How To

Mac tip – Shut down Spotlight

Cyril Roger


SpotlightI’ve always said that Spotlight is a brilliant tool and something I simply can’t live without. Whether launching an application, looking for a file or just checking through my mail, I just need to use Spotlight. Remembering the times when the Apple search function wasn’t around, doing all these tasks was just a little bit more tedious and inexorably involved having to search through files. I’ve already written previously on Spotlight, giving you a tip on how to use it with Cover Flow, how to repair it or giving you a list of alternative launchers.

As effective as Spotlight is, it isn’t error proof, especially when you consider that it’s literally on all the time, analyzing and indexing files. As said before, I’ve already covered how to repair Spotlight if something goes wrong with it. But what if it’s still not functioning properly and giving you a hard time? Your last resort is to shut it down completely.

Look for the two following files and move them to a safe place, from where they can easily be recovered. Do not erase them!


Then reboot your system so that launchd does not try to start them. Normally since the files are not there anymore Spotlight will not be able to perform its indexing tasks. Take a look every now and then to make sure your system hasn’t recreated the files. If so, make sure to move them to another safe place. Once you think it’s time to relaunch Spotlight, simple put the files back in their destination.

[Via: Macosxhints]

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