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Microsoft Windows search indexer High CPU windows 11/10 (solved)

Several factors can contribute to 100 CPU usage by the Windows Search Indexer, indexing large files, corrupt index files or malware infection are common.

The Windows Search Indexer, also known as “SearchIndexer.exe,” is a background process responsible for indexing files on your system so that you find files and applications quickly. It continuously monitors file changes and updates the index accordingly, ensuring that search queries yield prompt and accurate results. However, sometimes you may notice Windows search indexer high CPU usage, affecting the Windows performance and battery life of your Laptop. Several users report Microsoft Windows search indexer chewing up the massive amount of RAM or CPU. It’s almost 100% CPU or Memory usage by SearchIndexer.exe. In this guide, we’ll explore the potential causes and provide effective solutions to resolve high CPU usage by the Windows Search Indexer.

Microsoft Windows search indexer High CPU

Mostly Windows Search Indexer can cause 100 CPU usage when it is indexing a large number of files or folders, especially if they are new or have been modified recently.

  • Again If the search index database gets corrupted, the Search Indexer may struggle to function optimally, resulting in increased CPU utilization.
  • In some cases, malicious software may disguise itself as the Search Indexer process, consuming CPU resources abnormally.
  • Also Running an outdated version of Windows or outdated device drivers can contribute to performance issues.

There are several ways to fix high CPU usage by the Windows Search Indexer on your Windows 11 or Windows 10 PC. Here are some of them:

Restart Windows Search Service

The Windows Search Indexer relies on the Windows Search service to function properly. If, for any reason, this service is not started or has stopped, it can disrupt the indexing process, leading to high CPU usage. Restarting the service resolves any temporary issues, allowing the indexer to resume normal operation.

  • Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog.
  • Type services.msc and press Enter to open the Services window.
  • Scroll down and locate “Windows Search” in the list.
  • Right-click on “Windows Search” and select “Restart” from the context menu.

If the service is not started, right-click on Windows search and select properties. Now change the startup type automatic and start the service next to service status.

restart windows search service

Run Search and Indexing Troubleshooter

Windows provides a built-in troubleshooter specifically designed to diagnose and resolve issues with the search indexer. Running the index troubleshooter can automatically detect and fix common problems that may be causing 100 CPU usage, providing a convenient solution for users.

  • Press Windows Key + I to open Settings.
  • Go to “Update & Security” > “Troubleshoot” then additional troubleshooters
  • Click on “Search and Indexing” and then “Run the troubleshooter”.

Search and indexing troubleshooter

When asked what problems you notice, select  Files don’t appear in search results and then click Next.

Let Windows to check and fix if search and indexing causing any problems that result High CPU usage, or 100% memory usage.

Reduce the Amount of Indexed Data

By default, the Windows Search Indexer indexes all locations specified in the indexing options. However, indexing unnecessary or extensive locations can lead to high CPU usage. Disabling indexing for specific folders or locations reduces the workload on the indexer, mitigating CPU strain.

  • Open the Control Panel and go to “Indexing Options” then Click on “Modify”

click on Modify button

  • Then Click the arrow beside the C: drive to expand its folders.
  • Now you can deselect some of the checkboxes to remove indexed locations.
  • Press the OK button on the Indexed Locations window.
  • Click Close on the Indexing Options window.

Rebuild Windows Search Indexer

In cases where the search index becomes corrupted or inconsistent, the Windows Search Indexer may struggle to function efficiently, leading to higher CPU usage. If reducing the indexed locations doesn’t greatly cut the Search Indexer’s CPU utilization, you can also select to rebuild the index. Rebuilding the search index from scratch helps resolve any corruption or inconsistencies, allowing the indexer to operate optimally and reducing CPU usage.

To do this again open Windows indexing options, click modify and deselect all the selected locations except the OS C: drive as shown below.

Then click ok to go back to the indexing options window.

deselect all the selected locations

  • Click on “Advanced” and then “Rebuild”.
  • Click “OK” to confirm and start the rebuilding process.

What it does is at the top of the Indexing options window your indexing will go from whatever number it is to zero and it’s going to start building the index again.

Rebuild Windows Search Indexer

Disable indexing completely

If Windows Search Indexer consistently causes high CPU usage and is not essential, disabling indexing completely can be an effective solution. This prevents the indexer from consuming any CPU resources.

  • Press windows + R, type services.msc and hit the enter key.
  • Then scroll down and double-click on Windows search.
  • Here on Windows search properties change the startup type disable and stop the service next to running status.

Restart your PC and check there is no more searchindexer.exe running on task manager or CPU, Disk And memory usage come to the normal state.

Check for Malware infection

Malware can disrupt various system processes, including the Windows Search Indexer. If the indexer is being manipulated by malicious software, it may exhibit unusually high CPU usage. Conducting a malware scan and removing any detected threats helps restore normal operation and reduces CPU strain.

  • Use a reputable antivirus program to perform a full system scan.
  • Quarantine or remove any detected threats.

Repair Corrupt System Files

Corrupted system files can adversely affect various system processes, including the Windows Search Indexer. Repairing corrupt system files using tools like System File Checker (SFC) ensures the integrity of system components, resolving underlying issues that may cause 100 CPU usage.

  • Press Windows Key + X and select “Windows PowerShell (Admin)” or “Command Prompt (Admin)”.
  • Type sfc /scannow and press Enter to run the System File Checker.
  • In addition, run DISM command DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  • The scanning may take some time depending on the corruption level, and wait for the process to complete.
  • Restart the computer and verify if the Windows Search Indexer high CPU usage is resolved.

Run SFC and DISM command

Update Windows and Drivers

The Windows Search Indexer’s performance is influenced by the overall health of the operating system. Outdated Windows versions or drivers may introduce compatibility issues, impacting the indexer’s efficiency. Updating Windows and drivers ensures that the necessary improvements are in place, preventing excessive CPU usage.

  • Press Windows Key + I to open Settings.
  • Go to “Update & Security” > “Windows Update”.
  • Click on “Check for updates” and install any available updates.

To update drivers, you can use Device Manager or visit the manufacturer’s website for the latest drivers.

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