So I have a folder of applications that I don't use but I might need in the future.

However, these applications, even on a secondary or external disk, in any folder, will prompt MacOS to scan and offer all kinds of services for one, and two open them if there are files that could be associated with them.

I just want them to stand aside. I currently have them in a hidden folder and they seem to still popup.

Spotlight index has been set to ignore them several time. Still occurs.

  • 2
    I haven't tried it but I guess that changing the name from foo.app to foo.disabled will work.
    – lhf
    Dec 18, 2019 at 10:41

1 Answer 1


The easiest way is to zip each one. Right-click and select "Compress Name.app" (where Name is the name of the app).

Then delete the app. If you want to restore it, just double click on the zip file, and the app will get re-created.

Other possibilities include putting them inside a disk image, and then unmounting it.

Any method in which the app is no longer available to the OS will work. Otherwise, if the OS can 'see' the app, then it will be considered as viable and integral.

  • I am not going to start zipping stuff. I can also move them to a usb disk and unplug it. Not a great solution. How the hell can there not be a better way? Just having apps lying around and MacOS starts adding their funcitonality without being prompted to do so. Sounds dangerous.
    – mjs
    Dec 17, 2019 at 14:48
  • 1
    Can you describe exactly what you mean by "prompts MacOs to scan and offer all kinds of services"? What behaviour are you seeing? There may be a way to minimize these. However, generally, any application on any mounted disk is available to the OS for linking to file types. So you'll see it in the "Open With" menu, but that's the extent of its effect.
    – benwiggy
    Dec 17, 2019 at 15:21
  • 1
    The Keyboard System Preference is where you control whether you want Services from applications to show or not.
    – benwiggy
    Dec 17, 2019 at 18:16
  • 1
    @momomo why don't you want to zip the apps? It's easy and effective. Dec 17, 2019 at 18:41
  • 4
    You can choose where you want the inconvenience: in the Services and Open With menu; in zipping and unzipping; or in keeping them on an unmounted volume.
    – benwiggy
    Dec 17, 2019 at 19:44

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