Is there a way to exclude specific apps from Spotlight search results? For example, in my daily workflow I rarely open iTunes. So when I want to open iTerm2 it would be great to save the extra keystrokes if Spotlight knew ignore that application from the list of search results. Similarly, when I want the App Store, I prefer using my Launchpad dedicated Hot Corner. I'd love to Spotlight to Airmail without the extra strokes it requires to get past the App Store suggested...

One alternative would be third party tools, a la Quicksilver, Alfred, etc and setting up dedicated key bindings. I'm a bit of a binding junkie but hesitate with setting universal patterns that might impede applications I've overlooked.

As far as I can tell it seems Spotlight's search preferences are limited to the broad strokes but is it possible to hide specific apps from the results?

1 Answer 1


Launching applications with Quicksilver the “manual” way is so fast, I’ve never even bothered assigning a keystroke for one. If you did want a keystroke, you could limit the scope so it’s not active in certain applications, or so it’s only active in certain applications.

Also note that Quicksilver will very quickly learn that when you type “it”, you want iTerm by default and not iTunes, so you won’t need to remove it from the results entirely. And unlike Spotlight, you can find iTerm2 by typing something like “trm”.

  • Thanks, @RobMcBroom. Encouraging to know Quicksilver will adapt its search result patterns. Now to adapt user workflow patterns..
    – bwlv
    Jun 27, 2014 at 15:14

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