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How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

Chris Hoffman
How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10Chris Hoffman
Editor-in-Chief

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read more.

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

Do you have a problem with the search function in Windows 10’s Start menu or File Explorer? Whether Windows can’t find your files, indexing is using too much CPU or search isn’t working, Microsoft’s Indexer Diagnostics tool can help troubleshoot.

This tool provides insight into the inner workings of the Windows Search indexer service, and it can help you identify problems and fixes. It’s similar to the Diagnostic Data Viewer—a power user tool that provides extra information you can’t normally see about Windows 10’s internals.

To get started, download Microsoft’s Indexer Diagnostics tool from the Microsoft Store. Launch it and give it administrator access—it needs those permissions to access and updated the Windows search indexer.

Click between the tabs in the left pane to view information about the indexing service, its status, which files it’s indexing, and what it’s searching. There are also various troubleshooting tools on this pane. The main pane is “Service Status,” which will show you how many items the indexer has in its database, and how many files it’s indexed in the last hour, day, and week.

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

If Windows search isn’t working at all, click “Search Is Not Working” in the left pane. Use the “Restart” button to quickly restart the search service to fix problems.

If that doesn’t help, click the “Reset” button to reset the state of the indexing service. This will take several minutes. As the interface points out, a reset “will help if the Search Indexer is stuck in a bad state.”

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

If search can’t find a file, click “Is my file being indexed?”, browse to the file you want Windows to find, and click “Verify.”

Windows will tell you whether the file is found in the search index and, if not, will explain why the search indexer is ignoring it so you can address any problems.

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

Other tools available in Indexer Diagnostics include:

  • What is being indexed? – Displays the paths being indexed and any excluded paths that aren’t being indexed. You can add and remove included and excluded paths here.
  • Search roots – Shows you where Windows will begin searching—for example, in the root of the C:\ directory.
  • Content Viewer – View the files the indexer is indexing, and the precise time it indexed them. For example, if the search indexer was using a lot of CPU at a specific time, you can see what files it was indexing at that time and consider excluding them from “What is being indexed?”.
  • Query Viewer – Monitor what search queries are being sent to the Windows search indexer. You can click “Start Listening,” perform searches, and see exactly what’s going on in the background.
  • Index Item Stats – View how many items are indexed per each app on your system. You can also export details about the index to a CSV file.
  • Feedback – This tab lets you collect traces and logs that will monitor the indexer’s resource usage and functions. There’s a “File Bug” button here that will let you file reports about problems with the indexer with Microsoft.

Many of these functions are only useful for developers working on the search indexer or people sending bug reports to those developers, but it’s still great to have such insight into the inner workings of Windows 10.

Microsoft has been addressing resource usage problems with the indexer—look at the fixes made in Windows 10’s May 2020 Update—and this tool suggests Microsoft’s developers are hard at work optimizing the search feature, reducing resource usage, and fixing bugs.

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How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10 Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek.
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If Windows Search is unresponsive or the search results don’t appear as expected, try any of the following solutions in this article.

If you’re running Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903) or later versions and Windows can detect a problem, we’ll run the Search troubleshooter automatically. This troubleshooter will reset Windows Search back to the default experience. View your troubleshooter history under Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > View History. Follow the steps below if your issue is still not resolved.

Applies to: Windows 10 – all editions
Original KB number: 4520146

Check for updates

Windows 10 lets you choose when and how to get the latest updates to keep your device running smoothly and securely. To manage your options and see any available updates, select the Start button, and then go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for updates. Install any available updates, and then restart your computer if the updates require it.

For more information, see Update Windows 10.

Run the Search and Indexing troubleshooter

Your PC automatically indexes content to deliver faster search results. Learn more about Search indexing in Windows 10.

Use the Windows Search and Indexing troubleshooter to try to fix any problems that may arise. To use the troubleshooter, follow these steps:

  1. Select Start, then select Settings.
  2. In Windows Settings, select Update & Security > Troubleshoot. Under Find and fix other problems, select Search and Indexing.
  3. Run the troubleshooter, and select any problems that apply. Windows will try to detect and solve them.

You can also use a command prompt to open the troubleshooter. Press Windows logo key+R, enter cmd in the Open box, and then select OK. At the command prompt, run the following command:

Restart Windows Search or your device

End the SearchUI process to restart Windows Search by following these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete, and select Task Manager.
  2. In the Task Manager window, select the Details tab.
  3. In the Name column, right-click SearchUI.exe, and then select End task.
  4. When you’re prompted to end SearchUI.exe, select End process.

The Windows Search process will automatically restart the next time that you search.

If this solution doesn’t fix your problem, try restarting your device. Restarting will also install any pending updates.

You may want to bookmark this page before you restart.

Reset Windows Search

Try resetting Windows Search by using the method that’s appropriate for your version of Windows.

To determine which version of Windows your device is running, follow these steps:

Select Start > Settings > System > About.

Under Windows specifications, check which version of Windows your device is running.

Resetting Windows Search does not affect your files. However, it may temporarily affect the relevance of search results.

Windows 10, version 1809 and earlier

If the Windows 10 October 2018 Update or an earlier update is installed, reset Cortana to reset Windows Search by following these steps:

  1. Select Start, right-click Cortana, select More, and then select App settings.
  2. In the Cortana settings, select Reset.

Windows 10, version 1903 and later

If the Windows 10 May 2019 Update or a later update is installed, use Windows PowerShell to reset Windows Search by following these steps:

You must have administrator permissions to run this script.

Download the ResetWindowsSearchBox.ps1 script from the Reset Windows Search PowerShell script, and save the file to a local folder.

Right-click the file that you saved, and select Run with PowerShell.

If you’re asked the following question, select Yes.

Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?

The PowerShell script resets the Windows Search feature. When the word Done appears, close the PowerShell window.

If you receive the following error message:

Cannot be loaded because running scripts is disabled on this system

enter the following command on the command line of the PowerShell window, and then press Enter:

The current policy appears in the window. For example, you might see Restricted. We recommend that you note this value because you’ll have to use it later.

Enter the following command on the command line of the PowerShell window, and then press Enter:

You’ll receive a warning message that explains the security risks of an execution policy change. Press Y, and then press Enter to accept the change.

To learn more about PowerShell execution policies, see About Execution Policies.

After the policy change is completed, close the window, and then repeat steps 2-4. However, when the Done message appears this time, DON’T close the PowerShell window. Instead, press any key to continue.

Revert to your previous PowerShell execution policy setting. Enter the following command on the command line of the PowerShell window, press the Spacebar, enter the policy value that you noted in step 5, and then press Enter:

For example, if the policy that you noted in step 5 was Restricted, the command would resemble the following one:

You’ll receive a warning message that explains the security risks of an execution policy change. Press Y, and then press Enter to accept the change and revert to your previous policy setting.

Close the PowerShell window.

If your organization has disabled the ability to run scripts, contact your administrator for help.

Help us improve Search in Windows 10

If the previous suggestions don’t fix the problem, let us know by sending feedback in the Feedback Hub. Provide details, such as a description of the problem, screenshots, log files, and any other information that might be helpful. In the Feedback Hub, select the appropriate category and subcategory. In this case, submit your feedback in the Cortana and Search category.

This article provides guidelines for troubleshooting poor Windows Search performance.

Applies to: Windows 10 – all editions
Original KB number: 4558579

Summary

This article discusses common performance issues that affect Windows Search and Search indexing.

If you observe general poor performance when you search or when Windows builds a search index, go to Tune the Indexer performance.

If you observe specific error messages, go to Troubleshoot Search errors.

More information

Tune the Indexer performance

The primary factors that affect indexing performance are the number of items indexed and the overall size of the index. These factors are related but separate.

Number of items indexed

On a typical user’s computer, the Indexer indexes fewer than 30,000 items. On a power user’s computer, the Indexer might index up to 300,000 items. If the Indexer indexes more than 400,000 items, you may begin to see performance issues. For more information, go to Size of the index database.

The Indexer can index up to 1 million items. If the Indexer tries to index beyond that limit, it may fail or cause resource problems on the computer (such as high usage of CPU, memory, or disk space).

By default, the Indexer indexes any Outlook mailboxes on the computer. If a mailbox contains more than 6 million items, the performance of the Indexer may degrade. For more information, go to the "Change Outlook settings" section.

To check the number of indexed items, select Settings > Search > Searching Windows, and then check the value of Indexed items.

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

Size of the index database

As the number of indexed items grows beyond 400,000, the index database grows considerably regardless of the size of those items. The size of the items also affects database size. A database that contains either a few large files or a large number of smaller files can affect performance. Both factors together can compound the problem. The Indexer tries to compress the index data. However, this approach becomes less effective as the index database grows.

To check the size of the index database, use the Size on disk property of the Windows.edb file instead of relying on the Size property or the file size that’s listed in Explorer. Because of the compression algorithms that the Indexer uses on sparse ESE and NTFS files, the value that’s listed in Explorer may not be accurate. Additionally, this Size value might include space that was used by or allocated to the file in the past, instead of using the current size.

By default, Windows.edb is located in the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows folder. To check the size of the file, follow these steps:

Right-click Windows.edb, and select Properties.

Check the Size on disk value. This property reflects the actual disk space that the database uses.

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

Tuning methods

You can use any of several approaches to improve the performance of Search and the Search Indexer.

To make sure that the index reflects your changes, select Settings > Search > Searching Windows > Advanced Search Indexer Settings > Advanced > Rebuild.

Let the Indexer run for up to 24 hours to rebuild the index database.

Exclude folders

You can use this approach to reduce the number of items that are indexed and to reduce the size of the index database. To exclude whole folders from the index, select Settings > Search > Searching Windows > Add an excluded folder. And then select a folder to exclude.

For a more granular method to include or exclude items, open Searching Windows, and select Advanced Search Indexer Settings. In Indexing Options, select Modify, and then select or deselect locations to index.

Change how the Indexer treats specific file types

To control how the indexer treats specific file types, open Indexing Options, and select Advanced > File Types. You can change how the Indexer treats specific file types (identified by file extension) or add and configure new file types.

Defragment the index database

You can use this approach to reclaim empty space within the index database. Open an administrative Command Prompt window, and then run the following commands in the given order: Sc config wsearch start=disable Net stop wsearch EsentUtl.exe /d %AllUsersProfile%\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows\Windows.edb Sc config wsearch start=delayed-auto Net start wsearch

For more information about how to defragment the index database, see the following Knowledge Base article:

2952967 Windows.edb larger than expected when a PST file is indexed in Windows

Change Outlook settings

To help reduce the content of an Outlook mailbox, you can change the synchronization window to a shorter time interval than the default interval of one year. For more information, see the following article:

3115009 Update allows administrators to set additional default mail and calendar synchronization windows for new Exchange accounts in Outlook 2016

Troubleshoot Search errors

If the Indexer successfully builds the index database, you see the message Indexing complete on the Windows Search settings page and in Indexing Options.

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

If a different message appears, see the following table for more information about the message and how to respond.

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

One of the flagship features of Windows 10 is the built-in search that allows you to search for your local files and Bing.

Whether it be due to Windows Update, third-party apps, or Registry tweaks, if your Windows Search stops working randomly, this article will explain how to resolve the problem.

Resolve Windows Search problems using Troubleshooter

Windows 10 comes with a new built-in Troubleshooter tool that will help you address problems with Windows Search, including indexation and performance issues.

To fix issues with Windows Search using the Troubleshooter, follow these steps:

  1. Open up the Settings app.
  2. Click ‘Update & Security’.
  3. On the left-hand side of the window, click on ‘Troubleshoot’.

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

Troubeshooter will ask you questions about the problem. For example, if you have a problem where apps or files don’t appear in search results, you can select the second option “Files, folders, apps, or settings don’t appear in search results”.

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

The troubleshooter is a handy tool and it should help you fix potential issues. When you select the option, Windows Search will run some tests and try to fix the problem.

Troubleshoot Windows Search using Indexer Diagnostics

In January, Microsoft published a new tool called “Indexer Diagnostics” that will allow you to detect potential issues affecting the Search Indexer service.

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

With this tool, you can check if your files are indexed and what paths are indexed.

“Indexing is the process of looking at files, email messages, and other content on your PC and cataloging their information, such as the words and metadata in them,” Microsoft said earlier this year. “When you search your PC after indexing, it looks at an index of terms to find results faster.”

This tool allows you to access the current status of the Windows Search. This includes total indexing usage, indexed files, indexed Outlook items, and indexed Edge search items.

If your search is not working, you can click on the ‘Search is not working’ tab in the app’s sidebar. This tab will allow you to restart and reset Windows Search.

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

Likewise, you can also click on ‘Is my file indexed” to find if the search has indexed your file.

Windows Update

If you’re unable to use Windows Search after dodgy updates, here’s how to fix the problem:

  1. Open up the Settings app by clicking Start button and then the cog icon.
  2. In Settings, click ‘Update & Security’.
  3. Click ‘View update history’.
  4. Note the KB number of the latest update.
  5. Click on ‘Uninstall update’.
  6. In Control Panel, search for the KB number that you noted.
  7. Click on ‘Uninstall’ button.

It’s worth noting that the latest updates can also fix search issues. If there’s an update ready to be installed, you can try installing it and see if it resolves your problem.

Search not working in Windows 10? Here’s how to fix it

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

If you’re looking for how to fix search problems in Windows 10, then you’ve come to the right place.

One of the most useful features of Windows 10 is the ability to search the files on your PC or laptop – as well as the internet – directly from the search box on the taskbar.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has released a number of recent updates for Windows 10 that have introduced issues to how search works in Windows 10 – both from the taskbar and when using Windows Explorer.

If you’ve found that search is no longer working properly in Windows 10, then the good news is that there are a variety of fixes you can try to get search in Windows 10 working again.

So, read on for our advice on how to fix search problems in Windows 10.

How to fix Windows 10 search problems using the troubleshooter

The easiest way to fix Windows 10 search problems is by using the built-in troubleshooter. To launch the troubleshooter, open up the Settings app (click the Start menu and then the cog icon), then click ‘Update & Security’.

On the left-hand side of the window that appears, you’ll see an entry called ‘Troubleshoot’. Click it, then scroll down until you see ‘Search and Indexing’. Click that, then click ‘Run troubleshooter’.

The troubleshooter is a handy tool as it will ask you questions about the problem you’re having, then will run some tests to see what needs fixing.

Once you’ve gone through each step of the troubleshooter, Windows 10 search problems should now be fixed.

How to fix Windows 10 search problems using Windows Update

As we mentioned earlier, a few dodgy updates have been released which have introduced problems with Windows 10 search, leading Microsoft to issue yet more updates to fix the Windows 10 search problems that have started cropping up.

So, it’s worth using Windows Update to see if there’s a new update waiting for you that will fix your Windows 10 search problems.

To do this, open up the Settings app (click the Start menu and then the cog icon), then click ‘Update & Security’.

At the top of the screen that appears, you’ll be told if there is an update ready to be installed, or if Windows 10 is up to date.

It’s also worth clicking ‘Check for updates’ to see if there are other updates waiting.

If there are updates that need installing, make sure all your work is saved, then apply the updates and restart your PC.

How to fix Windows 10 search problems by uninstalling Windows 10 updates

One of the reasons why Windows 10 search isn’t working for you is because of a faulty Windows 10 update. If Microsoft hasn’t released a fix just yet, then one way of fixing search in Windows 10 is to uninstall the problematic update.

To do this, return to the Settings app, then click ‘Update & Security’.

From the window that appears, click ‘View update history’, then ‘Uninstall updates’ and select the last update you installed before your search problems started.

How to fix Windows 10 search problems by rebuilding the index

The way Windows 10 indexes the files and folders on your PC can sometimes cause problems that makes searching in Windows 10 not work the way it should, so if none of the other steps have worked, this is worth trying.

To fix certain Windows 10 search problems, you need to rebuild Windows 10’s index database. To do this, once again open the Settings app, and click ‘Search’.

On the left-hand menu, click ‘Searching Windows’, then under where it says “More Search Indexer Settings”, click ‘Advanced Search Indexer Settings.’

Click the ‘Advanced’ button in the next window that appears, then click the ‘Rebuild’ button. Click ‘OK’ and let Windows 10 do its thing.

Hopefully one of these methods will have shown you how to fix Windows 10 search problems.

Senior Computing editor

Matt (Twitter) is TechRadar’s Senior Computing editor. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there’s no aspect of technology that Matt isn’t passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. If you’re encountering a problem or need some advice with your PC or Mac, drop him a line on Twitter.

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

You probably thought when you updated Windows to the new and improved Windows 10 that your system would seamlessly switch over, and everything would work properly. It probably did for a while, until you find yourself wondering why the desktop search is still not working.

It happens with every version of Windows at one point or another. After a couple of weeks of usage it is quite easy to run into desktop search problems. So what do you do when you run into search problems on Windows 10?

Looking for an easy way to search in Windows 10? There are options! Learn more here.

Desktop Search Not Working: What do I do?

In Windows 10, Cortana powers your search. Cortana is supposed to be like a virtual assistant, but it may assist more in giving you headaches than actual results. Even when you disable Cortana, you will notice it still running in your task manager. I found that the reason my desktop search wasn’t working properly, and was showing me incorrect results stemmed from Cortana still running in the background.

To fix this desktop search problem in Windows 10, you just need to stop the Cortana process. It will restart itself right away, but if you go ahead and try to type in a search, you should see results showing up once again. Here’s how you can stop and restart the Cortana process:

  1. Hold down CTRL+Shift+ESC, which is the shortcut that allows you to open the task manager.
  2. Click the “more details” link.
  3. Locate “Cortana” in the background processes.
  4. Right-Click on it and then select “end task” from the menu.

This will end the Cortana process, but the operating system will reload it, which should have your search working again.

Windows 10 Search Not Working

Cortana may not always be the issue when Windows 10 search is not working. There are a few more solutions that can be tested out before giving up. Believe it or not Windows 10 Search not working is a common problem with PC users, and there are a plethora of solutions to try.

For example, one of the first steps is to give the Windows Search Troubleshooter a go. Open Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Troubleshooting > System and Security then click Find and Fix Problems With Windows Search.

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

This opens the Windows Search Troubleshooter, you can run it and just follow the wizard. This may solve the issue of Windows 10 search not working.

Rebuild the Index for Windows 10 Search

Indexing is the backbone of your Windows 10 search. If there’s an issue with the index, then Windows 10 Search will not work properly. Your best bet when having a problem with the index is to try and rebuild it. Here’s how you can do that:

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

  • Go to Control Panel and find Indexing Options
  • Click where it says Advanced, and then make sure that you are in the Index Settings Tab within the Advanced Options
  • Click the Rebuild Button

The rebuild of the Windows 10 Search index can be a time consuming process, and you may want to do this at a time when you won’t need to use your computer. Once it is done though, the index will be fresh and new, and your Windows 10 search should be up and running.

Critical Error Message

Many people may find Cortana and the desktop search functions in Windows 10 a very useful feature but, as you saw above, they can also cause some problems. One of the most major desktop search problems is a critical error message that some Windows 10 users are receiving. It looks something like this:

Critical Error – Start Menu and Cortana aren’t working. We’ll Try to fix it the next time you sign in.

Here are some things you can try to fix this problem:

  • Try to sign out and then sign in again, or just restart your PC and check if that makes the error message disappear.
  • If, by any chance, your PC prompts for ‘Automatic Repairs’, let it happen. Windows may fix it on its own.
  • Try to stop the Cortana process as described above. The PC will automatically start it up once again.
  • It is known that some security software can also cause this error message to show.

Trying these different things may get the critical error to go away, and get your desktop search and Cortana up and running again. Windows search may never be perfect, but there are always solutions to the various desktop search problems.

This article was originally published on 22.10.15. It has been updated to include more recent information.

Date: 16. Mar 2016
Author: Joana Simoes
Tags: Desktop Search Microsoft Windows Windows 10

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Comments

I am not sure if this will solve your problem, but I discovered something today- * if you click Ctrl-F, you can toggle the page-specific search results; * if you click Ctrl-E, you then toggle the all-notes search results; * when you have the page-specific results, you’ll see a yellow nav bar at the top right with arrows that jump up and down through the search hits on the page. This is at least what I see on OneNote 2016.
2018-08-22 22:59:40 | Charlie Reply

Desktop Search Microsoft Windows Windows 10 Here is my problem. I do a search and windows finds what I need in 10 different locations for instance. When I click on the first location the file opens and search goes away. – completely. Then If what I am looking for is not in the file I clicked on I have to open search, type it all again, wait for the search to complete and try again. hen If what I am looking for is not in the file I clicked on I have to open search, type it all again, wait for the search to complete and try again. hen If what I am looking for is not in the file I clicked on I have to open search, type it all again, wait for the search to complete and try again. hen If what I am looking for is not in the file I clicked on I have to open search, type it all again, wait for the search to complete and try again. hen If what I am looking for is not in the file I clicked on I have to open search, type it all again, wait for the search to complete and try again. hen If what I am looking for is not in the file I clicked on I have to open search, type it all again, wait for the search to complete and try again. Is this a program error, am I doing something wrong, or did Micrsoft hire an idiot for window 10 engineering? All other windows op systems searches allowed you to keep looking without all the the work.
2016-07-11 23:39:33 | steve Reply

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

No matter the version of Windows you are using, you may have some problems with Windows Search running too slow or possibly not running at all. Before jumping into how you can solve this issue, just know there are many other viable alternative desktop search options out there. If right now a Windows search alternative is not something you want to use, then here are some fixes for when Windows 10 and Windows 8 search aren’t working properly.

Looking for a Windows Search alternative? Learn more about professional search here.

The function that powers most Windows searches is the Windows Search Indexer. It indexes all of the files and locations you have chosen, and subsequently stores them in a database. When you type in your search terms, it will go to the database, instead of making real time search through your computer. This is why searches can be done so quickly on a PC.

Why then, does the Windows Search slow down for some?

Slow Windows 10 Search

The issue is probably going to be very similar across the board no matter what version of Windows you are using. Even through it’s the newest version, Windows 10 search can stop working sometimes too.

Some people believe that slowed search stems from updating from Windows 8 or 7 to Windows 10, meaning that the search index may have some differences so after you update it isn’t making the correct connections. It could also simply be that there was a problem when the index tried to run for the first time on the new version.

Whatever it may be, here’s what you should do to solve it:

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

  • Press Windows Key+X, or right click on the Windows icon, a menu will open up
  • Click Control Panel
  • Select Indexing Options.
  • Now click Modify. Here you can choose which drives you actually want indexed, make sure to keep the drives that contain all of your programs and files.
  • NOTE: Most files and folders (eg. ‘My Documents’) are saved in the C: drive, but you shouldn’t index the whole C: drive because it contains lots of files that you won’t want to see in your search results (eg. Program Files), or that may even cause problems down the road (eg. your antivirus quarantine file).
  • Instead, click the little arrow next to C: to list all folders on your PC.
  • Click the arrow next to Users
  • Find your username and check the box next to it.
  • This way, only documents and files you create will be indexed.
  • Click OK when you’re done.

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

If Windows 10 search still doesn’t speed up or find the files you need, you might want to try rebuilding your index:

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

  • When you are back in the Indexing Options window, click Advanced
  • Inside the Advanced Options, click Rebuild and then click OK

It will take some time to rebuild the index, but once that is done, your Windows Search speed should be much faster.

Slow Windows 8 Start Menu Search

If your Start Screen search is slow in Windows 8, then the following steps will help you fix it. The steps are similar in most versions, but here’s what to do with Windows 8:

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

  • Open the Control Panel by right clicking on the Start Menu button & selecting it from the list
  • Click to open Folder Options
  • Click the View tab at the top and then uncheck “Hide empty drives”.
  • Click Apply and head back into the Control Panel
  • Find Indexing Options and click on it.
  • Under Included Locations the Start Menu folder should be on the list of indexed locations.
  • If your Start Menu searches are slow, then most likely you won’t see the folder on the list.
  • Click on the Modify
  • Then add the Start Menu
  • Click OK

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

Your Start Menu search should be up and running now. If your Windows Search is still slow, you can try rebuilding the index by following the steps outlined for Windows 10 above. Click here if you need more help using Windows 8 Search.

These easy fixes should speed up your desktop search on Windows 10 or Windows 8.

Date: 27. Jan 2016
Author: Joana Simoes
Tags: Windows 10 Windows 8 Windows Search

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

Microsoft released an Indexer Diagnostics utility to help users troubleshoot and, in some cases, fix Windows Search problems they might experience on their Windows 10 devices.

The tool, which is still in Beta, does this by allowing you to detect potential issues affecting the Search Indexer service by making it possible to check if your files are indexed and what paths are indexed.

“Indexing is the process of looking at files, email messages, and other content on your PC and cataloging their information, such as the words and metadata in them,” Microsoft says. “When you search your PC after indexing, it looks at an index of terms to find results faster.”

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

Indexer Diagnostics was developed by Microsoft to make some Windows indexing aspects more readily available without having to deal with the restrictions of an update cadence a source familiar with the matter told BleepingComputer.

Its main purpose is to improve understanding for both users and developers the capabilities of Windows Search, as well as boost the troubleshooting ability and support for general issues affecting Windows Search.

Windows Search troubleshoot helper

By allowing them to look for specific issues affecting the Search Indexer service, the Indexer Diagnostics utility boosts your ability to spot potential issues when Windows Search becomes unresponsive or when search results don’t appear as expected on your computer.

Advanced users such as system admins also have the option to track a device’s resource usage by collecting resource traces when the indexer uses too many resources from the app’s Performance tab, as well as functional traces and application logs when it is not working correctly — these can be attached to bug reports that can .be filed from within the app.

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

Restart and reset the search service

However, Indexer Diagnostics’ most important feature is its capability to help you fix several problems that might affect Windows Search by restarting the search service or resetting it.

These built-in one-click fixes, available on the ‘Search is not working’ tab in the app’s sidebar almost mirror a list of solutions for Search issues published by Microsoft in September 2019 after fixing a Windows Desktop Search known issue on Windows 10, version 1903 devices where searching did not return any results.

Delivered through the MS Store for faster updates

Since the Indexer Diagnostics tool enables you to restart and reset the Windows Search service with a simple mouse click as opposed to the multi-step procedures needed to do it manually, it should help fix search problems faster.

When this is not possible and Windows Search keeps misbehaving by failing to index your files or failing to show results to your queries, it allows you to file a bug report, together with all the relevant information Microsoft needs to analyze and create a fix for your specific problem.

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

File not being indexed

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

Failed search query

If we take into account the number of Windows 10 users, having reports coming right after problems are detected through the app’s inbuilt feedback channel will allow Redmond’s developers to react faster and have a resolution ready a lot quicker.

Microsoft uses the MS Store to ship Indexer Diagnostics updates faster without adding weight to the OS and to take advantage of a newly added mechanism designed to deliver functionality to users who need it without affecting those that won’t use it as BleepingComputer was also told.

In addition, Redmond will continue adding functionality to the Indexer Diagnostics app in the future, with the end goal of helping Windows 10 customers experiencing search issues to fix them easier or to report them to the development team for faster patches.

Windows search is a pretty great tool when it works. It can launch apps, and find your files. Unfortunately, for as great as this tool is, it breaks often and for no apparent reason. Fixing it can be hit or miss; the built-in troubleshooting tool might help, or not. If Windows search isn’t working on your system, it might be a good idea to reset it and see if that helps.

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

Resetting Windows search isn’t complicated. In fact, it’s one of the things Microsoft recommends you do if you’re having trouble with the feature. Problems with it are so common that Microsoft provides a script for the job. Here’s what you need to do.

Reset Windows search

In order to reset Windows search, we’re going to run a PowerShell script. PowerShell might restrict the script from running so before you proceed, examine the execution policy that is set on your system.

Open PowerShell with admin rights, and run this command to see what the current policy is. You need the command to return ‘Unrestricted ‘. If it doesn’t check out our guide on changing the PowerShell execution policy and change it to ‘Unrestricted’. If you don’t run PowerShell scripts often, it’s a good idea to reset it back to restricted later.

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

Download the Windows Search reset script from Microsoft. Right-click it and select ‘Run with PowerShell’. You will be prompted to authenticate with the admin account, and in PowerShell, you will have to once again confirm that you want to run the script.

The options for running the script aren’t the usual ones you see. Choose the option to run it once i.e., tap the R key. Resetting Windows search does not take long. Once it resets, you should restart your PC for good measure. When you boot back to your desktop, consider reverting the PowerShell execution policy back to Restricted as suggested earlier.

How to troubleshoot the windows search indexer on windows 10

This should resolve problems with Windows search not finding items, or not being able to index them properly but as we said before, there is also a good chance it doesn’t do anything. I’ve personally experienced problems with Windows search that couldn’t be fixed with all the troubleshooting tools and tips that Microsoft has and every script and command that you’ll find suggested as a solution to the problem.

If you’re in the same boat you can try a few other things; create a new user account, reset Windows 10 but keep all your apps and settings and files, reset Windows 10 and remove your apps and settings but keep your files, or try a fresh Windows 10 installation. Each ‘fix’ is more drastic than the other but a fresh install is going to do the job.

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