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10.5: Spotlight and the Time Machine disk System 10.5
After much experimentation with the various known techniques and applications for turning off Spotlight indexing on a volume, I have concluded that it is not possible to convince OS X (Leopard) to not index the volume being used for Time Machine.

This is true even if Time Machine is set to Off, its volume is added to Spotlight's Privacy list, and the volume has a .metadata_never_index file at its root. The volume I was using is a partition on an external FireWire 800 drive dedicated to Time Machine.

My guess is that Apple enforces indexing on the Time Machine volume to facilitate searching backups, as suggested in this knowledge base document. But there are many ways to search, I don't use Spotlight all that much, the volume is 400GB, and I really just don't want Spotlight chewing on it -- especially when there's no way to control the frequency at which Time Machine does its backups.

[robg adds: Note that you can actually control the frequency with which Time Machine backups run, as discussed in this hint.]
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10.5: Spotlight and the Time Machine disk | 6 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: Spotlight and the Time Machine disk
Authored by: kirkmc on Jul 29, '08 07:51:50AM

I dunno, I have my TM volume in Spotlight's Privacy list, and I can't search anything there. It's got a .Spotlight_V100 folder, but if I try to search for something unique anywhere on that volume, I don't get any hits.

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10.5: Spotlight and the Time Machine disk
Authored by: alittleknowledge on Jul 29, '08 07:53:24AM
Interesting that this TUAW tip on "How to Exclude Your Time Machine Disk from Spotlight Indexing addresses this very issue, and it was just published this morning!

I wasn't sure if it would be proper to copy their article and post here, so I've just linked instead....

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linking vs. copying
Authored by: sjk on Jul 29, '08 07:58:28PM

With certain exceptions, I prefer articles be linked to instead of copied. That guarantees people will see the current version in case any updates are made.

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10.5: Spotlight and the Time Machine disk
Authored by: kiltbear on Jul 29, '08 02:30:26PM

Hmmm, does SpotLight really "chew" on the disk after the initial indexing of it? I thought it just keeps track of changes after the first time it gets indexed.

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10.5: Spotlight and the Time Machine disk
Authored by: macfreek57 on Jul 29, '08 11:14:19PM

Just a note:

A few years ago, without the more recent context that Leopard has brought to those words, the title of this Hint would have made a great children's fantasy book title.

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10.5: Spotlight and the Time Machine disk
Authored by: yotimbo on Sep 02, '08 11:44:06AM

I, too, have noticed this. I excluded my Time Machine external drive using privacy controls, and it seemed to work for many months... until 2 days ago - now Spotlight keeps indexing my Time Machine drive, even though it's still listed as being excluded. I tried removing the TM drive from the list, then adding it back in, but Spotlight keeps doing it. Any other ideas I could try?

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