Stop OS X searching external drives

You can stop OS X from using Spotlight to index and search your external drives you have connected directly or wirelessly.

The solution to this is fairly simple. You have to configure Spotlight to exclude certain locations from searches. Luckily you can do this without a Terminal command.

Go to System Preferences, and go to Spotlight.

Select the Privacy pane. As you can see you can choose the plus button to add different folders and drives to a list of assigned locations for exclusion on Spotlight searching.

If you want to plug in an external drive and not have it indexed, you can simply add it to the list immediately after the drive is mounted to prevent deep indexing from occurring.

This is particularly helpful if you have large amounts of data you search through on a regular basis, but you don't want Spotlight showing some results which get in the way of things you access more readily, such as Applications and other files that have a greater priority for you in search results.


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