Spotlight Indexing?

If you are having some slowdowns on your Mac at times then you might want to disable Spotlight Indexing. If you are a heavy Spotlight user then disregard this, but if you rarely use Spotlight like me then read on my friend.


Disable Spotlight Indexing

Spotlight can take a toll on your CPU usage while it is in the indexing process. So, if you are not a heavy Spotlight user you may want to consider disabling the indexing process. Well, there is the easy way and there is the little more difficult way to disable Spotlight indexing. Here is the easy way. Go into a third party Mac utility app like MacPilot and turn it off!

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Select “Spotlight” in the sidebar, click on a hard drive and then uncheck “indexing enabled”:

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You can always turn it back on at a later date if you wish. In my case I have decided to disable indexing on all my external hard drives and see if that helps. If I need to I may disable it on my main drive as well.

If you happen to own the excellent Cocktail Mac utility you can do it there too:

Just select the drive and check the radio button “indexing disabled”:

However, if you do not own any of the above utilities then search through whatever utility app you DO own and see if it has this capability. As a last resort you can do this in the Terminal app. Open a terminal and type the following commands:

To disable indexing: sudo mdutil -a -i off
To enable indexing: sudo mdutil -a -i on

I think this Terminal command may disable Spotlight indexing for the whole machine so use at your own risk.

Keep in mind that some of Apple’s applications do use Spotlight for some stuff. I will let you know how this goes on my machine. As for searching my Mac I primarily use a very cool little app called EasyFind from Devon Technologies:

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It is very powerful, but easy to use. And, it is free!! If you would like to know more about EasyFind I did an article on it a while back.


Indexing your hard drive is a nice idea, but if it causes you a bunch of CPU grief then I recommend turning it off for a while and see how you do without it. There is always an app like EasyFind to the rescue.