How to Stop Spotlight from Indexing Time Machine Backup Volumes & External Drives

Are you tired of Spotlight taking forever to index your Time Machine backup volumes and external drives? Thankfully, there’s a simple solution to prevent Spotlight from crawling these drives. In this guide, we’ll show you how to exclude them from Spotlight and save you time.

Why Stop Spotlight from Indexing Time Machine Backup Volumes & External Drives?

By default, Spotlight automatically starts indexing any drive connected to your Mac, which can be a time-consuming process, especially for larger external backup drives and Time Machine volumes. However, if you don’t need Spotlight to crawl these drives, there’s no point in wasting time and resources. By excluding them from indexing, you can speed up your Mac’s performance and avoid unnecessary indexing on multiple machines.

How to Prevent Spotlight from Crawling Time Machine Backups and External Disks

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to exclude Time Machine backup volumes and external drives from Spotlight:

  1. Connect the volume you want to exclude to your Mac, even if Spotlight is currently indexing it.
  2. Go to “System Preferences” and click on “Spotlight,” then navigate to the “Privacy” tab.
  3. Drag and drop the drive icon into the Privacy window.

By doing this, Spotlight will stop the indexing process for the selected drive and prevent it from being re-crawled on that particular Mac. Keep in mind that you’ll need to repeat this process for each Mac to which the drive is connected.

If you prefer using the command line, you can also prevent a drive from being crawled through the following command:

mdutil -i off /Volumes/VolumeName

Make sure to specify the full volume path to prevent accidentally turning off Spotlight for the entire system.

Benefits of Stopping Spotlight from Indexing Time Machine Backup Volumes & External Drives

  • Free and easy-to-follow guide
  • Helps improve Mac performance
  • Saves time by avoiding unnecessary indexing

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is this guide about?

This guide explains how to prevent Spotlight from indexing Time Machine backup volumes and external drives.

Q: How does this guide help?

This guide is helpful for users who want to speed up their Mac’s performance by excluding certain drives from Spotlight indexing.

If you have any further questions or need additional assistance, feel free to reach out to us via the comment section or our contact page. We’re here to help!

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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