Understanding Windows 10 search indexing

Mar 27, 2021, 5:45 AM
(AP Photo)...
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

Q: I was told that if I turn off search indexing in Windows 10, my computer would run faster.

Is this true and what do I give up if I turn it off?

A: Windows 10 search indexing is designed to make finding things on your computer faster by creating an index of your files.

It’s like the index in the back of a massive book; it makes it much faster to find something because Windows isn’t having to search through every file, every time.

What gets indexed

By default, all the properties of your files get indexed but the most important items are the file name and the location of the file. Text within files is also indexed, which makes it possible to search for a file based on what’s contained in the file and not just by its filename.

Some apps, such as an email program may also add their own information to the index to speed up searches that relate to that app.

Indexing process

The very first time Windows runs the indexing process on your files, it can take a couple of hours to complete depending upon how many data files your hard drive contains. This initial processing can certainly impact the computer’s performance while it’s running.

Once it completes the initial indexing, it will continue to index new files as they are added or as you make modifications to existing files.

If you work with and modify lots of files on a regular basis or transfer large quantities of new files to your computer, indexing can cause some slowing.

If you have a lower-powered computer with an older, slower hard drive, indexing can place a burden on the system resources resulting in slower all-around performance as well.

If you spend most of your time online working with data that is stored on the Internet, the indexing burden should be pretty minimal.

If you rarely search your computer for files, turning off the Indexing won’t impact you much at all.

Disabling search indexing

If you’d like to see if the indexing is causing a performance issue on your computer, you can temporarily stop it from running to see if things improve.

Type “services” in the Windows search bar to get to the services app and open it.

Scroll down the list until you find “Windows Search” and double-click on it to open the Search Properties menu. Under the “Service status” section, click the stop button to temporarily disable the service.

The next time you start your computer, search indexing will be turned back on automatically unless you change the “Startup type” to disabled or manual.

Limiting what gets indexed

Instead of disabling indexing altogether, you can reduce the number of files being indexed but still have the faster file searching abilities for specific folders.

Type “indexing” into the Windows search bar and then click on “indexing options” to open the options menu.

The current locations being indexed will be displayed, which you can change by clicking on the “Modify” button.

The majority of the locations being indexed will be under the “Users” folder for each user profile, which is where most of your data files are stored.

Data Doctors

Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here are some tips on how to speed up slow starting computers

Here are some ways you can identify and solve potential issues that may be causing your computer to start up slower than normal.
5 days ago
(AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)...
Data Doctors

An explanation of how new credit cards have information stolen

If you've ever wondered how people can crack a new credit card, here's a rundown and a brief explanation on what thieves could be doing.
12 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here are the differences between Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge

Half of the United States uses Google Chrome as a default browser, but here are the key differences between Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
19 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

Tips on how and when to use the iPhone screen recording feature

Here are some tips on when and how to use the the screen recording feature located on the dropdown bar on your iPhone.
26 days ago
In this photo illustration a spam 'Phishing' email is displayed on a laptop screen on March 21,2022...
Data Doctors

Tips and tools to detect and avoid computer phishing scams

Far and away, the method of choice for compromising users is through sophisticated phishing messages in email, via text messaging and through social media accounts.
1 month ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

Tips for helping the elderly spot and avoid phishing emails

Here are things you should look out for and avoid if you are helping someone detect phishing emails on their mobile devices.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Understanding Windows 10 search indexing