I am always going on and on about how I am a fan of searchable PDFs, and search is the main way that I find any document.
However, what do you do if you don’t want a document or folder to be able to found by searching your computer?
It might sound strange, but you may have a folder that contains files that you don’t want cluttering up your regular search results, or you may have documents that are so private that you don’t even want your computer indexing them.
Fortunately, you can control what your computer’s search indexes. The instructions below will be for Spotlight on Mac OS X, but you can see this tutorial for Windows Search.
Remove Folder From Spotlight
First, click on the Apple in the top left and choose System Preferences…
Then, choose Spotlight.
Then, in the middle of the screen, choose the Privacy button.
From here, you can add or remove folders or drives that you do not want Spotlight to index. You can either drag the folder onto the list, or press the + button to add a folder.
If you press the + button, navigate to the folder or drive that you want to exclude. In my case, I’ve dragged a folder called Secret Files onto the Privacy pane, and now Spotlight will not index any files that are in that folder.
If you want your files to be indexed again, just hit the – button on the selected folder or drive, and once Spotlight finishes indexing the information, you’ll be good to go.
By the way – if you use cloned backup drives, this can be a great way to stop duplicates in Spotlight for your cloned files.
(Photo by emilydickinsonridesabmx)
Thanks for DocumentSnap reader Jon for the inspiration for this post. His problem is that a folder was somehow excluded that he WANTED to search. ↩