I have some pictures and videos on my Mac (OS X Lion, OS X Snow Leopard) I'd rather have NOT show in Finder>Images. For example, if I'm in a meeting with clients and want to show some document, I have to fire up Finder and open said document, and when I click towards that, those pictures/movies show up and embarrass me. Think hmmm, strategic company workflows ahemf. Is it possible to tell Finder to NEVER show these?

6 Answers 6


I am unsure if you are asking how to exclude folders from showing up in your finder spotlight search, or if what you are after is to hide specific folders from being shown in a finder window.

If you are after excluding folders from a spotlight search, you can do this in the privacy tab from system preferences / spotlight :

spotlight system preference

If you are after having the ability to show or hide files and folders from being viewed while you are in a finder window, then you can create an automator service to do just that :


NOTE : the tip above only toggles all files that have the hidden flag set, so if you need to quickly mark a folder or a file as "hidden", then you need to set this bit attribute for that file or folder.

An easy way to do this is via a free utility software download that does just this here (used to be shareware, but now free ) : gotoes.org/ShowHiddenFilesMacOSX/

NOTE 2 :

If you are happy using the terminal command line, you can just type the following on the terminal :

chflags hidden (drag your file or folder onto the terminal window here)


chflags nohidden (drag your file or folder here)

Hope this helps.

  • Tip: you can use the go menu to access the hidden files; that way you don't have to show & hide them every time. Commented Aug 29, 2011 at 11:56

If you have secure documents that you do not want to pop up in Finder » Images on a machine that might sometimes be facing others (in my case, diagrams for exam questions on the same machine I use connected to a projector in class), you could create an encrypted disk image using Disk Utility, and be sure not to store the password in the Keychain. When the disk image is mounted, you can search for and edit the secure files, but when the disk image is not mounted, the files will be safe from popping up in any searches, finder windows, etc.


Another convenient way to exclude a folder (and its contents) from Spotlight results is to add ".noindex" (without the quotes) to the end of the folder name.


Re: don't show certain thumbnail previews in finder

Putting a .noindex behind the folder's name, like notforyoutoseefolder.noindex did the trick for me in OS X Lion.

Once I had put that suffix the thumbnails of the movies (for instance) that you'd not want to be shown in Finder were in fact not shown anymore.

If only I had tried that before trying Daniel L's (smoothly working) method :)


A simple way is to put those "unmentionables" in a separate folder and hide the folder. You can move that "special folder" anywhere that you will remember, or you can searchmacupdate.com for a 3rd party app that will allow you to make it invisible/visible at will


If you were messing with your roomies computer and you shouldnt have, change the date to 3 days back and re-open the pictures you watched. This will "reset" the dates they were "watched" ;)

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