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10.5: Disable Spotlight completely
Authored by: BjarneDM on Nov 28, '07 12:03:20PM
I still don't like Spotlight - never have and don't suppose I ever will.
 
So: This is how to disable Spotlight completely in 10.5:
 
0) Start Terminal and enter the following commands
 
1) stop and disable the spotlight application itself:
cd /System/Library/LaunchAgents
launchctl unload com.apple.Spotlight.plist
sudo launchctl unload -w com.apple.Spotlight.plist
Just ignore the errormessage from the last command.
The first command stops the application for the current user. The second command disables for every user. The reason you get the error is that you are effectively executing the command as root, but the root user hasn't any running instance of Spotlight. On the other hand, only the root user is able to disable the automatic start of Spotlight. Thus the need for the sudo command.
 
2) stop and disable the background server:
cd /System/Library/LaunchDaemons
sudo launchctl unload -w com.apple.metadata.mds.plist

 
3) remove the .Spotlight-V100 directories
sudo find / -iname '.Spotlight-V100' -type d -maxdepth 3 -print0 
| xargs -0 -t -n1 sudo rm -rf
The find part searches for the Spotlight directories and will find the one at the system root as well as on any partitions and attached drives in /Volumes. The -print0 part is there to guard against any spaces and other special characters in filenames when executing the following rm command. The .Spotlight-V100 folders are actually empty. Stopping the mds server does this, so if you aren't bothered by these vestiges of the process, you can ignore this step.
 
4) there's no need to reboot your computer after following these steps.
The reason the original poster had to recommend this is because his approach is - I'm sorry to say so - faulty. As one of the previous posters noted, it's bad practise to remove any of the files that Apple has installed. It's much better to modify their settings.
 
5) If only some of your accounts need/want to have Spotlight enabled, you can copy the /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.Spotlight.plist to the users own ~/Library/LaunchAgents folder and enable/start Spotligth:
cp /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.Spotlight.plist ~/Library/LaunchAgents/
launchctl -w ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.Spotlight.plist


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10.5: Disable Spotlight completely
Authored by: zbender on Mar 26, '08 04:26:19PM
5) If only some of your accounts need/want to have Spotlight enabled, you can copy the /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.Spotlight.plist to the users own ~/Library/LaunchAgents folder and enable/start Spotligth:
cp /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.Spotlight.plist ~/Library/LaunchAgents/
launchctl -w ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.Spotlight.plist
Actually, I think your steps are wrong at sequence 5. To re-enable, you must:
launchctl load -w ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.Spotlight.plist
sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist

I wanted to totally disable Spotlight and the mds indexer, so I could use Google Desktop instead. Of course, then I realised that Google Desktop *requires* mds indexer to be active, and probably needs Spotlight fully enabled.
...this is why I had to re-enable, and how I found your typo.

[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: Disable Spotlight completely
Authored by: booshtukka on Jun 30, '08 11:57:14AM

Just so you know, following these instructions completely killed my Time Capsule. Thanks for that. If you want go on about best practises, how about you try knowing what you're talking about?



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