macOS: Remove Parallels Desktop VM hits from Spotlight search

MacOS Spotlight usually also indexes the programs that run in a Windows virtual machine under Parallels Desktop.

I've been using it for years Parallels Desktopbecause my accounting program only runs on Windows. But what has been annoying me more and more recently: Search results from Windows or from the virtual machine (VM) kept appearing in my Spotlight search under macOS (High Sierra). Basically not tragic, but if, like me, you often start programs via Spotlight, for example by pressing cmd + space bar for Spotlight and then only typing the first three letters of the program name, you often end up with programs that run under Windows.

MacOS Spotlight usually also indexes the programs that run in a Windows virtual machine under Parallels Desktop.
MacOS Spotlight usually also indexes the programs that run in a Windows virtual machine under Parallels Desktop.

Programs start with Spotlight

This often happens on the computer. I type “REC” and then Return because Spotlight's Calculator app is usually already selected. Recently, however, the Windows Calculator app is in the first place in Spotlight (for whatever reason) and when you start it, the VM with Parallels starts up first and then the Windows Calculator app starts. A very time-consuming mistake that has elicited a medium tantrum from me several times.

Exclude Windows programs from Spotlight searches

The problem with the Windows programs in the Spotlight search Fortunately, macOS can be fixed with just a few mouse clicks. I'm now annoyed that I didn't do this sooner because it's so easy.

The Spotlight settings can be found in the system settings.
The Spotlight settings can be found in the system settings.

Here are the instructions for you:

  1. Open system settings
  2. Go to Spotlight Settings
  3. click on the “Privacy” tab
  4. Click the “+” at the bottom and then select the “User Folders > Applications (Parallels)” folder

It may be that you have to recreate the Spotlight index again. This works by including the start volume briefly in this list with the folders that should not be indexed and then removing it again immediately.

In my case, no reindexing was necessary and the index was cleaned up immediately. A test search via Spotlight no longer produced any results from the Windows VM.

In the settings, select the "Privacy" tab and press the plus sign below.
In the settings, select the “Privacy” tab and press the plus sign at the bottom.

 

In the privacy settings, the folder "Applications (Parallels)" is added so that its contents are not indexed by Spotlight.
In the privacy settings, the “Applications (Parallels)” folder is added so that its contents are not indexed by Spotlight.

 

Positive test result: Windows programs are no longer listed in the Spotlight search.
Positive test result: Windows programs are no longer listed in the Spotlight search.

 

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