Does Indexing Slow Down A Computer?

If you are anything like me, then one of the first things you do after upgrading to a new operating system is check out all the new cool features. For people who upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 10 , there are quite a few really great new features that might catch your eye. One that has caught my attention, and may also interest you, is the “search everything” feature.

Whether you realize it or not (and probably not), if you use Windows Explorer to search for files on your computer, then “Windows Search” (the service responsible for indexing your files) is running in the background. This can take up resources, which in turn means that other processes will be negatively affected. However, this isnt such a big deal. It’s mostly just something that you notice when using your computer, not when it is idle.

So does Windows 10 search indexing slow down your computer?

Search indexing will slow down your computer initially. Once everything is indexed, it speeds up a computer’s performance especially when searching for files or emails.

If your processor has multiple cores (which most modern processors do), then Windows 10 will automatically split the work of searching across all of these cores to improve performance. This works well most of the time especially if you have a fast computer, but if you have an older machine then you may find that it suffers from slowdowns.

In case if you feel that indexing affects the performace of your computer, you can always turn it off. If you don’t use Windows Search very often, then there is no point in having it index all of your files. You can simply turn of the search indexer without disabling Windows Search completely – all of your settings will remain intact (unlike if you disable Windows Search).

How to stop Windows 10 search indexing?

Just go to Start > Run and type “services.msc” and hit Enter. This will open the Services menu, and from here you need to find Windows Search. Right-click on it and choose Properties.

From here, click on Stop to stop the service temporarily. Now go over to Startup type and choose “Disabled”. Click OK. The service is now disabled.

How you can test for yourself if it decreases your performance?

Right-click on Windows Search again and choose Start – this will restart the service. It will not start automatically when you reboot your PC, but don’t worry – Windows Search will remain turned off until you turn it back on again.


As you can see from the picture above, turning Windows Search on does nothing to increase CPU usage or disk activity once it is enabled! This shows that there is no direct correlation between Windows Search and high CPU usage after it is enabled.

Now go back into Services, find Windows Search again, right-click on it and choose Properties. Change the Startup type to either Manual or Automatic (depending on whether you want it to start automatically at boot). Click Apply, then Stop – this will restart the service. Again, check your CPU and disk usage (in Resource Monitor, right-click on the CPU chart and choose Update now if necessary). You should now find that there is no longer any significant change in resource consumption.

If you find that it is consuming a lot of your computer’s resources like CPU and RAM then there might be a corruption and would require an extended pc repair.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...