The Microsoft Windows Search Indexer, shown in your Task Manager as SearchIndexer.exe, does a beneficial job. It Speeds up your search in Windows considerably. However, you probably typed the executable name into google because it appears the program is consuming both CPU and RAM resources worryingly. If you are concerned that SearchIndexer.exe is misbehaving or affecting your computer’s performance, stay until the end of this article, and we will remove all of your doubts.
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What does the Windows Search Indexer do?
Windows 10 has a pretty powerful search utility. You do type in for what you’re looking for, and you’ll see the results almost instantly. It is only possible because the Windows Search Indexer is always running in the background.
It monitors changes to common file locations, installed apps, and other activities for which the user might be looking. Then all of these items are indexed so that you can get results quickly.
The search indexer is a Windows service
The executable that sometimes appears in Task Manager is part of a Windows service called W Search. If you go to the list of services in Task Manager, you will see them there, sit in the background, and then do their job. It means there is no need to worry about security.
Windows Search Indexer is not malware and does what it is supposed to do. You should always have a good antivirus package installed and run regular scans, but in this case, no malware is sneaking through the back door.
Customize the Windows search index
While most users will never have a reason to play with the search indexer, it is possible to change their indexes and how it behaves. To access these settings, open the Start menu and look for Indexing Options. You can find this same setting in Control Panel. Ironically, using Windows Search is the fastest way to do it.
Once the indexing options window is open, there are several ways you can change the way the Indexer performs its work. The Pause button is only available when the Indexer is running. It is helpful in situations where the Indexer slows down your computer’s performance at an inconvenient time, and you want it to relax a bit.
The Edit button allows you to add or remove index locations. You might have an external drive that contains documents that you need to find frequently. Adding it to the list of places you want the Indexer to monitor will be a quick way to see it in the future.
Finally, the Advanced button takes you to specify options that can significantly impact how you bother with Search Indexer. There’s a lot to unbox here, so let’s go over the options and what they take turns to do.
Adjustments that reduce the space required by the search indexer
The first place you want to visit when trying to reduce the program’s RAM, CPU, and hard drive bandwidth is the Edit button under Indexing Options. It will show you the currently indexed locations. By removing the places you are not interested in, Indexer will finish processing faster.
Disabling locations on slow hard drives can also help for obvious reasons.
Under the advanced options of indexing options, we can change even more aspects of how it works. One exciting opportunity is to change the location of the search index. Moving it to a secondary drive or fast SSD can keep it out of competition with the rest of the operating system. It doesn’t show much of a difference in most cases, but you can try to see if this is what is causing you to malfunction.
The other area that can help reduce Search Indexer time and resources is file types. By limiting the types of files that indexers are interested in, you can skip a lot of the work. If your Indexer configures to index the contents of the file and the file properties, you can try modifying it to only index the properties of the file. It should make a big difference in how quickly Indexer gets its job done and gets out of the way.
Manual rebuilding of your search index
In some cases, the Search Indexer software is not the problem. Instead, the index itself corrupted in one way or another. In this case, you can force the search indexer to rebuild the index entirely. Just select the Rebuild button below and confirm that you want to rebuild the index. It may take a few minutes, but you can see the process’s progress in the main Indexing Options window.
A rebuild is helpful if you’ve recently made many changes to the files on your disks. Since it can take a long time, you can start rebuilding before bed and do it overnight.
Disable the search indexer for better performance
So no need to worry about searching for items in Windows, and you want to get as much presentation as possible from your system at all times. While we don’t recommend turning off the search indexer entirely, you should be aware of your options. For more information about better performance, see Turn off indexing in Windows. We’ll show you how to turn off search indexing and give tips on specific situations when it makes sense to do so.
Can you remove the Windows search indexer?
The short answer is, you can’t altogether remove the search indexer. As a Windows component, you can only deactivate the search index as described in the previous section. There is no need to eliminate it anyway altogether. When you turn it off, it takes up little space. Even if you could altogether remove it, it wouldn’t be worth it.
It does not suggest disabling Windows search as a whole. It is best to configure the service to reduce its impact in the rare event that it consumes too many resources. There are certain situations in which the Search Indexer can be disabled for good reasons. For example, suppose you have a home media server that is running Plex and is not used by anyone as a daily computer. In that case, you can also turn off Search Indexer as it is unnecessary on that computer.
The same goes for low-spec Windows devices used in in-vehicle systems or for situations where you know no one is going to watch.
In summary, Windows Search Indexer is not a virus. There is nothing incorrect with your computer and the software is doing an important job. Whether you want to compose it entirely or disable it is up to you, but Windows is much faster and easier to use because you have a convenient index of your files.