When you are searching for something on your Windows PC, Search Indexer is what makes the searching process faster and quicker. But it can be problematic when this service consumes a higher CPU and makes the entire computer sluggish.
While we cannot overlook the fact that the CPU usage may spike while rebuilding the index, this service should not consume CPU when the search process is not in operation. Ideally, it should only consume a few percent when using the search feature.
The service starts consuming higher CPU resources due to corrupted index databases and misconfigured lookup locations and indexing type. This article will guide you through different methods to solve when Windows Search Indexer has a high CPU consumption.
How to Fix Microsoft Windows Search Indexer Having High CPU Usage
Before you start with the fixes, please note that it is normal for the search indexer service to consume a high CPU if you have just rebuilt the index. You need to wait until the indexing is complete. Otherwise, you can tweak a few settings, like restarting the search service and reducing the lookup location to sort out the problem.
Disable or Restart Search Service
If your computer runs over an SSD, disabling the search service may not significantly impact your PC’s performance. This is because SSDs are robust enough to locate your files instantly. So, in such cases, it would be a good option to disable it. However, it is not recommended to disable the Search service on computers with HDDs.
- Hit Windows + R keys. It will open Run dialog box.
services.mscand then press Enter key to open Services application.
- In the Services window, scroll all the way down and locate Windows Search.
- Double-click over the service.
- Click Stop.
- Then from the Startup type drop-down, choose Disabled and click Apply > OK.
- Restart your PC.
If you use search feature regularly, you can proceed with a simple service restart rather than disabling it. A restart would fix the issue if the service consumed a high CPU due to halting or freezing. To restart the Windows search service, you should first disable it by following the same steps above.
- After disabling the search service and restarting the PC, again navigate to the Windows Search in Services application
- Now choose the Startup type to Automatic (Delayed Start).
- Click Start and Apply > OK.
- Restart PC to apply changes.
Run Troubleshooting Tool
Next, there is a troubleshooting tool integrated into Windows itself that helps to diagnose and troubleshoot if there is any error with the Searching and Indexing feature. You can run the tool and act accordingly as per the diagnostic results.
- Hit Windows + I keys on keyboard.
- Click Update & Security menu and choose Troubleshoot.
- Click Additional troubleshooters.
- Choose Searching and Indexing.
- Then click the Run the troubleshooter button.
- Wait for the result and follow on-screen instructions to resolve the error.
Reduce Lookup Location For Indexing
If the indexing settings are set such that it needs to look up in a wide range of locations for searching a file, it can consume a considerable amount of time. For instance, if you frequently search for files located in Local Disk (C:), you can adjust the settings so that Windows will search only for disk C.
- Launch Control Panel on your PC. To launch it, hit Windows + R. Then type
controland press Enter key.
- Now in the search box of control panel, type Indexing Options. Open it from the search results.
- In the new Indexing Options window, click Modify.
- Select the desired location from where you want the search results and click OK.
- Moreover, if you don’t want a particular disk to be indexed in search results, you can also easily do it.
- Open This PC.
- Right-click over the desired disk and choose Properties from the context menu.
- Jump to the General tab in the Properties window.
- Then uncheck Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties option.
- Click Apply > OK.
Change Indexing Type
Windows can basically perform two types of indexing. The first one is indexing based on file properties only, and the second is indexing based on file properties and contents.
With the latter option, CPU consumption can suddenly spike as it begins to search for the contents of the file too. Many of us search with a filename rather than content, so it would be helpful if you disable content indexing.
- Follow steps up to step 2 from the above method to open Indexing Options window.
- After that, click Advanced button.
- Jump to File Types tab.
- Check the box next to Index Properties Only.
- Click OK and save changes.
Recreate Search Database
Windows utilizes a database file, namely
Windows.edb, to store indexing information, specifically for content indexing. However, when the database size goes on increasing, chances are there that it might get corrupted. As a result, search features can not locate the files and begin consuming higher CPU. Therefore, deleting the old index database and recreating it can help solve the problem.
- Hit Windows + E and then open This PC.
- Open Local Disk (C:).
- Click View > Hidden items.
- Then navigate to this location:
Windows.edbfile and delete it permanently.
- Now, it’s time to recreate the index.
- Open Indexing Options.
- Click Advanced.
- Choose Rebuild.
- Click OK in the confirmation popup. It will take a while to recreate the database. You may see high CPU usage this time. But no worries, once the indexing is completed, CPU consumption will get back to normal.