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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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