One of the primary features of the Mac OS X operating system is their search feature called Spotlight. Many Mac OS X users depend on this great feature but others don’t find it necessary. For those of you who don’t find it necessary, it can improve the performance of your Mac OS X system if you disable it.
To do this, follow these simple steps.
Note that some other Mac OS X features and programs are based on Spotlight’s search abilities, therefore some applications could behave abnormally if you disable Spotlight, particularly in search functions.
Important: These instructions were created based on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. They may work on previous or future versions of OS X but they may not.
- Launch Terminal and type the following command:
sudo nano /etc/hostconfig
- Find the following entry in the hostconfig file:
- Save /etc/hostconfig by hitting Control-O and the return key. Next hit Control-X to exit the nano editor.
- Disable the Spotlight index by typing the following in the Terminal:
sudo mdutil -i off /
- To erase the current Spotlight index, type: sudo
mdutil -E /
- When you reboot, Spotlight will be completely disabled.
If you find a need for Spotlight later, follow my article on How To Re-enable Mac OS X Spotlight.