How to Make My Spotlight Search Turn Off on My iPhone

By Diana V. Faustmann

You shouldn't have to struggle to find a contact, app or song on your iPhone, but given the wealth of information it carries, it could happen. Your iPhone's Spotlight Search feature works straight out of the box precisely to help you sidestep frustration while looking for any item, especially in a hurry. However, on an iPhone 3G running on iOS 4, the spotlight's continual indexing of content can slow down the device considerably. Thankfully, you can turn off Spotlight Search and rely instead on the search commands of various apps and good old-fashioned scrutiny to find your stuff.

Step 1

Tap "Settings" on your home screen.

Step 2

Tap "General."

Step 3

Tap "Spotlight Search."

Step 4

Tap every item on the "Spotlight Search" screen to uncheck it, including contacts, apps, music and events. This tells your iPhone not to expend energy indexing these items for future searches.

Step 5

Press the "Home" button to return to your home screen. The Spotlight Search feature ceases to function, but its search screen remains available to the left of your main home screen to facilitate quick searches through the Web and Wikipedia.

Tips & Warnings

  • As an alternative to Spotlight Search, use the search boxes of the Contacts, Mail, Calendar, Notes and iPod apps to find an item.
  • If you're not using Spotlight Search on an iPhone 3G, don't program a shortcut to it. Tap "Settings," followed by "General" and then "Home Button." Under "Double-click the Home button for," choose anything but "Search."