How To Disable/Enable Spotlight on Apple Mac OS X

We all know that Spotlight on Apple Mac OS X can really suck for most of us, and we need a way to kill it. Try the steps below.

Disable Spotlight
The primary method is using launchctl, this will require the administrative password:

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

Another approach is to use the older indexing method of “sudo mdutil -a -i off” which turns off indexing only, but more on that in a minute.

Reenable Spotlight
Disable Spotlight The primary method is using launchctl, this will require the administrative password:

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

Another approach is to use the older indexing method of “sudo mdutil -a -i off” which turns off indexing only, but more on that in a minute. Reenable Spotlight.

The guaranteed way to reenable Spotlight is to reload it into launchd using launchctl:

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

The guaranteed way to reenable Spotlight is to reload it into launchd using launchctl:

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