If you haven’t customized your Spotlight searches yet, you may be receiving results from subjects and areas that you don’t need or even want. Here’s how to have greater control over what your Spotlight searches and its results.
From the Apple menu open System Preferences and then select “Spotlight.” When the Spotlight box opens, near the top, select the “Search Results” button.
Below you will see all the categories that are searched by Spotlight. In most cases, by default all the boxes are checked, meaning that Spotlight returns results from all of these if there is anything relevant.
The calculator? Really? I have struggled to understand exactly what search results my calculator will give me.
Take a look through the list and remove checkmarks from the areas you don’t want Spotlight to search. This can help speed up searching and also help eliminate non-relevant search results. Once you have made your choices, select the “Privacy” tab near the top.
If there are specific areas that you do not want Spotlight to search, select the “+” symbol below and a Finder window will open allowing you to select the location you don’t want searched and then select “Choose” at the bottom-right. If you have more than one location, you will need to add each one individually.
Conversely, if you see that there are areas that are listed under this Privacy tab, but you want them to be searched, just highlight the item and then select the “-” sign below to remove it. When you are done, just close your open windows.
For more than 15 years, Scott Lindsay has helped thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 500 articles about Apple and Microsoft software, the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at ScottLindsay@live.com.