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I tried to remove spotlight form the menu bar with the following trick:

sudo chmod 600 /System/Library/CoreServices/Search.bundle/Contents/MacOS/Search
killall SystemUIServer

Unfortunately if I repair disk permissions and reboot at some point (or just simply reboot some people tell me), the annoying spotlight thing is back in the menu bar.

I don't want to disable spotlight, just to take off the damn magnifying glass from the menu bar persistently. Is there a way the works better than the one I presented above?

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

This works at least up to 10.9.2.

To disable:

sudo mv /System/Library/CoreServices/Search.bundle /System/Library/CoreServices/Search.bundle.bak
killall SystemUIServer

To re-enable:

sudo mv /System/Library/CoreServices/Search.bundle.bak /System/Library/CoreServices/Search.bundle
killall SystemUIServer
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will this just kill the icon or actually disable spotlight? I like spotlight indexing my mail... – user1256923 Aug 1 '12 at 10:49
Just the icon... – Max Ried Aug 1 '12 at 10:52

There are a few apps that can remove the icon for you, I used Bartender to check it works in Mountain Lion:

enter image description here

It will even get rid of Notification Center if you so desire ;)

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Won't work correctly if iStatMenu is active. – Max Ried Aug 1 '12 at 10:42
Maybe not, it's in Beta at present, and the OP doesn't say they have iStatMenu running, I don't. – stuffe Aug 1 '12 at 10:43
I'm running iStatMenus and Bartender right now and it's working okay for me. Thanks OP, didn't even notice Bartender was able to hide Spotlight/Notification Centre! – Dan Barrett Aug 1 '12 at 10:50

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