Stop Spotlight From Indexing Your External Drives

I’m an idiot… no really… I’ve spent the last hour researching hacks to exclude my newly acquired 1TB Firewire drive from being indexed and searched from Spotlight. We all know how big of a resource hog spotlight is so any little bit helps in my opinion. This 1 TB drive is acting as my backup drive, so I really don’t need all the files from my root drive (Mac OS X) being intertwined with the exact same files on the external firewire drive. That would get messy, and probably really fubar my backup, especially if I started working on code on my backup instead of the actual OS drive. Uggh, I can just hear the cursing I’d be doing now… not fun.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand! So, I was working with a hack provided by macosxhints, when I decided that I should probably check out the spotlight preferences in my system preferences. There it was… a Privacy tab, and some text telling me that “Prevent Spotlight from searching these locations: Click the Add button, or drag a folder or disk into the list below”.

Can it really be that easy? You know damn right it can… we’re on Mac’s here… not M$’s P.O.S Vista… ZING. As an aside, this is why I love Apple. They make things so painlessly easy that you often overlook the obvious.

Now I have my backup drives being excluded from my spotlight searchs, my backups are safe, my system can free up some resources life is good.

Joshua is the Content Marketing Manager at BuySellAds. He’s also the founder of And since all that doesn’t quite give him enough content to wrangle, he’s also a technology journalist in his spare time, with bylines at PCWorld, Macworld… Full Bio