Has anyone facing issues with El Capitan tried stopping spotlight completely ?

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by Vishwas Gagrani, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. Vishwas Gagrani, Sep 9, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016

    Vishwas Gagrani macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2012
    I had El Capitan installed on my computer, and due to problems related to system constantly going busy, and displaying rotating beach ball on every move, I had to move back to Mavericks. But surprisingly, that too was not helping out. I couldnot understand the problem, as I had used Mavericks in the past without any problem. Ultimately researching things for some days I decided to stop spotllight completely. ( Till now I was making spotlight off partially only). Here is the command on Terminal I used :

    sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist

    I understand, this kills a very important mac's feature, but I was tired of watching that beach ball rotating. After using the above command, I got positive results, and I am no longer getting the rotating beach ball, and constant freezing. However, I doubt, may be it's some coincidence.

    I want to know, if anyone else on El Capitan ever tried the same to stop spotlight completely, and got results that solved their problem, of system getting constantly busy ? I want to upgrade to El Capitan again, and probably will make the spotlight off, untill a better solution arrives.

    So in case anyone get their problem solved, please share your experience.
  2. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    What made you believe that it was Spotlight? This isn’t typical. What kind of Mac do you have? Does it have an SSD?
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Not Spotlight causing the issue. As the poster above asked, do you have an SSD? If not, most of the newer OSs run very poorly on spinning drives, and they'll be practically unusable while the system is indexing (probably why killing Spotlight might have given the impression of increased performance).

    Regardless, if you've got an HDD, you can check its SMART data to see if there are any corruptions. Any reallocated sectors will further compound performance issues. You can download SMART Utility here: https://cloudfront.volitans-software.com/smartutility322.zip

    But yes, if you don't have an SSD, you should look to ditch the HDD immediately -- whether it's failing or not.
  4. Vishwas Gagrani thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2012

    Well, I have tried with various options till now. From restarting, disk verification, fsck, resetting nvram,smc, safe mode, force reindexing the spotlight, unchecking all spotlight folders for indexing etc etc. The only thing that seems to be working is shutting off the spotlight completely.

    From where do I know if it's SSD ?

    My system information says it's Hitachi HTSS45032B9SA0, SATA.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors Pentium


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote:
    "I understand, this kills a very important mac's feature, but I was tired of watching that beach ball rotating"

    There's nothing particularly important about Spotlight.

    I've been running my Macs with Spotlight disabled (I've even removed the icon from the menu bar!) since Apple introduced it.
    NO PROBLEMS -- my Macs continue to run just fine.

    For searching, I've found better solutions:
    - "EasyFind", and
    - "Find Any File".

    Oh, I'll guess there are a few things I can't do with Spotlight disabled, but I don't use or miss them.

    So.. my suggestion is that you TURN OFF Spotlight for a little while.
    Does your Mac run better?
    Do you miss it?
    Then get back to us, and report on your experiences.

    For me...
    Spotlight, adieu!
  6. keysofanxiety, Sep 9, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016

    keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    That's a hard-drive. Best remove & replace with an SSD. Any size/manufacturer will work fine.

    EDIT: Just to clarify, I mean any storage size will work. Obviously make sure it's a SATA SSD. :) Decent brands such as Samsung/Crucial are recommended, though any other SSD manufacturer would be fine.
  7. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    A spinning beach ball is usually indicative of a blocked main thread, which means that the application is unable to continue because it is still working on something else. In Finder this is usually happening because of disk problems or slow performance of the disk (most often seen on hard disks). Perhaps Spotlight does play a part in this due to increased disk activity.

    You should perform the suggested SMART test above. To see what kind of disk you have, click on the  menu, then ‘About This Mac’ → Storage. The top-most disk should be labelled accordingly. You should also still tell us the model of your Mac (you can see that under ‘About This Mac’ → Overview).

    Turning off Spotlight is not a solution to this problem, it is at best a bandage.

Share This Page