Windows Search Indexer: Everything you need to know

In this article, we will show you what is Windows Search Indexer. When you check the running tasks on your computer, Windows displays a process named SearchIndexer.exe. This process refers to Windows Search Indexer, a service that is used to monitor additions and changes to the contents on your computer and ensure that searches on the local computer produce results faster.

Windows Search Indexer searches for content in places such as the Home folder, the Start menu, the e-mail client, and the contacts list. This way, Windows Search can quickly find the items you are likely to be looking for, such as messages, people, documents and media files.

Since Search Indexer is able to index file properties, you can search for text in documents and messages, and Windows Search will find the related files. When you use Windows Search, Windows checks the index for the requested content before searching the entire disk. This allows the search to complete almost immediately in most cases.

Everything You Need to Know About Windows Search Indexer

What is Windows Search Indexer

Microsoft Windows Search Indexer, which appears as SearchIndexer.exe in your Task Manager, has quite a useful task. It makes your searches in Windows run much faster. However, you probably typed the executable’s name into Google because the program seems to consume CPU and RAM resources in a worrying manner.

What Does The Windows Search Indexer Do

Windows 11 has a pretty powerful search program. All you have to do is type in what you are looking for and the results are displayed almost instantly. This is only possible because Windows Search Indexer is always running in the background. It watches for changes to common file locations, installed applications, and other activities that are likely to be something a user will search for. Then it builds an index of all these items so that it can provide you with results quickly.

Search Indexer Is a Windows Service

The executable file you sometimes see in Task Manager belongs to a Windows service called WSearch. If you go to the list of services in Task Manager, you will see the service in the background doing its work. This means that you do not have to worry about it in terms of security. Windows Search Indexer is not malware and does what it is supposed to do. Of course, you should always have a good antivirus program installed and run regular scans, but in this case it is not a malicious program that sneaks in through the back door.

Customizing the Windows Search Indexer

While most users will never have a reason to mess with the search indexer, it is actually possible to change what it indexes and how it behaves. To access these settings, open the Start menu and look for Indexing Options. You can also find this setting in the Control Panel, but the quickest way to get there is (ironically) through Windows Search.

Once the Indexing Options window is open, you have several options to change the way the indexer does its work. The Pause button is only available while the indexer is running. This is useful if the indexer is affecting your computer’s performance at an inconvenient time and you want to let it rest for a while.

The Change button allows you to add or remove locations for indexing. Perhaps you have an external drive with documents that you need to browse frequently. If you add it to the list of locations you want the indexer to monitor, you can quickly search it in the future. Finally, the Advanced button takes you to more fine-tuned options that can have a big impact on how much the Search Indexer bothers you. There’s a lot to discover here, so let’s go through the options and their functions one by one.

Customizations That Reduce Search Indexer’s Footprint

The first place you should go when trying to reduce RAM, CPU and disk bandwidth requirements is the Change button under Indexing Options. This will show you the locations that are currently being indexed. Removing locations you don’t want to search will help the indexer complete its work faster. It can also be helpful to disable locations that are on slow hard drives for obvious reasons.

Under the advanced options found under Indexing Options, you can change even more aspects of how the indexer works. One interesting option is to change the location of the search index. By moving it to a secondary drive or a fast SSD, you can take it out of competition with the rest of the operating system. In most cases, this probably won’t make much difference, but you can try it out to see if this is the cause of poor performance on your end.

Another area that can help reduce Search Indexer’s time and resource consumption is file types. By limiting the file types that the indexer is interested in, you can save yourself a lot of the work. If your indexer is set to index both file contents and file properties, you can try changing it to index only file properties. This should make a huge difference in how quickly the indexer does its job and gets out of the way.

Manually Rebuilding Your Search Index

In some cases, the problem is not with the Search Indexer software. Instead, the index itself has somehow become corrupted. In this case, you can force Search Indexer to completely rebuild the index. Simply select the Rebuild button shown below and confirm that you want to rebuild the index. This may take a while, but you can see the progress of the process in the main Indexing Options window. Rebuilding is useful if you have recently made many changes to the files on your drives. Since this can take a long time, you can start the rebuild before you go to bed and let it run overnight.

Disable Search Indexer for Better Performance

So you don’t care about search in Windows and just want to get as much performance out of your system as possible. While we don’t recommend disabling search indexing completely, you should be aware of the options available to you.

Final Words

We hope you like this article on Everything you need to know about Windows Search Indexer. As a Windows component, you can only disable Search Index as we described in the previous section. There’s really no reason to remove it altogether anyway. If you disable it, the only impact that it has is to take up a small amount of internal hard drive space. So even if you could remove it altogether it wouldn’t be worth the effort.

I hope you understand this article, Windows Search Indexer: Everything you need to know.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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