What Is Searchapp.Exe And How To Disable It? [2023 Updated]

Are you curious about SearchApp.exe and how to disable it? If so, this article is for you!

Here, we’ll look at what the SearchApp.exe file is, its safety rating, and how to safely disable it if necessary.

We’ll even provide tips on what to do if your SearchApp.exe process turns out to be malware.

So don’t worry—we’ve got you covered!


SearchApp.exe is a Windows process that might be running in the background, and it’s important to understand what it is and how to disable it if needed.

This process operates behind the scenes of your computer, enabling a better user experience.

While its purpose isn’t always clear, it runs various tasks that allow your system to function properly.

It’s completely safe and can’t harm your computer, but you may want to disable it if you don’t need its functions or if it interferes with other processes.

What Is SearchApp.exe?

You may have noticed that Windows 11/10 has an executable file called SearchApp.exe.

It’s the process behind the search feature in your taskbar, File Explorer, and Start Menu.

This low-resource process ensures that when you click on the search bar, results are quickly retrieved from all areas of your system.

In previous versions of Windows 10, this same process was called SearchUI.exe and was integrated with Cortana.

Now Microsoft has merged it into one unified search experience with version 2004.

It runs whenever you use any type of search function within Windows 11/10.

Whether it be for a document or program inside your computer or searching online using Bing or Google, it’s always working to provide accurate results for whatever query you type into the search bar no matter where you are searching from.

This executable file is essential to make sure that searches run smoothly and efficiently on your system.

However, if you wish to disable this feature, you can easily do so by going into Task Manager > Startup > SearchApp and disabling the application there.

Keep in mind that doing this will stop SearchApp from running every time you launch a new window. But some other features such as Cortana may not work properly without it enabled as they depend upon its services to function correctly.

How Safe Is SearchApp.exe?

  • Check the folder location of the file.
  • Use program properties to examine its digital signatures.
  • Use command prompts to verify its authenticity.

Additionally, you can:

  • Check the resources it’s consuming by using Task Manager.
  • Temporarily delete its folder for further examination.

1. Verify The Folder Location of SearchApp.exe

To do this:

  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager, and scroll down until you find Search.
  • Double-click it, right-click the process named Search, and select Open file location.
  • This will display the address bar at the top of File Explorer with Microsoft.Windows.Search_cw5n1h2txyewy file’s location.

If it’s in C:\Windows\SystemApps, it’s probably authentic; otherwise, it may be malicious software.

2. Use Program Properties To Verify SearchApp.exe’s Digital Signatures

By checking its digital signatures using program properties, you can verify if it is a legitimate Microsoft file or not.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Type C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Search_cw5n1h2txyewy in the address bar.
  3. Locate SearchApp.exe.
  4. Right-click it and select Properties.
  5. Go to the Digital Signatures Tab.
  6. Click on Details.
  7. Go to the General Tab.
  8. Click on View Certificate.

If the certificate was issued by Microsoft Windows, it is likely authentic.

On the other hand, if the certificate was not issued by Microsoft Windows, it’s probably malware.

This process helps you differentiate between trusted and untrusted files on your system.

It allows you to make informed decisions about which files to keep and which ones to delete or disable.

3. Alternatively, Use The Command Prompt To Verify Its Digital Signature

Using Command Prompts, you can easily verify the digital signature of SearchApp.exe.

First, open your browser and download Sigcheck from Microsoft’s website.

Copy the file into the SearchApp.exe folder in C:\Windows\SystemAppsMicrosoft.Windows.Search_cw5n1h2txyewy and paste it there with admin permission if asked.

Next, open the Command Prompt window by typing cmd in the File Explorer address bar and pressing enter.

Then type sigcheck.exe SearchApp to execute a license agreement if prompted, before viewing the digital signature of the app.

If it says the publisher is Microsoft Windows and the company is Microsoft Corporation then it’s likely authentic; otherwise, malware may be present.

4. Is SearchApp.exe Consuming Heave Resources Using Task Manager?

Seeing how much resources it is consuming can help determine if it’s legitimate or not.

To check this, right-click the Taskbar and select ‘Task Manager’.

Then, locate the ‘Search’ option and check the amount of resources it’s utilizing.

If SearchApp.exe is using a minimal amount of resources, it’s likely legitimate.

However, if its CPU usage exceeds 50%, it could be corrupted or malicious software.

Keep in mind that to ensure your computer runs optimally, you should only have the necessary programs running at any given time.

Delete The SearchApp.Exe Folder Temporarily

You can temporarily delete the process to see the effect.

Here’s how:

  1. Right-click the Taskbar and select Task Manager.
  2. In the Task Manager, find Search and double-click it, then open its file location.
  3. End the task in the Task Manager window until it doesn’t show up anymore.
  4. Then delete the file with admin permission if needed.

Doing this will disable it until your computer restarts, allowing you to assess any potential issues quickly and easily without having to wait for a full system scan to complete.

What Do I Do If SearchApp.Exe Process Is A Malware?

The best course of action is to use antivirus software to run a full system scan and delete it using the command prompt.

Doing so will help ensure that any malicious code or processes are identified and eliminated from your system.

1. Run A Full System Scan

Running a full system scan with antivirus software is the best way to detect and remove viruses and malware. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Open Windows Security in your taskbar.
  • Select Virus & Threat Protection.
  • Under Current threats, click Scan options then Full scan then Scan.
  • Wait for the scan to complete; if it finds anything, follow the instructions given.

This process may take some time, but it’s worth it!

You can rest assured that your device and data are safe when using antivirus software to run a full system scan.

2. Delete It Using Command Prompt

First, open the Start menu and type ‘cmd’, then select Run as administrator.

Next, enter ‘cd %windir%SystemApps’ into the command line and press Enter.

After that, open Task Manager and locate Search. In Command Prompt, type ‘taskkill /f /im SearchApp.exe’ to terminate the process.

Repeat until it’s no longer visible on Task Manager.

Can You Disable SearchApp.exe?

Yes, you can disable it 

If you are experiencing problems with this file consuming excessive CPU and RAM resources, or it is not running or not responding, disabling it may be the solution.

How to Disable SearchApp.exe?

1. From Task Manager

Task Manager can be used to disable SearchApp.exe by terminating its running processes. To do this, open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard.

Then locate the process for SearchApp.exe in the Processes tab and select it before clicking ‘End Task’. Doing this will stop the program from running and successfully disable it.

Terminating the process is an easy way to make sure SearchApp.exe is not causing any problems on your computer.

2. Using Command Prompt

First, open an elevated Command Prompt window and type ‘cd %windir%SystemApps’ to launch System Apps on your system.

Then, enter ‘taskkill /f /im SearchApp.exe’ to delete the process.

Finally, execute ‘move Microsoft.Windows.Search_cw5n1h2txyewy Microsoft.Windows.Search_cw5n1h2txyewy.old’ to complete the disabling of the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How Do I Know if Searchapp.Exe Is Running on My Computer?

If you’re wondering if searchapp.exe is running on your computer, you can check using the Task Manager.

Open the Task Manager by pressing ‘Ctrl + Alt + Delete’ or searching for it in the Windows search bar.

Once open, click on ‘More Details’.

Then navigate to the Processes tab and scroll through the list of applications until you find searchapp.exe.

If it’s present and has a status of ‘Running’, then it’s currently active on your system.

Q: Are There Any Risks to Leaving It Running on My Computer?

It is a Windows process associated with the Windows 8,10 and 11 operating systems and Cortana, Microsoft’s voice-activated virtual assistant. 

While it can be helpful in some ways, if left enabled, searchapp.exe can also use up system resources and slow down performance on your computer.

Q: What Other Programs Will Be Affected if I Disable It?

It could affect other programs installed on your device. Depending on the program and its purpose, those programs may not be able to run correctly or at all without searchapp.exe functioning normally.

It’s important to research the individual programs and determine which ones rely on searchapp.exe before making any decisions to disable them.

Q: Is SearchApp.exe a virus?

A: It is a legitimate file related to the Windows operating system.

Q: Can I remove SearchApp.exe?

A: It is not recommended to remove or delete the file as it is a necessary file for the functioning of the Windows search feature.

Q: Why is it causing high CPU usage?

If the process is causing high CPU usage, it could be due to a problem with the file or the Windows search feature.

You can try restarting your computer or updating your Windows operating system to resolve this issue.

Q: How do I use the search feature without SearchApp.exe?

A: If you want to use the search feature without SearchApp.exe, you can use the search bar located at the bottom left corner of the taskbar.

Simply click on it and type in your search query.

Q: What is the purpose of the original SearchApp.exe file?

A: The file is responsible for making sure that the search menu appears and provides accurate search results in the Windows operating system.

Q: How can I search inside Cortana and Windows 10 version 2004?

A: To search inside Cortana and Windows 10 version 2004, you can click the search bar located at the bottom left corner of the taskbar and type in your search query.

Q: What should I do if SearchApp.exe is not working?

A: You can try restarting your computer or updating your Windows operating system to resolve any potential issues.


You now know that SearchApp.exe is a legitimate process from Microsoft, but it can be dangerous if it’s malware. If you think that your SearchApp.exe process is malicious, you should remove it immediately with an antivirus program.

If you don’t want the process running in the background, you can disable it by going to Task Manager and ending the task or uninstalling it through Windows Settings.

Still, having issues? Not a problem – our PC technicians are on-call and happy to assist you anytime!

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...