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10.4: Hide the Spotlight Privacy tab from general view System 10.4
Spotlight is great technology, however, the Privacy tab in Spotlight's System preferences allows someone to walk up to the computer and quickly view what you may consider "private." It's ironic that this may probably be the easy way to view someone's private files and personal information -- just double-click on an entry in the list, and it opens in the Finder.

My solution for keeping this information private is to simply disable the Privacy tab in Spotlight's System Preferences by doing the following (after setting up the items you wish to keep private). I first put a copy of the system's Spotlight.prefPane (from the System -> Library -> PreferencePanes folder) in my user's PreferencePanes directory with the following command:
$ sudo cp -R /System/Library/PreferencePanes/Spotlight.prefPane/ 
~/Library/PreferencePanes/Spotlight.prefPane/
The reason for this is that I only want to disable the Privacy tab in my own home directory; I still want other users with their own accounts to have the ability to use the Privacy tab if they so desire.

Next, I drill down into my copy of the Spotlight.prefPane package, and change the name of the Privacy.nib file to leaveitalong_Privacy.nib with the following command:
$ sudo mv ~/Library/PreferencePanes/Spotlight.prefPane/Contents/
Resources/English.lproj/Privacy.nib ~/Library/PreferencePanes/
Spotlight.prefPane/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/leaveitalong_Privacy.nib
You will have to enter your administrative password and hit Enter after the command. Once you do this, restart System Preferences, and the Privacy tab will no longer be accessible in your account. However, it is still available in the other users' accounts. If you want access to the Privacy tab in Spotlight again (because you want to add or delete items from the Privacy area), simply type the following at the command line.
$ sudo mv ~/Library/PreferencePanes/Spotlight.prefPane/Contents/Resources/
English.lproj/leaveitalong_Privacy.nib ~/Library/PreferencePanes
Spotlight.prefPane/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/Privacy.nib
This gives you the option of locking the Privacy tab from prying eyes while still allowing you to modify the search results in Spotlight's Preference pane. It also allows other users on the computer to continue to access the privacy tab for their own accounts.

When you disable the Privacy tab in Spotlight, it will remain that way even after a restart and repair permissions. From here, it should be straightforward to write a shell script or AppleScript that will enable/disable the Privacy tab for you. I hope this helps.
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10.4: Hide the Spotlight Privacy tab from general view | 7 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Hide the Spotlight Privacy tab from general view
Authored by: macshome on Jul 05, '06 07:38:00AM

Um... even if the Finder tried to open a "private" location your permissions should not allow others to view it.

And why disable it in YOUR account if you want to stop others from using the tab? I would think you would disable it for other users in that case...

---
http://www.afp548.com
Breaking my server to save yours.



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10.4: Hide the Spotlight Privacy tab from general view
Authored by: chris_on_hints on Jul 05, '06 08:04:37AM

This hint is how to deal with people who sit at your machine while you are logged in. Having a 'secret' directory placed somewhere obscure (but in plain sight, ie visible) is fine for you to have easy access, but the private folders option is an easy way to find it.

If you were really concerned, you would make an encrypted disk image, but I have always found them a little cumbersome for all but the most sensitive data (ie credit card info, bank stuff etc).



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10.4: Hide the Spotlight Privacy tab from general view
Authored by: diamondsw on Jul 05, '06 08:37:17AM
This is why the terminal is a Bad Thing at times. Not a thing here required the terminal, or was even made easier.
  1. In the Finder, copy /System/Library/PreferencePanes/
  2. Spotlight.prefpane to ~/Library/Preferences/.
  3. Select the new copy and "Show Package Contents".
  4. Navigate to Contents/Resources/English.lproj
  5. Rename Privacy.nib something else
See? No long terminal commands, no need for your password, and it Just Works.

Now, the privacy tab DOES appear with this hint; it's just not usable. To clean things up, you'll want to fix that in Interface Builder. Just open SpotlightPref.nib, select the "Privacy" tab, and delete it. Save and done.

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10.4: Hide the Spotlight Privacy tab from general view
Authored by: TvE on Jul 05, '06 10:42:17AM

This hint might be OK from a technical point of view - but from a user/security point of view it's ridiculous ;-}:

A. Do not leave you Mac logged in and
B. don't let other users use it unless they log in with a different account.

- Is'nt that what Fast User Switching is all about????



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10.4: Hide the Spotlight Privacy tab from general view
Authored by: cilly on Jul 05, '06 05:34:49PM

Since of 10.4.7 Apple solved the Spotlight bug and Spotlight only lists search results the other users have permissions to read. Just make sure, you set the private home folder with chmod go-rwx, i.e. chmod go-rwx /Users/<yourusername>. (The example will disable Public and Sites, too. If you do not want that, choose only selectiv folders to chmod. chmod o-rwx might be sufficiant since mostly each user has it's own group. For myself execpt Public and Sites all files have chmod goo-rwx set.)

So there is no need for this tipp, if you are running 10.4.7.



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10.4: Hide the Spotlight Privacy tab from general view
Authored by: Mikey-San on Jul 06, '06 02:20:21AM

This hint is braindead.

Don't get up from your computer without locking the screen, logging out, or fast-user-switching to the login window.



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10.4: Hide the Spotlight Privacy tab from general view
Authored by: cynikal on Jul 06, '06 07:34:50PM

not to nitpick but....

leaveitalong ? along? not alone? is this a typo or did you intentionally use the wrong word multiple times?



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