Windows Search allows file searching on your PC much quicker, but if you find things slowing down when Windows indexes files or if Search doesn’t work as assumed, there are a few steps that you can take. In this article, we will guide you through the whole procedure to speed up, disable or rebuild the search index for Windows 10.
Speed up, disable or rebuild the search index for Windows 10
To speed up, disable or rebuild the search index for Windows 10, follow this procedure step by step.
Click the Search button. Type Indexing in the search bar and choose the Indexing Options as the following image is showing.
As soon as you click the Indexing Options, the following screen will appear.
Click the Modify button as highlighted in the above image. As soon as you click the Modify button, the following dialogue box will appear.
Now pick the folder you want to include in the index using the Indexing Locations option as highlighted in the above image.
Now click the Search button. Type Services in the search bar and choose the Services option as the following image is showing.
As soon as you click the Services option, the following screen will appear.
Find out Windows Search option and double click on it as highlighted in the above image. As soon as you click the Windows Search option, the following dialogue box will appear.
Choose Disabled option for Startup type option. It means that the next time you start your computer, Windows Search will not load. Then click the Stop button to stop the Windows service. When service will be stopped, then click the OK button as highlighted in the above image. Now Windows Search is disabled.
Again open the Indexing Options window. Click the Advanced button as the following image is showing.
As soon as you click the Advanced button, the following dialogue box will appear.
Now click the Rebuild button from the dialogue box as highlighted in the above image. Afterwards, it’s just a case of waiting as Windows rebuilds the index from scratch.
By following this procedure, you will be able to speed up, disable or rebuild the Search Index for Windows 10.
When you search for files on your computer using Windows Search via File Explorer or Cortana, the files you expect to find may not appear in the search results. This happens even though the files exist on the computer.
Another situation is that some phantom files appear in search results, whereas you may have deleted the files long back. In some cases, the searches may be very slow whether or not the folder location is included in the index.
This post tells you how to fix Windows Search issues in Windows 10 and earlier.
Reset and Rebuild the Search Index
- Windows Search service fails, with error 0x80070002 or 0x80070005 .
- Windows Search service fails, with error 0x80040d06 ( -2147749126 ) indicating that the catalog is corrupt. In this case, a complete reset ought to fix the problem.
- The file is not in an indexed location, so searches may run slow.
- The file type of the file you’re trying to find is not indexed.
- The file has properties that prevent it from being indexed.
- The file has no index attribute that prevents it from being indexed.
- The search indexer has not updated the file in its database.
- Search may be slow due to the huge Windows.edb database
As Windows Search indexes the details and meta information of every file from included locations, your search queries fetch results quickly. This is because Windows Search fetches results from its database file (.edb) rather than searching the file system. When searching non-indexed locations, searches will be accurate but very slow as the system has to scour through every file and folder.
Windows Search and the advanced query syntax are awesome features when they work, and indexing is one of the best features Microsoft has added to Windows.
How to Repair, Reset and Rebuild the Windows Search Index
Using Search Troubleshooter
To run the search troubleshooter, right-click Start, click Run. Type the following command and click OK.
In Windows 10, you can also launch the troubleshooter via Start → Settings → Update & Security → Troubleshoot → Search and Indexing
The Search and Indexing troubleshooter checks for the following potential issues:
- Search Filter Host process failed: Problems with the Search Filter Host might indicate errors in the Windows Search service, which can cause searches to fail or return incomplete search results.
- Windows Search service shut down unexpectedly: When the Windows Search service is forcibly shut down while performing maintenance, searches might fail or return incomplete search results.
- Windows Search service shut down unexpectedly: When the Windows Search service is forcibly shut down, searches might fail or return incomplete search results.
- Windows Search service not running: When the Windows Search service is not running, searches might be slower, and you might not be able to find all items.
- Windows Search service failed: Problems with the Windows Search service can cause searches to fail or return incomplete search results.
- Search Protocol Host process failed: Problems with the Search Protocol Host might indicate errors in the Windows Search service, which can cause searches to fail or return incomplete search results.
If necessary, the troubleshooter fixes the NTFS permissions for the Windows Search data folder so that the NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM account has the required permissions. By default, the search data folder is located at %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Search\Data\ . The troubleshooter can also reset the Windows Search settings and force a rebuild of the Search index if deemed necessary.
Manually Reset Windows Search and Rebuild the Index
The Search troubleshooter is the most preferred way to troubleshoot search and indexing issues, as it automates many things (depending upon the checkbox options you selected).
- Start the Registry Editor regedit.exe and go to:
- Change the registry value SetupCompletedSuccessfully data from 1 to 0
Before resetting search, this is how the Indexed Locations dialog looked like, containing many obsolete folder locations:
After resetting the search, Included Locations is reset to Windows 10 defaults.
This reset & rebuild method essentially resolves most of the Windows search problems.
Reset & Rebuild Search Index using command-line or batch file
Copy the following contents to Notepad, and save the file as reset_rebuild_search.bat
This resets the search locations to default settings and rebuilds the search index from scratch.
Rebuild Windows Search Index Without Resetting
The earlier method resets Windows Search locations and forces a rebuild of the index upon the next restart, or after restarting the Windows Search service. To rebuild just the index without resetting the indexed folder locations, use these steps:
Click Start, type indexing, and click on Indexing Options in search results.
In case the Start menu search doesn’t work, you can launch Indexing Options directly by running the following command from Run dialog or Command Prompt.
In the Indexing Options dialog, click Advanced. Under Troubleshooting section, click Rebuild.
This deletes and rebuilds the index completely.
Note that if Windows detects user activity in the system, indexing is slowed down drastically. After a couple of minutes of no user activity, indexing continues in full swing. Regardless, when I checked, the searchindexer.exe and its allied processes didn’t use more than 15% of the CPU at any given point in time, even when the system was left idle.
Rebuild Search Index using Batch file (without resetting the locations)
- Copy the following contents to Notepad, and save the file as reset_search.bat
- Right-click reset_search.bat and click Run as administrator.
The above batch file rebuilds the search index from scratch. It doesn’t reset the search index locations list, though.
Defrag the Search index database Windows.edb to reduce the file size
If you index too many files & folders and the Outlook PST files, the Windows search index database file Windows.edb would grow huge in size. In some instances, the file size can be larger than 50 GB. That’s because, in Windows 8 and Windows 10, both properties and persistent indexes are stored in Windows.edb. Also, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 index the entire contents of files, regardless of their size.
To reduce the Windows search index database size, index less content. Another option to reduce the size of Windows.edb is to compact or defrag the file using esentutl.exe. Follow these steps:
Open an admin Command Prompt window, and run these commands:
The above commands stop/disable Windows Search, compact (defrag) the search index database, and then start Windows Search. Compaction of the Windows.edb database has reduced the size to 200 MB from 310 MB on my computer —
Resetting the Search index, or removing unwanted folder locations from the search index, and compacting the database would certainly improve the search performance in your system.
I like the search in Windows 10 even though I had to tweak it quite a bit to make it behave the way I want it to and am running into search not working issues from time to time.
One thing that I like about it in particular is that it highlights the main results better. This is a small change that puts the focus on the first result and since search gets it right most of the time, it is easier to recognize it and select it with a tap on the enter key.
Anyway, the search is not optimized for speed by default which can be largely attributed to it trying to find web results as well as local results.
Since I don’t consider web results useful at all, I have disabled the feature completely. If I want to search for something on the Web, I do so using a web browser which is open 24/7 anyway.
The next thing I did was optimize the locations that Windows indexes. The operating system indexes several by default including the complete user folder.
While that may not be as bad as it sounds, you will find many locations in the user folder that you may not want indexed or returned by search. For instance, you may have programming project directories and repositories there with thousands of files and directories, or other larger file collections that you have no interest in being returned by Windows 10’s search.
There is also the AppData folder with hundreds of thousands of files, for instance web browser cache and cookies.
When it comes to the list of indexed files, it is best to only include locations that you want results to be returned from.
If you don’t use Internet Explorer for instance, you may not want Internet Explorer favorites to be returned, ever. That’s however one of the default locations included automatically by search indexing.
Manage search Indexing Options on Windows 10
Do the following to open the Indexing Options:
- Use the keyboard shortcut Windows-Pause to open the System control panel.
- Click on “All control panel items” in the location bar at the top.
- Locate and click on Indexing Options.
The window that opens displays all locations that are included by Windows 10’s search indexer. The exclude listing next to each location lists subfolders of that location that are blocked from the indexer.
To get started click on modify to open the list of indexed locations and a folder browser to select new ones.
First thing you may want to do there is to click on “show all locations” as Windows hides some. A click on a location that is included jumps to it in the “change selected locations” pane which is the fastest method to uncheck them.
The indexer lacks a search option to find locations quickly which means that you need to click your way through the structure to include new locations.
- Portable software is usually not included by search by default unless you have placed the programs in the user folder. Simply add the root folder of your portable software collection to the index to gain access to all programs stored in it using Windows Search.
- The exclude option is powerful and it makes sense to make use of it to block folders from being indexed. For instance, while you want to index the user folder, you may disable the indexing of folders listed in it you don’t require them to be included in search.
- Some files and programs get indexed automatically. You may launch msconfig.exe or Settings at all time even if you disable all locations in the Indexing Options.
Once you have added all locations you want included, click on ok to get back to the main menu. There you need to click on the advanced button to manage advanced settings.
You find two interesting options there. First, you may move the location of the index to another drive. This can be useful if a faster drive is available that you could store the index on to speed it up further.
Second, you may want to open file types and disable those that you don’t require.There is no option to disable all file types and select the ones you want only, which means lots of clicking if you want to go down that route.
I suggest you try the search first to see how fast it is. Disabling certain file types prevents them from being tracked which may reduce search pollution.
Windows Search distinguishes between indexing file properties only, or file properties and file contents. For example, Search may index Word document content automatically and return results when you search.
Properties include metadata only which may include the file name, title or author while file contents the actual (text) contents of files.
Search Index needs to rebuild whenever you make modifications in Indexing Options. You can run a manual rebuild at any time from the advanced menu.
There you find options to troubleshoot search and indexing as well which launches a small program that checks common problems and attempts to fix them if found.
Third-party desktop search programs for Windows are a great alternative as they give you more control over the indexing and are often faster and more reliable than Windows Search.
Now You: Are you using Windows Search or a third-party search program?
Generally speaking, Windows is a fairly easy operating system to learn. Newer versions of Windows, especially Windows 10, have made it easier than ever to set up and use Windows, making it a great operating system for anyone, including younger users and your computer-illiterate grandparents. Of course, just because Microsoft has gone out of their way to make their operating system easier to use for basic users doesn’t mean power users have to suffer in return.
Windows includes powerful system-wide search functionality that lets users quickly find files and other data via a Start Menu or Start Screen search. By default, Windows Search will index certain common locations on your drive, such as the User folder, Outlook Messages, and Internet Explorer browsing history. If Windows Search stops working for you and no longer returns search results for files that you know exist, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue. Here’s how to fix Windows Search issues in all versions of Windows from 7 to 10.
First, head to the Control Panel and find the section labeled Indexing Options. If you’re not facing a total malfunction of Windows Search capabilities, you can quickly jump to Indexing Options directly by searching for it from the Start Menu (Windows 7 and Windows 10) or the Start Screen (Windows 8 and 8.1).
Verify Indexed Locations
In the Indexing Options window, the first step to take when Windows Search isn’t finding your files is to make sure that Windows is indexing the location where your files reside. You’ll see a list of locations and applications that are currently being indexed; note that if a drive or folder is listed here, then all subfolders and files included in that drive are indexed as well.
If the locations of your files are not listed here — such as your Users folder for places like the Documents and Desktop folders, or a second hard drive — you can manually add them. Click the Modify button and you’ll see a list of all locations on your PC. Find the desired drive or folder that contains files you’d like indexed and check the box next to it. Click OK when done and you’ll return to the Indexing Options window to see your new location listed.
Rebuild the Windows Search Index
Regardless of whether the location of your files was already in the indexed locations list, you’ll want to rebuild your Windows Search index as your next troubleshooting step. This index can become corrupted or otherwise encounter issues, and rebuilding it from scratch is often a good way to solve Windows Search problems.
One note before we begin: rebuilding the Windows Search index can take a very long time depending on the speed of your PC, your storage drives, and the number of files that need to be indexed. You can still use your PC during the rebuild, but you won’t have full access to Windows Search until the rebuild is complete. On slower systems, the rebuilding process may decrease system performance while it runs (you can see how much of an impact the process has on your PC by finding the Microsoft Windows Search Indexer process in Task Manager). It’s therefore best to plan a Windows Search index to take place overnight. Just follow the steps below as the last thing you do before leaving your PC at night, and let it run uninterrupted.
To rebuild the Windows Search index, head back to Control Panel > Indexing Options. Click the Advanced button and make sure you’re on the Index Settings tab of the Advanced Options window.
Under the Troubleshooting section of the Advanced Options window, find and click the Rebuild button. Windows will warn you, just as we did above, that the index rebuilding process may take a long time, and that you may not have full search functionality until it’s complete. Click OK to accept the warning and start the re-indexing process.
Once the Windows Search index has been rebuilt, try searching for your files again. Absent more serious issues like hardware failure or viruses, your files, folders, and data should all now appear in your Windows search queries.
Former Editorial Director
Walter Glenn is a former Editorial Director for How-To Geek and its sister sites. He has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry and over 20 years as a technical writer and editor. He’s written hundreds of articles for How-To Geek and edited thousands. He’s authored or co-authored over 30 computer-related books in more than a dozen languages for publishers like Microsoft Press, O’Reilly, and Osborne/McGraw-Hill. He’s also written hundreds of white papers, articles, user manuals, and courseware over the years. Read more.
If you are encountering problems with searching–unexpectedly slow searches, not finding things that should be indexed, or searches actually crashing–your best bet is to completely rebuild the search index.
The search index can take a while to rebuild, but it’s usually worth it. Before you rebuild the index, though, it may be worth taking the time to trim down your index locations to just what you need to make the indexing process faster.
Open up the “Indexing Options” window by hitting Start and typing “Indexing Options.”
In the “Indexing Options” window, click the “Advanced” button.
In the “Advanced Options” window, click the “Rebuild” button.
After that, it’s just a matter of waiting while Windows rebuilds the index from scratch. You can keep using your PC normally, of course, but searching will continue to be spotty until the index is fully rebuilt. Also, Windows tries to do indexing while your PC is not being used, so it may be best to rebuild the index before going to sleep and just leaving your PC on for the night to do its job. You should be back to searching by the morning.
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Walter Glenn is a former Editorial Director for How-To Geek and its sister sites. He has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry and over 20 years as a technical writer and editor. He’s written hundreds of articles for How-To Geek and edited thousands. He’s authored or co-authored over 30 computer-related books in more than a dozen languages for publishers like Microsoft Press, O’Reilly, and Osborne/McGraw-Hill. He’s also written hundreds of white papers, articles, user manuals, and courseware over the years.
Read Full Bio »
If you search for items in Outlook and don’t receive the results that you expect, the indexing of your Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office system data files (the search catalog) may not be complete.
Symptoms of an incomplete index include the following:
Partial or no search results are returned.
Items that you expect to appear based on your search criteria aren’t displayed.
You can rebuild the search catalog, which restarts the indexing of your data files. The search catalog is a file where all of your Outlook and Microsoft Windows items (data files) are indexed.
In simple terms, it’s a catalog that’s built from terms found in email messages. The catalog is similar to an index for a reference book, but instead of manually searching for the term in the book’s index, you’re search for it electronically by entering the term in a Outlook search box. You simply need to make sure you’ve set the indexing options to begin.
If you’re using Outlook 2007, the body of digitally signed and encrypted email message are never indexed. This is not the case, however, for Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, and Outlook 2010. The body of digitally signed email messages in those Outlook versions are indexed if they’re signed and encrypted.
The index is made up of folders that you choose. Those choices become the search scope. This is a two-step process. You set the Outlook indexing options, and then you check the search scope.
Set Outlook search options
On the File tab, choose Options > Search.
Under Sources, click Indexing Options.
Note: In the Indexing Options dialog box, under Index these locations, make sure Microsoft Outlook is an included location. You can click Modify if necessary to change selected locations.
If you want to know what Windows.edb is or if you encounter the Windows.edb huge issue, you can refer to this post. This post from MiniTool provides detailed information about Windows.edb. Besides, here are some useful methods to fix Windows.edb huge issue.
What Is Windows.edb
What is Windows.edb? The Windows.edb is the Windows Search service’s database file. It provides you with content indexing, property caching, and search results for files, e-mail, and other content. Windows 10/8 will index your documents to speed up the search by default. All data related to the index is stored in this edb file.
Are you troubled by the issue Windows Search not working? Try these 6 reliable solutions to fix Windows Search problem.
In some cases, the size of the edb file tends to become larger in Windows Vista and Windows 7/8 and Windows 10. It will consume large disk space. Thus, you can continue to read the following part to get some methods to fix the “Windows.edb system files huge” issue.
How to Fix Windows.edb Huge Issue
Method 1: Defragment the Index
You can defragment the index in Windows Search Service to fix the Windows.edb file issue. Follow the steps below to do that.
Step 1: Type Command Prompt in the Search box and right-click it to choose Run as administrator.
Step 2: Input the following commands one by one. After each one, you should press the Enter key.
Sc config wsearch start=disabled
Net stop wsearch
esentutl.exe /d %AllUsersProfile%MicrosoftSearchDataApplicationsWindowsWindows.edb
Sc config wsearch start=delayed-auto
Net start wsearch
Method 2: Delete and Rebuild Windows.edb File
If the first method can’t fix Windows.edb issue, you can also try to delete and rebuild Windows.edb file to fix the issue. Steps are as follows:
Step 1: Terminate SearchIndexer.exe in Task Manager
1. Press the Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys and open Task Manager.
2. Then, click the Processes tab.
3. Select the SearchIndexer.exe process and click End Task.
Step 2: Delete Windows.edb file
1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run box and type services.msc. Then, press the Enter key.
2. Navigate to the Windows Search service. Then right-click it to choose Stop to stop the Windows Search service.
3. Now, right-click the Windows.edb file folder to delete it.
Method 3: Disable Windows Search
You can fix Windows.edb file huge issue by disabling Windows Search in Control Panel. Here’s how to disable Windows Search in Control Panel:
Step 1: Open Control Panel and click Program and Features.
Step 2: Then, click Turn Windows features on or off and uncheck the Windows Search option.
Now, the Windows.edb file huge issue should be fixed.
Method 4: Change Windows.edb File Location
If the issue still exists, it is necessary to change the edb file’s location. Here’s how to change Windows.edb file location:
Step 1: Open Control Panel and click Indexing Options.
Step 2: Click the Advanced tab and go to the Index Settings tab. Then, click Select new.
Step 3: Make a new folder and set it as the new location for Windows.edb file’s folder.
Method 5: Perform the Windows Update
The last method for you is to update your Windows to the latest version. Windows updates can help you fix a lot of system issues and bugs. Here is how to do that:
Step 1: Right-click the Start menu and choose Settings.
Step 2: On the Settings window, select Update & Security.
Step 3: Under the Windows Update section, click the Check for updates button to check if there are any new updates. Then Windows will search for available updates. Just follow the on-screen instructions to finish the process.
After installing the latest Windows updates, restart your computer and check if the “Windows.edb system files huge” error gets fixed.
Troubled by the issue Windows Updates cannot currently check for updates? This post shows 4 solutions to fix Windows update failed problem.
This post has introduced some information about Windows.edb. If you want to learn about it, you can refer to this post. Besides, if you encounter Windows.edb huge issue, you can also read this post.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
She was graduated from the major in English. She has been the MiniTool editor since she was graduated from university. She specializes in writing articles about backing up data & systems, cloning disks, and syncing files, etc. She is also good at writing articles about computer knowledge and computer issues. In daily life, she likes running and going to the amusement park with friends to play some exciting items.
Windows uses Indexing Service to index files and folders. Once indexed, you can use the File Explorer search bar or the Windows Start Menu to search for your files. However, when you are using your computer, Windows slows down or stops the indexing service for a better user experience. This is not an issue for the most part.
However, if you’ve just rebuilt the Search Index or added a lot of files, then it might take a considerable amount of time for the indexing service to index all those files. To solve this issue you can force Windows to ignore the user and run the indexing service as and when needed thus making it faster and more reliable.
Using Group Policy Editor
You can force Windows Search Indexing Service to run even when a user is using the system by configuring a policy setting with the Group Policy Editor.
To start, press Win + R , type gpedit.msc and press the Enter button.
The above action will open Group Policy Editor. Here, navigate to “Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Search.”
Now, find the “Disable indexer backoff” policy on the right panel and double-click on it.
In the policy properties window select the “Enabled” radio button and click on the “OK” button to save the changes.
To make the changes take effect, either execute the following command in the Command Prompt as an admin or restart the system.
Form this point onward, Windows won’t slow down the indexing service when you are using the system, thus indexing your newer files much more quickly.
Using Windows Registry Editor
Note: before modifying the registry, create a good backup or create a system restore point.
If you are using Windows Home edition, then you won’t have access to the Group Policy Editor. But you can use Windows Registry to make the changes.
Just like with the Group Policy Editor, press Win + R , type regedit and press the Enter button to open Windows Registry.
After opening Windows Registry, navigate to the following location:
Here we need to modify the “DisableBackOffOnUser” value. However, being a system key, you cannot modify it like the other regular values. If you try to modify it, you will be greeted with the following error message.
To modify the value you need to take ownership of the key. Right-click on the “Gathering Manager” key appearing on the left panel and select the option “Permissions.”
The above action will open the Permissions window. Click on the “Advanced” button appearing at the bottom of the window.
Here, click on the “Change” link next to TrustedInstaller. This allows you to change the owner of the target key.
Enter your username in the “Enter the object name to select” field and click on the “Check Names” button. This will add the username in a proper manner. Click on the “OK” button to save the changes.
After changing the owner, you need to give yourself full control over the key. You can do that by adding yourself to the permissions tab. Click on the “Add” button to continue.
Here, click on the “Select a principal” link.
Just like in the previous step, enter your username, click on the “Check Names” button and then click on the “Ok” button.
Select the “Full Control” checkbox under Basic Permissions and click on the “OK” button to save the changes.
In the main window select the “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects” checkbox, and click on the “OK” button to save the changes.
With this, you are done changing the permissions. Find the value “DisableBackOffOnUser” on the right panel and double-click on it. Change the Value Data to “1,” and click on the “OK” button to save the changes.
Restart your system to make sure the changes take effect.
Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences regarding using the above method to force the Windows indexing service to run faster.
Vamsi is a tech and WordPress geek who enjoys writing how-to guides and messing with his computer and software in general. When not writing for MTE, he writes for he shares tips, tricks, and lifehacks on his own blog Stugon.
Everybody wants their computers to start up faster. But what about shutdown speed? I know from experience how annoying it is to keep waiting for your PC to power down. Luckily, there are ways to fix it.
One of the reasons why Windows can take a really long time to shut down is because it clears the page file every time you power off your PC. This is good from the security point of view, as the page file stores temporary files and other data. Sometimes unencrypted passwords can end up in your paging file, which means that clearing it on shutdown is not such a bad idea. However, if you have all your sensitive data encrypted or if extreme security is not high on your list of priorities, it’s a good idea to stop Windows clearing the page file every time you shut down your computer. To do that, you’ll need to change some stuff in the registry. Here is how:
Another way to speed up Windows shutdown is to decrease the time Windows waits to kill non-responding services. To do that, we will need to open regedit again:
Now that we’ve made your computer start up and shut down faster, it’s time to improve its overall performance. I have to warn you that improving overall computer performance usually means disabling features and services. So, if you are not comfortable with disabling certain things, simply skip the advice and read on.
Check running processes
One thing that all operating systems have in common is that they rely on hundreds of processes to run correctly. Basically, there are three main types of processes that can be running on your system – a) essential and non-essential system processes; b) processes run by applications installed on your computer; c) viruses and malware. Ideally, you’d like to have as little of the non-essential processes as possible because having too many running processes reduces your PCs speed. And you definitely don’t want any viruses and malware!
But how to check which processes are running on your system and what they are? Easy – simply launch the Windows Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc and go to the Processes tab. You will see the list of all processes running on your system and information on how much CPU and RAM they are consuming. The Task Manager also provides a PID and shows under which user profile the processes are running.
So, now you know what’s running. But how to find out what exactly are all those processes, which ones are essential and which ones are not? While some process names are very straight-forward and you won’t have any problems identifying the programs that run them (for example, Skype.exe), some process names won’t give you any clues. But don’t despair – there are plenty of ways to find out.
What you need is a more advanced Task Manager than the default one provided in Windows. There are plenty of alternatives, but my absolute favorites are Auslogics Task Manager and Sysinternals’ Process Explorer.
Process Explorer allows you to expand process trees and view which services are part of which process. This is especially handy when you are researching a process like svchost.exe and need to know which tasks a particular svchost.exe instance is responsible for.
Now, if you want to disable unneeded processes, it’s best to manage them either by disabling the software that runs them on startup or simply disable unnecessary Windows services that are responsible for running these processes. This approach is a lot better and safer than killing the process in the Task Manager. But if you are sure a process is run by a piece of malware, it’s best to kill it immediately and run a scan with up-to-date security software. Here is how you can kill a process in the Task Manager:
Indexing is one of those Microsoft features that is good in theory and not so good when the theory is tested by everyday life. The indexing feature was designed to speed up Windows search. Basically, it indexes all files and folders on your hard drive, so that the indexes can be used to find files and folders more quickly when the need arises. In theory, your files and folders should only be indexed when the computer is idle, so that there aren’t any performance issues. A good idea, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, the indexing feature is not perfect. Even though it’s not supposed to kick in when you are using your computer, it often does just that. This causes your hard drive to start making noises and slows everything down. So, if you don’t use Windows search all that often, it makes sense to either disable indexing altogether or modify indexing options, if you are on Windows 7.
Disabling indexing is easy. You can simply right-click on your hard drive in (My) Computer, go to Properties and uncheck Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching in Windows XP or Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties in Windows 7.
However, it’s best to disable the Indexing Service altogether. Here is how:
If you are running Windows 7, you can choose to adjust indexing options. This way you will make sure that Windows still indexes your frequently searched locations, but doesn’t hog your computer by indexing folders you never search. Here is how you can configure indexing on a Windows 7 computer:
There are more ways to improve Windows performance. Read how in our ebook “Turbo Windows – the Ultimate PC Speed Up Guide”. Download it for FREE now!