Is it possible to ask Spotlight to not index a volume ?

3 Answers 3


Yes, open the Spotlight prefpane and under the Confidentiality tab (not sure, but on my French system it is called "Confidentialité"), you can add folders and volumes not to be indexed.

  • 6
    Privacy on English systems.
    – Chealion
    Oct 19, 2010 at 23:42

There are a variety of options to do this:

  1. Add the drive to the "Privacy" tab in the Spotlight Preference Pane
  2. Turn off Spotlight indexing for the site from the command line: sudo mdutil -i off /Volumes/NAME_OF_DRIVE
  3. touch /Volumes/NAME_OF_DRIVE/.metadata_never_index on an external drive.

If it's a removable volume, create a file in its root directory called .metadata_never_index, as in this hint.

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