How to customize Spotlight search on macOS and to protect your privacy

macOS SpotlightSpotlight in macOS is a powerful search engine for your Mac and, in some cases, for web. Some apps got deeper Spotlight integration, like Fantastical 2 from Flexibits, so you can enjoy rich integration in Spotlight with many extending data about your calendar events. Another good example is DEVONthink from DEVONtechnologies. But sometimes, you need to protect your privacy, like on shared Macs, or while using your Mac in sight of strangers’ eyes. Or if you want to better filter results with disabling kinds of content you are not interested in. It’s pretty easy and I will show you how to reach that.

These settings are present in macOS’s main System Preferences. Just click on Apple icon in top menu and select “System Preferences” (below “About This Mac” item). In first row (macOS Mojave and older actual macOS versions) is icon called “Spotlight”. Click on it. You will be directed to Spotlight settings:

Spotlight Search Privacy

Here just select which types of data should be searchable and which ones not.

There is also tab called “Privacy”. Here you can add folders and disks, which will be never included in Spotlight search results.

And one tip: Spotlight can be invoked by pressing CMD + Spacebar at the same time. If you want to change this shortcut, go to System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Spotlight.

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