Purpose of Files with the .metadata_never_index File Extension

What is the .metadata_never_index file extension?

The .metadata_never_index files are used in conjunction with Macintosh operating systems and these files come under the category of system files. A .metadata_never_index file is a hidden file on a Macintosh computer used to prevent indexing of certain files, folders or directories.

Purpose of the .metadata_never_index file

As the name aptly points out, these files are used to prevent indexing programs from automatically indexing the metadata. Programs, such as Apple Spotlight incorporate advanced searching options on Macintosh computers for faster searching, indexing and launching of applications. But, what if the user does not want a certain hard disk partition, directory or folder to be indexed? This can be achieved by using a .metadata_never_index file, which instructs Apple Spotlight to skip a certain partition, directory or folder.

One more question which crops up… why would a user not want a certain partition, directory or folder to be indexed? A probable reason is to make searching fast. Say, you have installed Windows on a separate partition then it makes sense to instruct Apple Spotlight not to index this partition, otherwise the indexing application will take a much longer time to complete search operations. Similarly, you may make use of a .metadata_never_index file when you don’t wish Apple Spotlight to automatically index the removal storage device each time you attach it.

.metadata_never_index file location

The .metadata_never_index files are located at the root of the volume, directory or folder that you wish not to be indexed. If you want to prevent Apple Spotlight from indexing a particular volume, directory or folder then first create an empty file named: .metadata_never_index, and then place the file at the root of the volume, directory or folder that needs to be skipped from indexing.

Remember to always put the .metadata_never_index file at the top of the hierarchy of the volume, directory or folder that you don’t want to be indexed. Putting the .metadata_never_index file in an improper location will prevent Apple Spotlight from receiving the proper instructions and it will continue to index the volume, directory, or folder.

Name of the program that can open .metadata_never_index files on a  Macintosh

  • Apple Spotlight

You will not come across a .metadata_never_index file in Windows and certainly would have no need what-so-ever to open such file types. However, what if you come across a particular file type about which you don’t know much about? In these situations, you may use FileCure, an excellent file opener tool for Windows that allows users to easily open, edit, and save various file types, including those for which much information is not available.

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