Disable Spotlight

October 7, 2009

Since the OS X Spotlight process was freezing my machine constantly after installing the new VMware Fusion 3.0 I finally googled how to turn Spotlight off, totally. During the last two years I used it 2-3 times so it is really not worth for me.

There are two ways to disable Spotlight. One is to exclude all disks from being scanned by Spotlight, the other one to disable Spotlight totally.

Execute this command to exclude all disks from being searched.

mdutil -a -i off

Also, by disabling Spotlight totally one can gain up to 30% overall system performance - which is quite nice. On the other hand some applications like Mail.app will frequently hang for a few seconds during usage. So only do this when you are know what you are doing.

These are the steps to remove Spotlight from Snow Leopard.

sudo su
cd /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Frameworks/Metadata.framework/Support/
tar -cvf mdworkstuff.tar ./
rm mdworker
rm mdworker32
rm mds
rm mdwrite

If you want to re-enable it later on, simply extract the .tar archive and reboot.

tar xvzf mdworkstuff.tar