Starting Big Sur I have Google Chrome that returns in every possible Spotlight result.

This is very annoying because if I do a typo in Spotlight and hit enter then Google Chrome shows up.

If I recall correctly before there was an option to disable this by unchecking: System Preferences > Spotlight > Allow Spotlight Suggestions in Spotlight and Look up. The option is not present anymore on Big Sur.

The only categories I have enabled in Spotlight are Applications, Calculator and System Preferences.

How can I stop this behavior from Spotlight? Or exclude Google Chrome from it?

Spotlight Result

  • 3
    I also feel unhappy about the behaviour. The only thing that I can do is to select what you desire the most, then the "chrome" thing will not be the first priority on spotlight results. Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 3:59
  • 7
    I made the mistake of hitting enter on just "vs" and now it always opens in chrome. I really don't want that. I wanted to open VS Code, but no matter how many times I select VS Code. Chromes suggestion is still first. This is very annoying. I only have applications listed, but Chromes suggestions still show.
    – ggedde
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 4:13
  • 3
    This is awful. It's on my list of things that feel broken in big sur.
    – Z2VvZ3Vp
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 18:39
  • 3
    I just ran into this too, it looks like the issue is not Chrome - it's based on the Default Web Browser. System Preferences > General > Default web browser > (Safari) - then open Safari and try the Spotlight search again. It seems like this is new Spotlight behavior...
    – sparticvs
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 0:32
  • 2
    @sfxedit Siri suggestions are disabled in Spotlight preferences. It does not resolve the issue.
    – Nate
    Commented Jul 31, 2021 at 21:00

4 Answers 4


New in Big Sur’s Spotlight are web search completion results.

This is not the Google Chrome application presenting itself, but rather web search results showing in Spotlight able to be opened with the default web browser. Since your default web browser is Chrome, the icon of Chrome shows by the results.

It’s currently not possible to remove web search results from Spotlight.

  • 7
    If you can't disable it, this particular feature is a spyware to allow Apple to get access to our search data. Really disappointing and another big reason to not upgrade to Big Sur.
    – sfxedit
    Commented Aug 1, 2021 at 22:07
  • so the 'private' folder fix listed below wont work anymore?
    – Ryu S.
    Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 21:26
  • @Ryu Moving applications to a private folder would never work with this issue, as the results are not application results so there's no application to move.
    – grg
    Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 21:51
  • In case you weren't aware @sfxedit, Apple owns your entire operating system, and it doesn't matter what app you type your searches in. They know.
    – Micah B.
    Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 18:49
  • 1
    @MicahB. I use an application firewall to prevent that. And I haven't upgraded my macOS and plan to dump it for Linux in the future if Apple still wants to prioritise spying over user privacy.
    – sfxedit
    Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 19:32

It's impossible to make Spotlight do what you want but you can install a replacement. I like ueli, which is both free and open source.


You can disable one (or more) specific applications from ever showing up in Spotlight by:

  1. Moving it (or them) into a separate folder (like /Applications/private or something in your /Users/<user> folder)

  2. Adding that folder to the exclusion list in System Preferences -> Spotlight -> Privacy.


The best/only option remaining in Monterey is to remove "Siri Suggestions" from the Spotlight preferences (System Preferences). Still, you might also want to remove Bookmarks & History (same list in System Preferences > Spotlight), since those will allow Spotlight to suggest websites you've ever visited that happen to include your search term.

  • The issue still persist on Monterey even after removing Siri Suggestions and Bookmarks & History
    – David
    Commented Apr 17, 2022 at 15:14
  • As a test, disable all categories in Spotlight preferences. The preferences page specifically says that "only selected categories" will appear in the search results, so in principle you should now get nothing when you search... but no, it still forces internet searches on you.
    – Théophile
    Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 17:56

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