I'd like to fiddle with Spotlight's priorities so that when I enter 'photo', my first returned result is Adobe Photoshop, and not Photo Booth.

I understand how to change priorities for or disable entire file types, but I'd rather just remove Photo Booth from Spotlight search.

Failing that, I could just delete Photo Booth. I don't use it. I think Photo Booth can't normally be deleted on Lion, so what's the command to delete it via Terminal?

  • App Store in Lion needs spotlight running.
    – chiggsy
    Apr 5, 2012 at 18:59

3 Answers 3


Have been running into this myself, and I decided to tweak a little. Here's what I ended up with...

Open the photoshop directory through applications. 'Get info' on the Photoshop executable. 'Cmd + i' or right click and choose) Top field is 'spotlight comments', type a text shortcut that suits you, I used 'phos' Close the info window. Open up spotlight and use the shortcut you chose.

  • That's a great answer. It's a shame the Spotlight Comment 'photo' doesn't give Adobe Photoshop more weight, but at least I can quickly access Photoshop with 'phos' or 'adobe'. Cheers. Jan 19, 2012 at 8:20

You don't need to delete anything. And I strongly advise you not too, since it's a built-in app. It could be useful to other part of the system, and it will probably be added back on a system update.

About your problem, Spotlight is smart, it will learn that when you type "photo" you want to open iPhoto over the time.

Just keep on typing photo, and selecting iPhoto over PhotoBooth.

If Spotlight is not smart enough or fast enough for you, you can try an alternative launcher, such as Alfred. It may be faster to learn than Spotlight (at least, it's what I found happened for me).

  • +1 for Alfred if your main need is a fast learning app launcher.
    – kopischke
    Oct 28, 2011 at 8:49
  • 1
    Spotlight no longer learns in Lion. Whether because of a bug or new setting or it was specifically removed.
    – user20914
    Mar 30, 2012 at 2:55
  • Just now I saw Spotlight learn a new top hit in Yosemite, so I can verify Yosemite definitely learns in at least some cases. In this case it had previously learned a particular spreadsheet was a top hit, and quickly learned that I now favored a new version of it that had a different name.
    – Paul
    Nov 19, 2014 at 17:15

Adding iPhoto and Photo Booth to your spotlight privacy settings will remove it from the Spotlight results

  • As much as I like this idea, I wasn't able to add Photo Booth.app to the privacy list. Can you elaborate on how you accomplished this?
    – nohillside
    Feb 4, 2012 at 17:25
  • 1
    This isn't possible. Spotlight Privacy Settings are applied to entire folders, not specific apps. Feb 6, 2012 at 10:52
  • 2
    You could make a folder to contain apps you wish to hide frommspotlit. Finder can run an app from anywhere so this might work well for you.
    – bmike
    Aug 31, 2012 at 4:25

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