Ubuntu – How to stop a file or folder from being indexed in GNOME


I am running Ubuntu GNOME 15.10 with GNOME 3.18, and I would like to know if I can do any of the following and if so how:

  • Make it so that a folder is not indexed but leave its contents indexable (so that if I search for that folder's name in my system nothing will come up, but if I search for its contents, that will come up)

  • Make it so that a folder is not indexable and nor is any of its contents (and if it contains sub-folders within it then it should recursively not allow any contents in them to be indexed nor the contents of any sub-sub-folders in the sub-folders etc, nor any of those sub-folders themselves)

  • Make it so that individual files in a folder are not indexable, though not having any impact on other contents nor the parent-folder

So, are any of these variants possible? I believe the indexing program is called Tracker which indexes files and folders and their contents and allows for one to search for them on the system.

Best Answer

In Ubuntu GNOME 16.04 with GNOME 3.20 there is now such an application called Search and Indexing (or tracker-gui) installed by default (if it is not installed or if you are running a previous version which does not have it pre-installed then it can be installed by running sudo apt-get install tracker-gui) which one can use to highly flexibly change the indexing settings with (I have blacked out some personal information in one of the screenshots):

Indexing tab

Locations tab

Ignored Content tab

Control tab


As can be seen from the above screenshots this covers most of the points in the question.