macOS: Stop Spotlight Indexing Certain Folders or Drives

1 minute read
| How-To

Spotlight is a tool that lets you search through your Mac for files, folders, and other information. It indexes your system in order to figure out where everything is. But you can stop Spotlight indexing if you want it to ignore certain folders.

[How to Fix Spotlight Indexing in OS X]

Stop Spotlight Indexing

Stop Spotlight indexing by going into System Preferences as shown in this image.

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click on the Spotlight button on the upper left.
  3. Click on the Privacy tab.

This is where you can drag and drop (or click the + button) external hard drives, files, and folders that you want Spotlight to ignore. You can also do this a different way. If there is a particular folder you don’t want indexed, you can add the “.noindex” extension to it.

Stop Spotlight indexing by adding a special extension to the end of folders, as shown here.

The folder would look like this: FolderName.noindex. The benefit of that is it doesn’t show up in the Privacy tab of Spotlight preferences. However, if the folder is in iCloud, it still appears in Spotlight searches on iOS.

[macOS: Using Boolean Operators in Spotlight Searches]

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