During the course of normal everyday usage of your Windows 11 or Windows 10 PC, you may experience the Microsoft Windows Search Protocol Host has stopped working issue. This post provides the most suitable solutions affected PC users can apply to easily resolve this issue.
The following are variants of the error that PC users may experience:
- SearchProtocolHost.exe does not have a valid signature
- SearchProtocolHost.exe stopped working
- Outlook: SearchProtocolHost.exe stopped working
- The instruction at 0x00f01e40 referenced memory at 0x00f01e40. The memory could not be written.
- SearchProtocolHost.exe – Application Error
Microsoft Windows Search Protocol Host has stopped working
If the Microsoft Windows Search Protocol Host has stopped working on your Windows 11/10 computer, you can try our recommended solutions below in no particular order and see if that helps to resolve the issue on your system.
- Run SFC Scan
- Make sure Windows Search Service is running
- Rebuild Search Index Settings
- Reset Windows Search
- Troubleshoot in Clean Boot state
- Perform System Restore
Let’s take a look at the description of the process involved concerning each of the listed solutions.
1] Run SFC Scan
The Microsoft Windows Search Protocol Host has stopped working on your Windows 11/10 computer may be due to system file errors on your PC. The SFC/DISM are both utilities native to the Windows operating system that allows PC users to scan for corruptions in Windows system files/image and restore corrupted files/image.
This solution requires you to run an SFC scan and see if that helps.
Related: Fix SearchProtocolHost.exe Application Error.
2] Make sure Windows Search Service is running
If the Windows Search service is disabled on your system, you may encounter the issue in hand. In this case, you can check and make sure Windows Search Service is running on your device.
Do the following:
- Press Windows key + R to invoke the Run dialog.
- In the Run dialog box, type services.msc and hit Enter to open Services.
- In the Services window, scroll and locate the Windows Search service.
- Right-click the entry and choose Start or Restart, depending on the current state of the service.
- Next, double-click on the entry to edit its properties.
- In the properties window, click the drop-down on the Startup type and select Automatic (Delayed Start).
- Next, make sure the service is started.
- Click Apply > OK to save changes.
- Exit Services Manager.
- Restart PC.
3] Rebuild Search Index Settings
Basically, Windows Search is all about indexing. So, in the event that the Windows Search service is enabled on your Windows 11/10 PC but you still encounter the error, you can rebuild the Windows Search Index Settings and see if that helps.
4] Reset Windows Search
Reset Windows Search and see if that helps you.
5] Troubleshoot in Clean Boot state
Some background applications, services or processes may be the cause of the issue in view. This task requires you to clean boot your Windows system to boot with a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. In that state, you can then enable other services one by one to find out which is the conflicting service.
6] Perform System Restore
Given that your PC was working fine earlier and out of the blue the issue developed. It’s possible your system has undergone some changes you are totally unaware of. In this case, you can use System Restore (any changes like application installs, user preferences and anything else made after the restore point will be lost) to revert to a date your system was functioning normally.
To perform System Restore on your Windows 11/10 PC, do the following:
- Press Windows key + R. to invoke the Run dialog.
- In the Run dialog box, type rstrui and hit Enter to launch the System Restore Wizard.
- At the initial screen of System Restore, click Next.
- At the next screen, check the box associated with Show more restore points.
- Now, select a restore point prior to when you noticed the issue on your device.
- Click Next to advance to the next menu.
- Click Finish and confirm at the final prompt.
At the next system startup, your older computer state will be enforced. The issue in hand should be resolved now. If not, you can reset the PC.
What does Microsoft Windows Search Protocol Host do?
Microsoft Windows Search Protocol Host also known as SearchProtocolHost.exe is part of the Windows Indexing Service. It’s a process/application that indexes files on the local drive making them easier to search. This is a critical process of the Windows operating system and should not be disabled or removed.
How do I fix Microsoft Windows Search Indexer has stopped working?
If Windows Search Indexer has stopped working on your Windows 11/10 PC you can fix it by rebuilding the Windows Search Index. To do so, follow these instructions: First, type Indexing Options in the Start Menu’s search box, then click on the Advanced tab/button and then click Rebuild. Now, change the value to zero and then restart your PC.
How do I turn off Windows Search protocol?
To turn off or disable Windows Search protocol on Windows 11/10, open the Services console. Find Windows Search in the list. Right-click and choose properties. In Startup Type, change to Disabled and click Apply.