Some people are not a fan of using Spotlight. I personally think its one of the best search programs out there for your Mac. If you do want to turn it off, its pretty simple. There are two methods, easy and hard. The easy methods doesn’t really turn it off but cripples it so much that it doesn’t index anything and it doesn’t run. The harder method actually removes key files to stop spotlight from running.
The Easy Method
The easy method involves setting up Spotlight so it doesn’t index anything. All though the app is not off, it is not set to run on anything, so you do save on the CPU cycles when a new file is created or a file is modified. To disable this feature go to System Preferences > Spotlight >Privacy. In this tab add all of you hard drives to the window. This will delete any spotlight index and stop it from indexing files and folders.
As I mentioned before, this doesn’t turn Spotlight off as the daemon will still run and take up some memory. However it wont run any CPU cycles and the memory it consumes will be very little.
The Harder Method
The harder method isn’t really that hard, it just involves you having to navigate to a deep folder and having to delete a file. If you do this method it can be hard to switch Spotlight back on as you do move or delete the actual files Spotlight uses to start its process. To do this method (which will really switch Spotlight off) delete, better yet move, the following files:
You will have to reboot for the changes to take effect. I personally don’t recommend using this method, rather use the easy method.