Windows.edb file in Windows 8

The Windows.edb is a database file of the Windows Search service, which provides content indexing, property caching, and search results for files, e-mail, and other content.

Windows.edb

By default, Windows 8 will index your documents for faster searches. As a result, all the data relating to the indexes is stored in this Windows.edb file. In Windows Vista and Windows 7 and Windows 8, in some cases this Windows.edb file tends to become huge or large in size. While a size of a couple of GB’s can be considered normal, there have been reports of the size growing to even 100’s of GBs!

Windows.edb file location

windows edb file 400x137 Windows.edb file in Windows 8

The Windows.edb file is a hidden file, located in the following folder:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows\Windows.edb

To see it, you will have to un-hide files via the Folder Options.

Delete Windows.edb file

If your Windows.edb file has turned huge, and you are looking for a way to delete Windows.edb, you can do so as follows. See if you can terminate the SearchIndexer.exe process via the Task Manager. If you can and it stays terminated, fine, but I have found that it restarts gain after a few minutes, due to Windows defaults. Do the following in that case:

Open Services.msc and navigate to Windows Search service.

search services 1 400x250 Windows.edb file in Windows 8

Double-click on it to open its dialog box. Stop the Service.

search stop 2 382x400 Windows.edb file in Windows 8

Now visit the Windows.edb file folder and delete it.

To delete and rebuild the Index, open Control Panel and open Indexing Options. Click on Advanced and select the Rebuild Index option.

indexing option 3 400x354 Windows.edb file in Windows 8

It is safe to delete the Windows.edb. But after you delete it, Windows will take a while to re-index the files and rebuild the index, so your searches may be a bit slow till this job is completed.  

If you do not use Windows Search, you may via the Control Panel disable it. To do this, open Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Programs and Features > Turn Windows features on or off and uncheck Windows Search option.

Change Windows.edb file location

Deleting the Windows.edb file could be a temporary measure, as there is always a possibility that the file could grow large again. If you are running out of disk space on your system drive but don’t want to disable Windows Search – and don’t want a large Windows.edb file eating up your hard disk space, you can think of moving the file to another location.

To change the location of the Windows.edb Index file, open Control Panel > Indexing Options > Advanced > Index location > Select new.

index location 4 400x356 Windows.edb file in Windows 8

Browse to the desired folder and set it as the new location for the file’s folder.

Fix Windows Indexing Service bloating the Windows.edb file issue

Microsoft has released an Update that fixes this issue in Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 of the Windows Indexing Service bloating the Windows.edb file. If  this issue occurs on your computer and the Windows.edb file grows to a very large size and consumes lots of disk space, you may install the Update, in case it has not been already installed on your computer.

Hope that helps!

Looking to learn more about other files or file types or file formats in Windows? Check these links:

NFO and DIZ files | Thumbs.db files | DLL and OCX files Index.dat file | Swapfile.sys, Hiberfil.sys & Pagefile.sys.

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Anand Khanse aka HappyAndyK is an end-user Windows enthusiast, a Microsoft MVP in Windows, since 2006, and the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com. Please create a System Restore Point before trying out any software & be careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware. Add me on Google+.
  • David Kohar

    Andy, I am trying to move my Mindows.ebd to my D Drive (thumb drive). I get all the way through your instructions up to the point where I have clicked on “Select New” but it only gives me the option to select a Folder on my C Drive. Any ideas?
    Thanks.

  • http://www.thewindowsclub.com Anand Khanse

    Hi David,

    You should have been able to see all the drives, including external drives there…

    Do you have enough Disk space on your D drive? Maybe Windows sees if you have a reasonable amount of free space for the Windows.edb file…? Just thinking aloud…

    If I come across something, I will get back to you on this.

  • Freesoul

    the update is installed but my edb file is more than 300G… I wonder if this service is really needed, at that cost of storage I’m thinking of getting rid of it…

  • http://www.thewindowsclub.com Anand Khanse

    Sure you can delete the Windows.edb file.

  • Jeffrey

    I am guessing that you can only move Windows.ebd to an NTFS drive. The C: drive is NTFS while your thumb drive is probably FAT

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