I want to remove Mail from Spotlight as I don't use it on my Mac. However, the only way to do this is to uncheck "Mail & Messages" from being indexed on Spotlight in Preferences, here:

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Unchecking this removes my Messages from showing in Spotlight, which I do want to appear in Spotlight searches.

I have deactivated all mail accounts in mail in the hope this would remove the Mail index for these accounts but this didn't remove Mail from Spotlight. This is a screenshot of mail still showing despite no email accounts being active:

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I am using OS X El Capitan, latest release.

1 Answer 1


Using the "Privacy" tab in the Spotlight item of "System Preferences" may allow you to add the folder ~/Library/Mail which should remove all email messages from the Spotlight index, at least for email from the Mail.app program. Other email programs like Thunderbird store their data elsewhere and would likely still be indexed by Spotlight.

Generally however the folder ~/Library is not visible, so cannot be navigated through to select ~/Library/Mail unless you something to make it visible as detailed in various places, including http://www.macworld.com/article/2057221/how-to-view-the-library-folder-in-mavericks.html and How do I tell Finder to always show my Library folder on Mavericks?

  • That did the trick! Thanks @j-beda. Didn't remove the emails straight away but they disappeared over the weekend by the time I tried again now on Monday. Now I just get iMessages in my spotlight searches and not emails. Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 9:36

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