How to Turn On or Off Search Index in Windows 11

Search Index helps in the Start menu and File Explorer search. Here is how to turn on or off the search index in Windows 11 OS.

It might not be often, but most of us use Windows Search in one way or another. For example, to find a file or folder. Whenever you search for a file, folder, email, document, or program, in the File Explorer or Start menu, Windows tries to find it as soon as possible and shows the results depending on their relevancy.

To make that happen, Windows uses a dedicated service called Windows Search through the SearchIndexer.exe process. This service builds a search index over time in the background and makes the overall search experience faster. Of course, as the contents of your PC change, the search index automatically updates and rebuilds.

However, depending on the Search Index mode. i.e., Classic or Enhanced, the indexing process consumes a lot of system resources. This is especially true if you have a lot of files. This can mean battery drain, high system temperature, degraded system performance, and more on laptops.

The good thing is that you can either turn off the search index or turn it on as and when needed. All you have to do is manage the Windows Search service.

This easy Windows how-to guide takes you through the steps to turn on and off the search index in Windows 11 operating system.

Same steps for Windows 10 and 11.

Table of contents:

Turn off the search index

To disable or turn off the search index in Windows, you must disable the Windows Search service. Once the service is disabled, the SearchIndexer.exe process will not run automatically, and the search index is disabled. Let me show you how to do it.

  1. Use “Win + R” to open Run.
  2. Type “services.msc” in the blank field.
  3. Press the “Ok” button.
  4. Find the “Windows Search” service.
  5. Double-click on the “Windows Search” service.
  6. Choose “Disabled” from the “Startup type” dropdown menu.
  7. Press the “Stop” button under “Service status.”
  8. Press the “Ok” button.
  9. Close the Services window.
  10. With that, the search index is disabled in Windows.

Steps with a bit more detail:

First, we should open the Services tool. For that, open the Run dialog window with the “Windows key + R” keyboard shortcut. Type “services.msc” in the blank field and press the “Ok” button.

open services tool

Find the “Windows Search” service in the Services window and double-click on it. You can also right-click on the Windows Search service and choose “Properties.”

Note: The service can sometimes also be called “WSearch.”

open Windows Search properties

In the properties window, choose the “Disabled” option from the “Startup type” dropdown menu.

turn off search index in windows

Next, press the “Stop” button under the “Service status” section.

Press the “Ok” button to save changes made to the Windows Search service.

stop search index service

Finally, close the services window. With that, you disabled or turned off the search index in Windows. You will see the Windows Search with Disabled status in the Services window.

search index disabled

You will see the “Search indexing was turned off. Turn indexing back on.” message at the bottom when the search index is disabled or turned off.

Windows Search Index is disable error

Turn on the search index

To turn on the search index in Windows, you must enable the Windows Search service and start it. Once the Windows Search service starts running, it will launch the SearchIndexer.exe process and starts the indexing process automatically. Here are the steps to enable search index in Windows.

  1. Use “Win + R” to open Run.
  2. Type “services.msc” in the blank field.
  3. Press the “Ok” button.
  4. Find the “Windows Search” service.
  5. Double-click on the “Windows Search” service.
  6. Choose “Automatic” from the “Startup type” dropdown menu.
  7. (Optional) Press the “Start” button under “Service status.”
  8. Press the “Ok” button.
  9. Close the Services window.
  10. With that, the search index is enabled in Windows.

Steps with a bit more detail:

Press the Start key, search for “services.msc,” and open it. You can also execute the “services.msc” command in the Run dialog box (Win + R).

Find and double-click the “Windows Search” service in the Services window.

Choose “Automatic” from the “Startup type” dropdown menu.

(Optional) Press the “Start” button under the “Service status” section if the button is available.

turn on search index in windows

Finally, click the “Ok” button to save the changes.

You should immediately see the Windows Search service running in the Services window. If not, I recommend you close the Services window and restart the computer.

Search index running

Once the service starts running, Windows starts the indexing process, and the search works as before.

That is it. It is that simple to turn on or off the search index and Windows Search service in Windows OS.

I hope this simple and easy Windows how-to guide helped you.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

Scroll to Top