Microsoft Windows Search Indexer High CPU Usage (solved) 2023

Windows search indexing is designed to make finding things on your computer faster by creating an index of your files. But what if Searchindexer.exe cause high CPU usage on your computer?


Microsoft Windows Search Indexer also known as searchindexer.exe is a critical process on Windows PCs that enhances the search experience by indexing your computer’s files and folders. However, at times you may notice the Windows search indexer chewing up a massive amount of CPU or RAM make Windows PC unresponsive. Users report It’s almost 100 CPU usage by SearchIndexer.exe, Laptop Freezing continuously or not respond to clicks at startup. Here in this article, we discuss What is SearchIndexer.exe and How to fix the Microsoft Windows search Indexer high CPU usage on Windows 11/10.

What Is Microsoft Windows Search Indexer?

Microsoft Windows Search Indexer or Searchindexer.exe is a built-in Windows service that handles the indexing of your documents, files, folder, etc for Windows Search. It basically powers the Windows file search engine which helps in the functioning of Windows features like the Start Menu search, File Explorer search, etc.

Keeping the Search Indexer running is recommended, as it makes Windows searching easier.

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Why windows search indexer high cpu usage?

If you frequently modify or add files, the indexer continually updates the index to reflect these changes. This can lead to intermittent spikes in CPU usage. Over time, index files can become corrupted, causing the indexer to work inefficiently and consume more CPU resources than necessary.

Agin Disk errors or fragmented storage can hinder the indexer’s performance, potentially leading to increased CPU usage. Sometimes Using outdated versions of Windows or outdated drivers can lead to compatibility issues that affect the Windows search indexer efficiency.

Sometimes corrupted system files and virus malware infection also cause this problem.

Windows search indexer High CPU usage

Windows Search Indexer high CPU usage can drastically impact your PC’s performance. But restart the associated services from the Services window, adjusting the indexing settings or repair corrupt system files help fix the problem and Reduce the CPU usage by Windows search indexer process.

First, perform a full system scan for Virus malware infection with the latest updated Antivirus Application. Run System optimizer like Ccleaner to clean up system junk, cache, memory dump files, etc. Also, run the registry cleaner to clean up and fix broken registry errors.

Restart Windows Search Service

Restarting the Windows Search service essentially refreshes its operation and may clear any temporary glitches that could be causing high CPU usage.

  • Press the Windows key + R, type services.msc and click ok to open the services window,
  • Scroll down to locate the Windows search service, Right-click on it, and select “Restart” from the context menu.

Restart windows search


Run Search and Indexing Troubleshooter

The Search and Indexing Troubleshooter is designed to automatically detect and resolve common problems related to search and indexing. It can help resolve issues that might be causing high CPU usage by the Windows Search Indexer.

Let run the built-in search and indexing troubleshooter and let Windows check and fix the problem itself.

  • Press the windows key + S type troubleshoot in the start menu search and hit the enter key.
  • Click on the additional troubleshooters link to display all available troubleshooter lists,
  • Then scroll down, Select search and indexing and run the troubleshooter.

Search and Indexing Troubleshooter

The troubleshooter will now start scanning for issues related to search and indexing.

When ask what problems do you notice, select Files don’t appear in search results and then click Next.

Let Windows check and fix if search and indexing causing any problem which results in High CPU usage, or 100% memory usage.

Reduce the Amount of Indexed Data

This is another best way to fix High CPU usage by searchindexer.exe. Simply Reduce the amount of data the Search Indexer is indexing by steps following the steps below.

  • Type Indexing options on the start menu search and hit the enter key.
  • Click on the Modify button to open the Indexed Locations window.

click on Modify button

  • Then click the arrow beside the C: drive to expand its folders.
  • Now you can deselect some of the checkboxes to remove indexed locations.
  • Press the OK button on the Indexed Locations window.
  • Click Close on the Indexing Options window.

Rebuild Windows Search Indexer

If reducing the indexed locations doesn’t greatly cut the Windows Search Indexer CPU utilization, you can also select to rebuild the index. Rebuilding the index can resolve numerous Windows Search issues, And this can seriously improve the performance of your Start Menu search box as well.

This process recreates the index from scratch, potentially resolving any issues with the existing index files causing high CPU usage.

  • To do this again open Windows indexing options,
  • Click modify and deselect all the selected locations except the OS C: drive as shown below.
  • Then click ok to go back to the indexing options window.

deselect all the selected locations

Now go to Advanced indexing options and click the Rebuild Index button. You will see this message: Rebuilding the index might take a long time to complete. Some views and search results might be incomplete until rebuilding is finished. Press the OK button to confirm and rebuild the index.

What it does is at the top of the Indexing options window your indexing will go from whatever number it is to zero and it’s going to start building the index again.

Rebuild windows Search Indexer

Disable the Search Indexer Service

If all the above methods fail to fix the Windows 10 search indexer high CPU usage, Then simply disable this service from Windows services and Turn off the Windows search Feature from Windows features.

Disabling the indexer will stop it from consuming CPU resources, but it significantly impacts search functionality.

  • Open Windows services using services.msc,
  • Then scroll down and double-click on Windows search.
  • Here on Windows search properties change the startup type disable and stop the service next to running status.
  1. Type Windows features on the start menu search and hit the enter key.
  2. Here on Windows features, Scroll down and look for Windows Search.
  3. When you got it simply Select the Windows search checkbox and ok to make save changes.
  4. Restart your PC and check there is no more searchindexer.exe running on task manager or CPU, Disk And memory usage come to the normal state.

Run system file checker

Sometimes, corrupted system files contribute to issues like high CPU usage by the Windows Search Indexer. Running the System File Checker can help ensure that your system files are intact and not causing any issues.

The SFC tool scans and repairs corrupted system files, which can contribute to various system performance issues, including those affecting the Windows Search Indexer.

  • Open the command prompt as administrator,
  • Type sfc /scannow and hit the enter key to run the sfc utility

This will scan for missing corrupted system files If found any the system file checker will restore them from a compressed folder located on %WinDir%\System32\dllcache.

  • After 100% complete the scanning process Restart windows and check CPU, Memory usage came to the normal state

These are some most applicable solutions to fix Windows search indexer high CPU usage or 100% disk usage problem.

What is Windows Search Indexer?

  • It’s a component that indexes files for faster searches on Windows.

Why does it cause high CPU usage? 

  • Factors like initial indexing or corrupted files can lead to high CPU usage.

How can I optimize indexing settings?

  • Deselect unnecessary folders in Control Panel > Indexing Options.

Is it recommended to disable Windows Search Indexer?

  • Not recommended due to significant impact on search functionality.

How does System File Checker help?

  • It scans and repairs corrupted system files that may contribute to high CPU usage.

Also, Read 

Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer
With over 7 years of experience in the IT industry, I have experience in IT support, helpdesk, sysadmin, network admin, and cloud computing. Certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional in Routing and Switching.

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