Windows 10: Wsearch repeatedly found disabled on startup. (W10 Pro x64, v1709)

  1. SamRick's Avatar
    Posts : 16
    Windows 10 x64 Pro, v1803, OS build 17134.165
       19 Feb 2018 #1

    Wsearch repeatedly found disabled on startup. (W10 Pro x64, v1709)

    Windows 10 Pro x64, version 1709, OS build 16299.248).

    I've been finding on startup recently that the Windows Search service (wsearch) has been disabled, with the result that search indexing options are disabled, and maybe other functions are also affected, but I haven't noticed any other symptoms.

    This is despite having set the service to Automatic Delayed Start in the previous session - which is the permanent status on a laptop running the same OS version, and where this problem doesn't exist - and successfully starting the service. Once wsearch is running again, indexing resumes until shutdown.

    I'm aware that Cortana and Search are closely related, but I don't know if this could be a factor with this problem.

    Can anyone offer advice on why this is happening?

    It appears that a task is running at some time, discreetly disabling the service, so that it doesn't run at next startup. I cannot imagine any reason why this should happen, so I haven't a clue where to look for the explanation, and devise a fix.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    19 Feb 2018 #2

    Hi, suggest two possible scenarios:
    1. It's not quite clear from your description as to whether you actually shut down your laptop and then after rebooting find the service disabled. If so,perhaps for some reason the new state of the service is not recorded in the registry.
    2. As you suggest, something actively disabling it.

    You could experiment, checking the state of the service after log off/on, sleep/resume, log in/shut down/reboot.

    If you think, on the other hand, that something is disabling it, then you could try a clean boot and see if there's any change.

    Another option might be to create a new user for test purposes, and see what happens then.

    Possible remedial actions beyond that, assuming it's not due to some sort of malware, could be
    - restore permissions for services e.g. using's free repair tool
    - an in-place upgrade repair install which keeps all programs and data and most settings.

    Note: Cortana uses the Windows search database, and is effectively a front end to it. However it seems to restrict document results to what's been indexed.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. SamRick's Avatar
    Posts : 16
    Windows 10 x64 Pro, v1803, OS build 17134.165
    Thread Starter
       20 Feb 2018 #3

    Thanks for your suggestions. I'm gratified that I seem to be thinking along the right lines.

    However, after posting the problem, I started reflecting on what might be doing this - disabling wsearch - and I think I may have found it.

    I use Auslogics Boostspeed (v10) on a daily schedule to try and keep my system tidy and free of unnecessary baggage. In the 'Scheduler' section of v10, you can choose which elements of Windows you want to be maintained routinely, and which to leave alone. Unfortunately, this feature doesn't seem to be available if you trigger a cleanup manually - it then does a somewhat brutal 'clean sweep'.

    In the 'Computer Speed' section of the Scheduler, there is a check-box, to control whether or not to fix 'Windows Speed Issues'. I remembered at one time coming across a recommendation to speed up Windows by disabling Search Indexing, and I wondered if this is what it was doing, so I have unchecked this part. Clearly, wsearch uses CPU and disk resources intensively when it is running, but it does seem to throttle itself back (by adjusting task CPU priority?) when user activity is high.

    Result! This morning after starting up, unlike of late, wsearch has been set running automatically, and its status is still set to 'Automatic (delayed start). I'm hoping I may have found why wsearch was getting disabled.

    It wouldn't much surprise me if you responded (from your evident degree of experience with these matters) that using tools like Boostspeed can sometimes do more harm than good, and I can easily see that that may be true - they're powerful tools. It's getting them to do what you want, rather than what you don't want, that is the trick. Trouble is, you may not know what they're doing until a problem emerges.

    Softly,softly, catchee monkey, I hope.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    20 Feb 2018 #4

    Good, Ccleaner is the only cleaning tool I use- and I don't use its registry cleaner either.

    It is configurable, which means you can specify custom folders to be deleted, so still potentially dangerous.

    Disabling Windows search now is (normally) a bit like 'cutting off your nose to spite your face' as the saying goes.
    It is XP mythology that it, when functioning normally, has any adverse consequences.

    Once indexing has finished, there is no overhead (bar use of RAM for services) until you change documents, files or folders in indexed locations. The overhead to index those changes is minimal, and in any case backs off with only slight user activity.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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