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For some searches, Spotlight shows strange top hits. I often want to open the "Sound" System Preferences pane using Spotlight. But when I type sound it always shows "DaftCloud for SoundCloud" from the App Store as the top hit. I have never intentionally chosen this item. I have probably hit it a couple of times by mistake, but the vast majority of the time, I navigate one step down using the keyboard and choose "Sound". I rarely listen to music, and never to "DaftCloud" and I never use "SoundCloud". This top hit is weird to me. (Is Apple selling top hits on Spotlight?)

top hit for sound

I have seen claims that Spotlight can "learn" from user behavior. This doesn't seem to be the case here. I have even intentionally opened "Sound" repeatedly using Spotlight, and it still shows "SoundCloud" first.

Interestingly, typing soun (without the final d) shows the "Sound" preference pane first, but as soon as I complete the word sound, it switches to "SoundCloud". (Again, is Apple selling the "sound" keyword?)

Anyway, I want the "Sound" preference pane to be the top hit for sound. Is there any way to achieve this?

I have explored the Spotlight "Search Results" settings. But they don't seem to offer a way to remove App Store suggestions. I cannot remove "Applications" because that will remove the "Sound" preferences from the results.

Some sources claim that I should be able to drag around the "Search Results" in settings, but they don't move for me.

I can force "Sound" preferences to the top by using the search query kind:system preferences sound, but that is absurdly long to type.

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    It is not just you. I can reproduce your results including soun. I mostly use Alfred rather than Spotlight - it more predictable, but needs more work to configure. – Gilby Apr 17 at 23:21
  • I would say that this is normal and expected behavior of any machine learning search/filtering. System offers it’s best suggestion as default and if you don’t accept it then it means it’s not what you are looking for and if you enter next letter makes next best guess as default. What is the problem? Desired results with less typing? Shouldn’t it be the objective of every computr user? – Aivar Paalberg Apr 18 at 5:15
  • @AivarPaalberg To me it feels natural to type sound to reach the "Sound" pane. I don't pause after every keystroke to check the result, and I don't want to have to learn special abbreviations like soun for sound. I wouldn't call it expected "learning" to consistently ignore that I always choose the second result rather than the first. – Klas Mellbourn Apr 18 at 10:23
  • I'll chime in with a recommendation for Raycast over Alfred. I find it to have a cleaner interface and generally nicer to use; more Spotlight-alike. – Nathan Goller-Deitsch Apr 18 at 19:54

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