Spotlight has long been an iconic Mac feature, in the same vein as the versatile Dock. What makes it a useful asset is its ability to offer fast and accurate search results. Beyond quick research, Spotlight also has a lot of neat tricks up its sleeve, like converting currencies and performing calculations. To provide more accurate results, it scans the entire Mac by indexing all files and folders stored on the computer. While this extensive search behavior is indeed a nice feature, it leaves very little room for privacy. What if you have private folders that you don’t want indexed in search results? Turns out there’s a way to stop Spotlight from looking for a specific folder on Mac.

Exclude a folder or disk from Spotlight search on Mac

The Spotlight preference has a privacy tab where you can specify any folders you want to exclude from search on your Mac. Once you select the folders, it will no longer search those locations. So your personal files or whatever you have stored inside will stay out of sight.

Well, if you ever change your mind, you can dive into the same privacy setting and delete those files to re-index them in Spotlight search. That said, let’s start with the quick steps!

  1. To begin, click on the apple menu in the upper left corner of the screen and choose System Preferences. Additionally, you can also launch the System Preferences app.

2. Now click on the Projector icon.

3. Next, click the Privacy tongue.

4. Next, click on the “+” button.

5. Finally, select any external folder/drive that you no longer wish to be indexed in Spotlight search results. Alternatively, you can simply drag and drop folders directly into the window.

Going forward, Spotlight will no longer search the specified location.

If you want to reindex these folders, return to the Spotlight setting, then select the folder from the list. After that click on the ” – ” button to confirm.

Prevent Spotlight from Searching a Specific Folder on Mac

Here! This is how you can protect some of your private folders from being exposed by Spotlight search. As I always prefer to keep some of my personal stuff away from prying eyes, I find this feature extremely useful. And I think you can enjoy it in equal measure if you like protecting your files as well.

Did you find this article useful? Shoot your thoughts in the comments. Also check out these equally useful macOS guides, like using new battery settings on Mac, super cool iMessage effects, and an iOS-style control center, if you’re ready to explore more hacks. .