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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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