I'm running Little Snitch and every time I open Spotlight to find something it makes a bunch of http requests out to various websites, some I've visited in the past some I've absolutely no idea about.

I've no idea what Spotlight is doing and why it should be reaching out, but in anycase I'd much prefer if it didn't.

Is there any way to restrict Spotlight to the local machine and not have it make these requests?


If you're using Little Snitch then you can block Spotlight altogether:


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There are two items to pay attention to, and they are Spotlight and SpotlightNetHelper. I always block SpotlightNetHelper because from my observation it apparently by default it sends data to Apple during login. Spotlight itself does by default attempt to make an outgoing connection for example if you search for "google.com". During that process you'll see other websites showing up through the Little Snitch dialog because it also picks up anything embedded within that websites page. I selectively deny these outgoing attempts, although you can permanently block any/all of them if you choose.

I find it easier to manage all the connections in Little Snitch.

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    I played with the controls above, but this was the only real way to stop it reaching out. Thanks! – sgargan Mar 19 '15 at 18:52

System Prefs > Spotlight
I'm guessing 'Bing Web Searches' might be the one you want rid of… or perhaps Spotlight Suggestions...

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It may also be somewhat interactive with Safari Prefs - Search [though I've not tested this, I've switched mine all off anyway]

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  • Adjusted the ones you suggested and most of the others but it's still making connections. – sgargan Mar 19 '15 at 18:57

An Apple tech supervisor told me how to stop Spotlightnethelper. She had me go to system preferences, then spotlight, then uncheck "Definitions" and "Spotlight suggestions" in the list, and then below the list is another button to uncheck that says "Allow Spotlights suggestions and look up". Then she had me shut down the computer. Then do a PRAM reset by hitting power, then immediately hitting I think cmdaltPR all that the same time until I heard two start up tones, then release those four keys, and that seemed to do the trick. I don't see Spotlightnethelper in the activity monitor, and it's no longer using 280 - 340 percent of CPU.

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