Saturday, October 18, 2014
When Apple introduced OS X Yosemite at WWDC 2014 they demoed a brand new and improved Spotlight. Everything about it I liked, but I was concerned about the Spotlight Suggestions and Bing Web Search features. Obviously to use those features your keystrokes have to be sent to a server somewhere and processed. I did not want that. I quickly remembered what happened when Canonical released Dash in Ubuntu. At the very least, Apple needed to offer a way to turn this functionality off.
Luckily, they do.
The fix is easy enough. Open System Preferences, go to Spotlight, and under the Search Results tab uncheck the following things:
In the same System Preferences pane, I would recommend clicking the About Spotlight Suggestions & Privacy button in the lower right and reading the couple of paragraphs.
If you have a whole lot of Yosemite machines you want to make these changes to, Fuller created a Python script to make these changes in one command.
You can further turn off unneeded features by performing the following steps:
This probably doesn’t do anything if Spotlight Suggestions is already turned off, but it offers peace of mind.
Additionally, if you use Safari, open it, go to Preferences, then go to the Search tab and perform the following steps:
Update 2014-10-20: Apple has updated their Privacy page. It’s worth a read.