth. Quitting mds in the Activity Monitor can stop the cpu hogging, but with the downloads folder in the privacy list, I'd think the mds hyperactivity shouldn't happen to begin with. Is it a bug?

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What if you repair permissions?
Authored by: juz10mac on May 13, '05 03:13:57PM

Won't repairing permissions inadvertently re-enable spotlight?

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: profit on May 13, '05 04:27:03PM
Man. I totally agree with this sentiment. Apple has long been too heavy handed with their enforced new 'features'. I can't stand the 'whoosh' Dashboard thing that comes up every time I accidentally miss the eject key on my powerbook. And what's with Safari going out and fetching information on the web without my explicit permission? Doesn't that bastard Jobs know that I only want my computer to do things when I ask? And who decided I need to accept the feature bloat and processor load of advanced digital codecs? I like my quicktime the way it was. Slow and Sorenson.

I'm also very worried about the security implications of the new APIs. With Core Data and Core Image making it possible for more people to write 'quality' apps more quickly, who knows what kind of spyware will be developed all with shiny new images to trojan it onto my computer. And with Automator, even brain damaged monkeys can write malware to erase files on my computer and composite my pictures of my kids onto gay porn.

All of this clearly shows apple's arrogance in providing features any reasonable person wouldn't want. They even flaunt their "we're right, you're wrong" attitude by providing a list of some of the things they are doing to us.

And there's no way to avoid any of these new 'features'.


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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: sjmills on May 13, '05 05:13:22PM

Cripes, go buy a DOS box then and deal with Windoze and all that crap.

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: necrosis on May 13, '05 05:34:44PM

Holy cow man. I have never seen someone so violently against something. If you don't like it... THEN DON'T UPGRADE... yeesh, take your med's.

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Authored by: mholve on May 13, '05 06:33:38PM
Switch to decaf, quick!

Spotlight can easily be disabled, as can anything else if you wanted to.

Worse comes to worse, stick with Panther. Sheesh. You don't HAVE to upgrade, y'know.

Everything Mac -

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: metafeather on May 13, '05 07:10:08PM

Ah, irony...

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: profit on May 13, '05 11:38:21PM

Full points for the first man to get a joke.

(LMAO at the people who didn't!)

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Good one...
Authored by: mholve on May 14, '05 09:18:12PM

Hehehe. ;)

Everything Mac -

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: chyna4xena on Sep 25, '10 06:17:09PM

This kind of thing annoys me so much that I am responding to you even after five years.

You do not know what irony is. Irony is not saying, "you're a completely useless person and you deserve to die" and just expecting them to understand that you're being ironic, and then laughing when they don't get the "joke".

Apart from "slow and Sorenson" at the end, there was nothing in your first paragraph that denoted ironic intent, and that quip was hardly unambiguous. Your second paragraph was pretty normal stuff for a conspiracy theorist, and this time there was nothing at the end to let us in on the joke, no reason for us to doubt the sincerity of your craziness.

Why would we presume sarcasm instead of genuine belief? You gave us no reason to!

When being ironic, when being properly ironic, you must explicitly indicate that this is the case. When speaking, for instance, a sarcastic tone of voice is used, and there are written equivalents and other means of denoting your intent.

Failure to use these means that you are not being ironic. You are instead just pretending that your position is otherwise than it is. That's all. You are further being extraordinarily offensive by suggesting that we "missed the joke".

We did not miss the joke. You just do not know how to make a joke.

What is slightly ironic is that by trying to demonstrate and then subsequently exalt your superiority, you've actually proved yourself unlearned in the use of humour.

It is not enough to say that you were obviously being ironic because of how far-out your position was. Many people genuinely hold crazy ideas like those you espoused, and we really have no choice in this world other than to take people at face value until we have reason to suspect otherwise.

Which is precisely ... PRECISELY ... why ironic intent must be denoted.

If it is not denoted, it is not irony.

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: Cartoonasaurus on May 13, '05 10:17:16PM

LMAO!!! Did ANYONE (anyGEEK?) get the joke?

He he he he he he....

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: okto on May 20, '05 09:53:11PM
Wow...go get a PC and use XP if you don't want features. Hell, use one of the minimal Linux distros like Slackware or Gentoo.
That's what the Mac is about. Cool stuff that nobody else thought to implement. If you consider QT7 bloatware, you either need a bigger drive, a faster Mac, or an invitation to the 21st century.
Megabytes aren't big anymore.
Oh...and try not to post stuff that isn't useful on macosxhints, please? It's a knowledgebase, not a message board.

Respectfully, okto

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: Fil on May 13, '05 04:28:33PM

My own gripe with Spotlight is that it shows *my* files when invoked from another user account. And I saw no way of telling it to index my files for me only. (The reverse is feasible, just ask each user to configure Spotlight to ignore every other user's files - not really good).

Maybe I'm mistaken and overlloked something?

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Authored by: saint.duo on May 13, '05 05:59:24PM

I would post your problem in the forum. On both my powerbook and my tower, I cannot find files using spotlight that are in other user's homes.


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Authored by: mholve on May 13, '05 06:35:36PM
Make sure the permissions on home directories are "700" so only the owner can access or list files therein. Also make sure you haven't set "Ignore ownership on this volume" with Get Info on the volume (usually only applies to multiple-drive systems).

Everything Mac -

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: XJ0 on May 13, '05 09:54:04PM

So getting rid of spotlight saves space and stuff, but it does kill searching in I tested it. I would much prefer more options to control it than what Apple provides, as opposed to killing it.

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: burntout on May 14, '05 09:23:23AM

Whinge, whinge, whinge!
If you don't like it, don't use it, and certainly don't hack up your system using this ridiculously heavy-handed method.

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: SM on Jul 02, '05 08:47:23AM

burntout? Adequate name with your attitude. Just don't use a staple part of the Mac OS that's BEEN a part since day one? Where's yer brains man LOL.

I'm sooo sick of this STUPID frigging Spotlight THING bringing up totally irrelevant results. When I search for a file I look for it by NAME not by mp3 tag, text within a document, text within a pdf file, items that contain any PART of a two or three word search or anything else. Not to mention I don't like scrolling thru a bunch of irrelevant CATEGORIES to find things. I know what I want and this ridiculous thing is just about the stupidest bloatware idea Apple ever thought up.

And why in the world can't a person just turn the crap OFF without hacking up the system?? Something akin to "Simple Finder" in the OS 9 days. Something like Enable Simple Find or Use Spotlight? Dumasses getting bad as frigging Bill Gates trying to dictate how THEY want me to do computing, not leaving me an option to make the choice to use it the way *I* want to.

I'm looking for an app to use to replace Apple's Find altogether. Then I don't need to hack up the system and I can tell this stupid spotlight to make all drives "private" so it don't index them.

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search replacement
Authored by: sjk on Jul 02, '05 09:48:39PM

Calm down and try EasyFind?

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: barrysharp on May 14, '05 10:29:23PM

Absolutely agree with this/these statement. You're right-on.

Regards... Barry Sharp

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: barrysharp on May 14, '05 10:31:15PM

My previous comment/reply was meant for Blacktiger - the first reply to this hint.

Regards... Barry Sharp

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Spotlight's Privacy Tab in Preferences
Authored by: deepkid on May 15, '05 11:45:27PM

As I mentioned on here when Tiger first came out, I can't believe that Apple shipped Spotlight with such loose security in the privacy tab in preferences. Consider that if content you wish to be excluded from its search is highly-sensitive, it's just sitting there in the open for anyone else using the machine to see. Spotlight's privacy tab should be password protected at the very least.

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Spotlight's Privacy Tab in Preferences
Authored by: cfoster on May 17, '05 10:36:43AM

I could be wrong, but it seems like Spotlight still indexes items in the 'privacy' tab, but just doesn't display the results.

I say this because I was copying over a large number of documents to my desktop (which is in the private space to avoid indexing transient files) and AFTER the copy was complete I could hear the hard drive grinding away like mad still. A quick check of the process monitor showed 'mds' (the Spotlight engine) chewing up a bunch of processor time so it seems likely it's the one grinding away on my drive.

I have a dual 2GHz G5 with a gig of RAM and I still find my machine becomes unresponsive when mds is doing it's thing in the 'background.' I've tried renicing it, but to no avail.

I wonder how much extra stress Spotlight puts on a drive and whether it leads to their early demise?

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Replacement 'find'
Authored by: cfoster on May 17, '05 10:42:26AM

If you want to disable Spotlight until Apple fixes some of its drawbacks, but still need to search for files like you used to, you may want to check out Locator (a gui for the unix 'locate' command).

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: arg on May 30, '05 02:34:53PM

While I agree with the original poster's sentiments -- Spotlight should be an option not a requirement, especially considering how problematic it is for some users -- I think the posted method for disabling Spotlight is pretty drastic and potentially harmful. And, as stated, a simple permissions repair will probably revert the Spotlight behavior, so it may not even be particularly effective. I, too, however, am bothered by Spotlight and really wanted to return old-style find-by-name searches. Hey, don't scream at me. It is and should be a personal preference, and Apple has made it not so.

I've done some research and testing, and for those of us who are interested, I think I've found a pretty good compromise that disables Spotlight metadata searching but still allows for find-by-name searches, even from the Spotlight pull-down. If anyone is still following this thread and is interested, I have posted the details here:

Hopefully someone will find this as useful as I have.

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: osxpounder on May 31, '05 11:20:19PM

What I want to know is: when will Spotlight start working? I installed it almost 48 hours ago, and it has never yet found a single file unless I opened that file first. I'm glad I installed it to another drive, so that I'll be able to restart in Panther, because, so far, Spotlight fails utterly. It fails to find files I've just copied. It fails to find files I'm looking at, right there in the folder. As far as I can tell, it has only found a file after I opened it. The rest of the fricking folder full of files may as well be invisible.

I'm unimpressed.


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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: DonaemouS on Jun 24, '05 05:40:20AM

i have a big problem. i usually do search on LAN volumes. The server is running MacOS X 10.3.x. The system on which we do the search is using MacOS X Tiger. With MacOS X Panther, when we did a search, we got a result in about 5 seconds (LAN 10/100Mbit). Now, with Spotlight, we get an answer in about 15/25 seconds! Now, i don't understand if turning off spotlight, i could get back a search mode via namefiles instead indexing the content files.

I just would to know, how i can return to a MacOS X 10.3.x search mode. Unfortunately, the eMacs we have bought, can't run MacOS X 10.3!!! (already tryed! =/ )

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: Zo-1 on Jul 03, '05 04:43:58AM
I know you guys like to live by the terminal (die by the terminal) but there's Spotless to disable and enable Spotlight on the fly, and Disable Tiger Features for those sick of Spotlight and Dashboard . . .and they're both free . . .

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: GlowingApple on Jul 11, '05 01:12:50AM

Great apps! Now if only I didn't need to restart after disabling Spotlight I might have a valid use for the app. As much of a pain as Spotlight can be, it still comes in handy at times.

I just wish that when I connected an external hard drive it would sit there and grind indexing the drive. To stop the index I have to drag every drive I add to the private tab, which is difficult when the indexing seems to grind even my dual 2.0gHz G5 to a halt. When I connect a separate user's hard drive a day (for imaging backups at my workplace), it can be quite annoying. It would certainly be nice to be able to disable Spotlight temporarily or just disable it for all external media (unfortunately adding /Volumes or even the /dev/disk??? device to the private tab doesn't do this).

Jayson --When Microsoft asks you, "Where do you want to go today?" tell them "Apple."

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: anoved on Jul 11, '05 12:17:59AM

I really miss the Panther Finder search interface. I don't mind Spotlight, per se, but I never need to search for applications or frequently-accessed documents - I keep my machine nice and organized anyway, so it's not a challenge to find these things. When I do need to search for something, it is typically a very old file or an obscure one hidden among many similar ones in a known directory tree. I have found myself frustrated on more than one such occasion since *grading to Tiger, because the dynamic search interface starts processing my query before I've even finished composing it. And as I said, typically when I search it is for one of many similar files; this means that once I configure my search options and start typing in the actual search text, I get intermittent beach-ball and lots of wasted processor time as the Finder's results list eagerly starts suggesting hundreds - often thousands - of unwanted files. If the interface would simply wait until I had finished typing (just a few letters), all that churning and rearranging of results could be skipped and a concise list of 6 to 12 matches could be displayed directly. I know this because I have performed the same kind of task many times in Panther, with the traditional search interface, and it worked great.

My point is that sometimes, waiting to see what the user has to say is a Good Thing; ever meet someone who was so eager to please or prove themselves that they incessantly interrupt you with their attempts to anticipate and finish your sentences for you? They are not helpful, bless their souls, and neither is auto-searching, sometimes (I recognize the cool-factor and real utility of dynamic interfaces and examples like Google Suggest, but I simply assert that there are some cases in which it is faster, simpler, and simply more accurate to begin with the complete query).

Apple seems to have a thing with fiddling with searching. System 7.5 had a nice search utility; then they introduced Sherlock, which was fine, but no one I knew was really begging for it, nor did they come to depend on it. Likewise, I thought previous iterations of OS X had a fine search capability, and then Spotlight was introduced. Is it the case that many people do not use folders to organize their files? I'd never really thought of that, but I suppose it could explain the perpetual promise of better searching.

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: peet1 on Sep 13, '05 04:55:28AM

Just a note to everyone here who says that Spotlight's a great thing and I should just shove it becuase I don't 'have' to upgrade. I'm a Sys Admin in higher ed. I've been given a mandate to keep all computers on the same OS for a functionality/usabilty standpoint. As Apple only allows the current OS to run on their shipping machines, I am forced to run 10.4.

I like much of 10.4 many of the 200 reasons Apple touts are compeling enough to upgrade for on their own. Can you say ACL's!

However when Spotlight enabled clients log into my server (mount their Network homedirectory) they HOSE my network right around 13 clients brings my xServe to it's knees. If 4 or 5 of those clients initiate Spotlight searches, the Server times out and 'disconnects' all connected users. Who then get to enjoy the BeachBall swirl.

Spotlight is an indefensable feature. Yes it is a step in the right direction, but it us too utterly imature of a feature to force on users. I'm faced with the choice of disabling Spoghtlight entirely or not indexing any volumes ... killing all quality find by content searching in Mail and other apps.

Quit telling people to go buy Windows just because they speak up about valid problems in Mac OS. You sound like the psycho right-wing nutz who say I'm un-American because I don't believe in the policies of the Bush administration. Please take a moment to realize that Apple is not perfect, Mac OS is not perfect, Steve Jobs is not perfect and Spotlight sure as hell is NOT PERFECT (or even all that good).

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: StevenRiggins on Sep 19, '05 06:02:55PM

I totally agree. I like Spotlight, but Apple needs to start taking more time and not making Microsoft like shortcuts.

Spotlight deleting and reindexing external disks is a joke. A Microsoft class decision. Can't tell you how many times I've lost 3 hours when I plug my laptop in target disked to the g5 and then poof, index gone. Can't add it to privacy list, why? That puts something on the disk saying "don't index" so when I boot back onto the laptop, no Spotlight at all.


come on Apple, show us you can make better decisions. If this was Windows, we'd all be gaffawing and laughing.

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: obiwan2u on Sep 28, '05 05:58:05AM
Reasons why I don't like Spotlight:
  • In the System Preferences->Spotlight->Search Results screen, it says "Only selected categories will appear in Spotlight search results". Does that mean that files under those categories will still be searched? Yes, I can search the internet to figure this out, but it's poor GUI design.
  • In the System Preferences->Spotlight->Search Results screen, there's no way to figure out which "Documents" it's referring to (is it the Documents directory which is the default for the webserver?)
  • In the search results, it doesn't obviously show where the found things are. If you search for something common, you'll get many many search results lines which look identical. Very poorly designed.
  • There's no way to temporarily disable Spotlight.

Also, if I disable Spotlight can I still search for things using Finder->File->Find ?


Ben in DC
PublicMailbox at benslade
(append 030516 to the subj to bypass spam filters)
"It's the mark of an educated mind to be moved by statistic

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: dbolli on Sep 02, '06 12:41:50AM

Hi All,

A better solution (IMHO) if mdimport is crashing is to examine the crashdump to ascertain which .mdimporter is causing the crash.

Then from Terminal:

mdimport -L
cd <dir-of-mdimporter>
mv <thing.mdimporter> <thing.tmp>
mdimport -p /

to check that mdimport no longer crashes (for boot volume in this example)

Hope this helps.


Derek Bolli, Head Hacker,
Bolli World HQ Computing Facility,
North Sydney NSW 2060
Sydney, Australia email: (home)

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10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: garrett.reid on Jan 07, '07 09:47:28PM

I found the best combination to be:
+ edit /etc/hostconfig to SPOTLIGHT=-NO-
+ sudo chmod 0000 /System/Library/CoreServices/Search.bundle

The first turns off spotlight, the second takes out the little menu in the upper right.

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10.5.x: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: nyteschayde on Mar 04, '08 12:27:06PM
For 10.5 I source this script into my /etc/bashrc and use it to control spotlight:


# restore it
function spotlightOn() {
  sudo chmod 775 /Library/Spotlight;
  sudo chmod 755 /System/Library/Spotlight;
  sudo chmod 755 /System/Library/PreferencePanes/Spotlight.prefPane;
  sudo chmod 755 /System/Library/Services/Spotlight.service;
  sudo chmod 755 /System/Library/CoreServices/;
  sudo chmod 555 /usr/bin/mdimport;
  sudo chmod 555 /usr/bin/mdcheckschema;
  sudo chmod 555 /usr/bin/mdfind;
  sudo chmod 555 /usr/bin/mdls;
  sudo chmod 555 /usr/bin/mdutil;
  sudo chmod 555 /usr/bin/md;

# kill it
function spotlightOff() {
  sudo chmod 0000 /Library/Spotlight;
  sudo chmod 0000 /System/Library/Spotlight;
  sudo chmod 0000 /System/Library/PreferencePanes/Spotlight.prefPane;
  sudo chmod 0000 /System/Library/Services/Spotlight.service;
  sudo chmod 0000 /System/Library/CoreServices/;
  sudo chmod 0000 /usr/bin/mdimport;
  sudo chmod 0000 /usr/bin/mdcheckschema;
  sudo chmod 0000 /usr/bin/mdfind;
  sudo chmod 0000 /usr/bin/mdls;
  sudo chmod 0000 /usr/bin/mdutil;
  sudo chmod 0000 /usr/bin/md;

# clear indices
function spotlightCleanup() {
  sudo rm -rv /.Spotlight-V100;
  sudo rm -rv /private/var/tmp/mds;

[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Completely disable Spotlight
Authored by: Opa on Sep 25, '10 03:41:43PM

Disabled spotlight using Cocktail, and erased all index in Spotlight...worked great!

[ Reply to This | # ]