How to fix Search Indexer High Disk or CPU usage in Windows 10

Do you often think about how is your computer able to return your search query results so fast? On Windows 10/8/7 there is a service running in the background that helps it in doing so. This service is called as SearchIndexer.exeIt provides content indexing, property caching, and search results for files, e-mail, and other content. So, this means that what it does in the background is keep looking up for the locations of different files stored in a computer. Hence, in return, this powers the Windows Search in the Cortana Box or the Start Menu or inside of the Windows File Explorer.

SearchIndexer.exe High Disk or CPU usage

Many times, the users tend to complain that SearchIndexer.exe tends to use a very high amount of CPU power or displays high disk usage. This eventually slows down the entire performance of the computer. So, today we are going to check out how to fix this issue. We will be discussing 9 methods to fix this issue.

1] Restart Windows Search Service

Hit the WINKEY + R button combination to open the Run window. Inside that Run window, type services.msc and hit Enter. This will open the Services Manager window.


Inside the Services Manager, you will get a huge list of services that work along with Windows and make things work. So, from the list select Windows Search and right click on it.

SearchIndexer.exe High Disk or CPU usage

Now click on Properties. Select the Startup Type to Automatic and make sure if the service is running. Now, click on Apply and then on OK.

Reboot your PC for the changes to take effect.

2] Run Search and Indexing Troubleshooter

To repair Windows Search, open Control Panel by hitting the WINKEY + X combinations and clicking on Control Panel or search for it in the Cortana Search Box.

In the Windows Explorer search section, search for Troubleshooter.

You will now observe a menu labeled as Troubleshooting in the search results. Click on it.

On the left side panel, click on View All.

In the whole list, look out for Search and Indexing. Click on it and run it.

Select the Files that struggle to appear in the search results and click on Next.

An automated troubleshooting process will now take place. After it is done, Reboot your computer and check if it was able to resolve your issues.

3] Rebuilding the Index

Open Control Panel by hitting the WINKEY + X combinations and clicking on Control Panel or search for it in the Cortana Search Box.

In the Windows Explorer search section, search for Indexing Options.

You will now observe a menu labeled as Indexing Options in the search results. Click on it.

A new window for Indexing Options will open up. On the bottom side, click on Advanced.

Another new window will pop up now. Switch to the tab labeled as File Types.

On the bottom side, there will be two radio button. Click on the one labeled as Index Properties and File Contents.

Now, click OK.

Click on the Advanced button again and under the Index Settings tab, click on Rebuild.

It will now start to reindex all the files and data stored on the computer. It will take a while, so hang tight and keep your computer work normally without any power interruptions.

Check if your issue still persists.

Read: Windows Search Indexer is not working.

4] Troubleshooting the issue using the Resource Monitor

Windows 10 Utility

To start the Run window press the WINKEY + R button combinations.

Type in resmon inside the window and hit Enter.

It will now open Resource Monitor.

In the Disk tab, check all the instances of searchprotocolhost.exe.

In the Disk Activity Window, you can observe what processes and how many resources is being used by the indexing service.

Open Control Panel by hitting the WINKEY + X combinations and clicking on Control Panel or search for it in the Cortana Search Box.

In the Windows Explorer search section, search for Indexing Options.

Now, on the bottom portion of the window, click on Modify button.

And then click on the directory you want to index in.

Click OK to save your changes.

Check if your issue is resolved or not.

5] Use DISM or SFC

You may repair potentially corrupted system files with good ones using SFC or repair a corrupted systm image using DISM.

To do so, hit the WINKEY + X combination and click on Command Prompt (Admin).

Now type the following commands:

Sfc /scannow
sfc /scannow /offbootdir=c:\ /offwindir=c:\windows

If the first command does not work, try the second one.

Wait for the process to finish.

Reboot your computer for the changes to take an effect.

Now, use the similar method as given above to open Command Prompt with an Administrator level priveleges.

Now enter the following three commands sequentially and one by one:

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Let these DISM commands run and wait until they execute. If the commands given above do not work, try these:

Dism /Image:C:\offline /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:c:\test\mount\windows
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:c:\test\mount\windows /LimitAccess

Replace the drive letter as per your convenience.

6] Tweaking in a new Administrator Account

Create an Administrator account on your Windows 10 Machine.

Sign in to your new Admin Account and navigate to this path:

C:\Users\Your_Old_User_Account\AppData\Local\Packages\

Rename the folder Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy as Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy.old.

Make sure that Hidden files and folders are visible for the above path to be visible.

Reboot your PC and sign in to the old account.

Now open PowerShell and enter the following command and hit Enter:

Add-AppxPackage -Path “C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy\Appxmanifest.xml” -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register

Now Reboot your computer again and check if the issue is now fixed or not.

If none of these suggestions help you, youmay prevent Windows Searvh from indexing your Drive, or disable Windows Search completely amd use an alternative Search freeware.

1] Allow or disallow the disk to be indexed

First of all, open Computer or This PC depending on what version of Windows you are running.

Then select and right click on the partition whose data is not being indexed.

Click on Properties.

On the bottom side, there will be a checkbox labeled as Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to the file properties. Check it.

Click on Apply followed by OK.

Reboot your computer for the changes to take an effect.

2] Disabling Windows Search Index

Hit the WINKEY + R button combination to open the Run window.

Inside that Run window, type services.msc and hit Enter.

This will open the Services window.

Inside that window, you will get a huge list of services that work along with Windows and make things work. So, from the list select Windows Search and right click on it.

Now click on Properties.

Select the Startup Type to Disabled and make sure that you stop the service.

Now, click on Apply and then on OK.

Reboot your PC for the changes to take an effect.

All the best!

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Ayush has been a Windows enthusiast since the day he got his first PC with Windows 98SE. He is an active Windows Insider since Day 1 and is now a Windows Insider MVP. He has been testing pre-release services on his Windows 10 PC, Lumia, and Android devices.