Mac101 – Customizing Spotlight

I probably do not use the Spotlight search feature in macOS as much as some people. I do use it enough to take the time to customize it’s search settings. If you are a Spotlight user I highly recommend doing some customization. It is easy to do.


Spotlight Customization

I primarily use Spotlight to search for files and folders. If I am going to search for emails I usually use the email app. If I am searching for a web address I just use Safari or LaunchBar. Because I do use Spotlight at times, I have customized it’s search settings to fit my workflow. To customize Spotlight just go into the System Preferences and click on the Spotlight icon:


You will be taken to this screen:


Pretty much every category is checked when you first go in there. However, since I am primarily using Spotlight for document and folder searches I really do not need all these items checked. So, I unchecked a bunch of them:


I think my Spotlight searches are a little faster. Plus, when you do a Spotlight search with all or most of the categories turned on you end up with a bunch of search results that are not pertinent to what you are trying to find. The less results, the easier it is to find that file you need to locate. By unchecking categories you do not need, you are simplifying your searches; making them more efficient.


If you are a Spotlight user it may be worth your while to uncheck some of these categories in the Spotlight Pref Pane. It might just save you some time and frustration.