If the fans on your Mac notebook computer run after you migrate data

You might notice that your Mac notebook computer's fans run on high after you migrate data to it. This happens when Spotlight indexes the new contents of your computer's drive for the first time.

About Spotlight indexing

After you migrate data to your Mac, Spotlight automatically indexes the contents of your drive so that you can find what you're looking for. This activity might increase your computer's CPU use, causing it to become warm. Your computer's fans will turn on to cool it down.

After Spotlight completes its index, your Mac and its fans should return to a normal idle state. In some cases, indexing can take several hours. After the initial indexing activity, Spotlight updates its index only for files that change.

To confirm that Spotlight is indexing your computer's drive:

  1. Click the magnifying glass icon in the upper-right corner of your display.
  2. If Spotlight is indexing, a message and a progress bar will appear. The magnifying glass will also have a tiny dot in the middle.

Prevent Spotlight from indexing folders

If you have content on your Mac that you don't want to be searchable via Spotlight, you can keep Spotlight from indexing certain folders:

  1. From the Apple () menu, choose System Preferences. 
  2. Click on the Spotlight icon in the System Preferences window.
  3. Click on the Privacy tab.
  4. Click the Add button and then navigate to the folder you want Spotlight to ignore. You can also drag folders from the Finder into the list.

Although you can exclude your entire hard drive from Spotlight, doing so prevents search features in applications from working properly.

Learn more

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