I primarily use Mail.app for my Exchange mail account. But I need to keep Outlook around for those rare cases I need it (for instance editing distribution lists on the server).

But this makes Spotlight searches really convoluted. Every mail shows up twice. Is there any way I can disable the content from individual apps from being part of the Spotlight index? Or an obscure setting (I've looked) inside Outlook that disables Spotlight indexing?

  • 4
    Possible duplicate of Removing a specific app from spotlight
    – fsb
    Jan 14, 2019 at 13:27
  • That is about removing an app. I ask about removing a content type from an app.
    – Fuzzy76
    Jan 14, 2019 at 13:42
  • You asked "Is there any way I can disable individual apps from being part of the Spotlight index?" and that's why it was a duplicate of the other question. If that's not your question then you need to update your question.
    – fsb
    Jan 14, 2019 at 13:50

3 Answers 3


You need to tell Spotlight not to search the Outlook Database on your local machine. Assuming you're using MS Office 2016 or later Here's how,

  1. Open System Preferences > Spotlight

  2. Click the Privacy Tab

  3. Locate your Outlook Database which can be found in the Library folder within you home folder. So /Users/userfolder/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/

  4. Drag the Outlook folder into the privacy tab you opened earlier within System Preferences.

System Preferences/Spotlight/

  • I found the answer myself and we posted simultaneously. But your effort of providing a screenshot is definitely better! :)
    – Fuzzy76
    Jan 14, 2019 at 13:45
  1. Open Spotlight under System settings and go to the Exceptions tab.
  2. Add the folder /Users/yourusername/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/Outlook/Outlook 15 Profiles/Main Profile/Data/

...now everything from Outlook is excempt from Spotlight.

  • Not everything. I'm not sure when things changed. If you want to not have the attachments searched, add this folder: /Users/yourusername/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/Outlook/Outlook 15 Profiles/Main Profile/Files/ Or just follow the post above and put the entire outlook folder. For me, I want to search the mail but not the attachments Aug 22, 2022 at 12:20

When performing a search, you can include -kind:mail and/or -kind:event to exclude Outlook emails and events.

This method lets you exclude Outlook items from the Spotlight search, while still allowing Outlook to search its own items. If you move the Outlook folder to System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy, Outlook will no longer be able to search its own email, events, etc.

  • I said I used Mail.app for my mail, which is why I wanted to remove the Outlook mails from Spotlight. I thought that made it clear I still wanted to search my mails from Mail.app.
    – Fuzzy76
    Jun 12, 2019 at 7:00
  • 2
    Yup understood, I was just providing another option in case you occasionally still wanted to search within Outlook itself, which you mentioned still keeping around. If not, then obviously the top solution is best. Happy searching!
    – Jawann
    Jun 12, 2019 at 10:07

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