DATA DOCTORS

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

(Unsplash Photo)...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Yes, you can take presentable astronomy photos on phone camera

While serious astrophotography requires a pile of expensive DSLR camera equipment, you can actually get decent images from your smartphone with a little work.
2 days ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

This is what you need to know about security for Windows 11

Here's what you need to know about Windows 11 security on your device.
9 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Take your time choosing the right wireless earbuds for you

When you start shopping around for wireless earbuds, start by thinking about when and where you’ll most likely be using them - the features you’ll want may be quite different for each use.
16 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

When to reply ‘stop’ to an automated text messages

Be careful when you reply "STOP" to unwanted text messages. Pick the wrong ones and scammers will know that your phone number is both active and responsive.
23 days ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
Data Doctors

Here’s how to get into geocaching, an outdoor and virtual treasure hunt

If you love the outdoors and treasure hunting or want a high-tech way to get the kids outside, geocaching is worth checking out.
30 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Ways to find out if your smartphone has malware

Malicious software (aka malware) and malicious apps, are the biggest threat to both iOS and Android devices.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Why fall maintenance is important for your heating system and A/C

It’s easy to ignore your heater and air conditioner when they’re working but the moment something breaks, you will likely regret not keeping up with maintenance. After all, if something goes wrong, you may be stuck with a repair that will take longer and be more expensive than simple maintenance.
...
PNC Bank

How one organization supports early childhood literacy for the most vulnerable

Nearly two out of every three children in low-income communities don’t own a single children’s book, a fact that ultimately could have profound impacts even before entering kindergarten, according to Arizona nonprofit Southwest Human Development.
...
Chris Kennedy

My Special Aflac Duck® taking flight in Arizona

For more than 65 years, Aflac has had the extraordinary opportunity and privilege to help provide peace of mind to individuals who have our supplemental insurance policies.
Understanding Windows 10 search indexing