Side Effects of Disabling Spotlight

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by jasnw, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. jasnw macrumors 6502a


    Nov 15, 2013
    Seattle Area (NOT! Microsoft)
    I have just started a forced Spotlight re-indexing of my HD for the second time in less than a year. Indexing, and ever-running mdsworker instances, have been an annoyance to me equal to the annoyance of anti-virus codes on Windows systems. I never use Spotlight explicitly and have often considered disabling it entirely, but I then read that "some apps may stop working if Spotlight is completely disabled." So, what are these apps, why are they tied to this idiot Spotlight indexing beast, and will they indeed stop working (or stop working right) if I disable Spotlight?
  2. sharon22 macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2014
    DO IT! Turn that dad-blamed thing OFF!

    I, personally, HATE spotlight (the lady at the post office says, "hate," is a strong word, and I should not use it.... but, I digress).

    Anyway, here's what I do to make my computer to run really, really fast (instead of slow jerky and choppy when Spotlight is running):

    1.) Go into System Preferences, click on Spotlight, click on the PRIVACY tab.

    2.) Drag your Hard Disk icon into that big window.

    ... at this point, you've told the computer not to use Spotlight. You're almost done.....

    Now, go into terminal and type this EXACT thing (substitute "hardDriveName" with whatever your hard drive is named)

    cd /Volumes/hardDriveName

    Now, you're in the directory where the Spotlight index is. Verify this by typing:

    ls -ainrst

    A big list will appear. Towards the bottom of that list, you'll find this file that begins with a dot . :

    That's the directory of your Spotlight index.

    To remove it, type this:

    sudo rm -rf .Spotlight-V100

    and then type your password

    There! Done! Now, you've disabled spotlight, and removed it's index, and now your computer will run smooth!

    Okay, how do you find stuff? Install the app called "Find Any File." I'd google it and find the link, but I don't work for them, I'm just a big fan.

    The ONLY thing you'll wish you had Spotlight for is searching your own email. It's worth living without searching your email to disable spotlight, in my opinion.

    By the way, be careful with the Terminal stuff I mentioned earlier. One wrong character and you can destroy your whole system. But, just so you know, I did double-check my work, because I just did it all, myself, a minute ago, because last night I ran Onyx, which reenables Spotlight and I was wondering why in the H88l my computer was running so choppy today! So I just now disabled my own Spotlight. Yeah me!
  3. jasnw thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 15, 2013
    Seattle Area (NOT! Microsoft)
    Yes, I know how to disable it. My concern is about what suddenly stops working that I care about once I do disable the beast. The inability to search email has come up before. So the Apple mail app requires Spotlight in order to search mail? Good design. Any other gotchas out there?

    (And no, "hate" is not too strong a word here.)
  4. sharon22 macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2014
    Sorry, I shouldn't have babbled on how to get rid of it (reading and paying attention is not one of my strong points.... hmm.... actually it's not ANY of any of my points LOL).

    As far as I know, NO PROBLEM. I have transcended through all of the OS's, right from OS 10.0, WITHOUT Spotlight. I have (sorry, Post Office Lady), I have HATED spotlight from the get go, and I'll tell you one thing for 100% CERTAIN -- I have had ZERO problems/concerns/issues without Spotlight.

    Again, I'm repeating myself, I DO need to be able to find files! So I use the App "Find Any File" and it's fast.

    For goodness sakes, just try it. What's the worst that can happen? (Ka-booom, all the springs burst out of your mac hahahahahhahah), if an App doesn't work, just re-enable Spotlight.

    Heck, actually, Apps and everything will work BETTER because you won't have froggin' Spotlight Girbil-in-a-wheeling away in the background.

    I would caution against disabling all kinds of stuff, but not Spotlight. It is ALSO important to note, that I am not just "anyone." I have OCD like you wouldn't believe. If an OCD person tells you it's okay to disable Spotlight, then IT'S OKAY TO DISABLE SPOTLIGHT.

    Oops, I should have read your post. You aren't really asking "if it's okay," rather you wanted to know what specific Apps rely on Spotlight.

    Okay, these:

    1.) Mail
    2.) mail
    3.) um..... mail.
    4.) um... Mail?
    5.) Mail!
    6.) The Apple Data-on-you Collection Agency
    7.) #6 was just kidding, just a joke

    Truth be told, I cannot think of any apps that RELY on spotlight.

    Sure, there may be Apps that DO use spotlight... but none that RELY (that I know of).

    But make sure to get "Find Any File" app.

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