Windows Search Indexer suddenly using too much CPU, help please

  1.    16 May 2018 #1

    Windows Search Indexer suddenly using too much CPU, help please

    Hi, the "Microsoft Windows Search Indexer" is driving me nuts and heating up my PC in my hot little apartment.

    The problem:

    Since about about 20 days ago (perhaps it happened after a Windows update, not sure, but I think it has happened before...not sure how or why it stopped last time), Microsoft Windows Search Indexer has been acting very moody, suddenly abusing my CPU like crazy.

    What I mean is that even when I'm not downloading anything, even when index is not being rebuilt, every 5-20 minutes (irregularly) that process begins to overuse my CPU. For instance, when I open a Task Manager, I can see Microsoft Windows Search Indexer suddenly rising to the top, CPU usage going from like 3% to 50% or more and my PC's fans start revving up. Sometimes the Disk column also goes to 99% or 100% usage.

    In the past I would wait but it did not stop so eventually what I did was right click on the process and ending it (I had to do it several times back to back because usually it showed up again in a few secs). Then in five, ten, twenty minutes, I never know when, it would begin again.

    I am attaching a picture of my task manager from earlier so you can see (Though it didn't happen in this case, the Disk percentage sometimes goes up 99% or 100% when indexing starts acting up). PiXhost - Free Image Hosting

    What have I done so far?

    I have rebuilt the index three times (twice intentionally, once the PC had started doing it itself) in the last two or three weeks. Each time took like 10 hours. But eventually, nothing changed. I have checked for viruses, etc, too.

    The only "solution" has been to turn off indexing (based on a tutorial I read): Going to services, right click on Windows Search and disabled and restart PC. Yes, that worked and the indexing stopped (actually usually shows up again once or twice right after I restart but no more).

    Couple of times I tried turning it back on after another restart but then same problem occurs as before, so I have left it off.

    This solution works in one sense but I need indexing turned on to help me search through about 100,000 pdf files that I have on my PC. I'm a biology student and these are files I use everyday.

    I have been unable to find a replacement for Windows indexing. I have tried a few software but they either search only the titles of my pdf files or when they search inside them, it takes much longer and is much less complete than Window's indexing, to the point that they're useless.

    About my PC:

    3 years old, DELL Vostro, i7, 64 bit, 6 GB RAM, running Windows 10.

    About me:

    Tech newbie, know next to nothing about computers.


    Microsoft Windows Search Indexer process (and perhaps related processes) suddenly begins using too much of my CPU, something that happens irregularly but often.

    I much appreciate any suggestions/help that you can offer me. Thank you.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. topgundcp's Avatar
    Posts : 2,438
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64
       17 May 2018 #2

    1. From Folder Options, turn on "Show Hidden Files/Folders" and navigate to:
    2. Look at the file: Windows.edb, this is the Windows Search Database. What is the size of this file ? Huge ?

    Sometimes if after a major updates, there's lots of files being removed/created then the search index is out of sync and need to be rebuilt. If this Windows.edb is huge in size or corrupted, then CPU is busy trying to re-index it.

    Disable Windows Search from Services, delete this file then re-enable Windows Search to let it rebuild the index from scratch.

    Personally I don't use Windows search but use a third party freeware instead, it's more efficient and faster than Windows Search.
    voidtools can give you instant search result so you might want to try it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    17 May 2018 #3

    Hi, first as you know, I think, the problem is not a failure of Windows search as such. Windows search should use no resources once indexing is complete. Even when indexing is under way, it 'backs off' (pauses) if just a little CPU use occurs for other reasons.

    The most likely cause is a failure to access something it's trying to index. (Some kind of corruption). As such, you should look into fixing this, rather than avoiding it.

    Fix: High CPU Usage By searchindexer.exe -
    for a technical approach to trying to identify what's causing problems.

    Try also running chkdsk on all indexed drives/partitions.

    I posted a couple of other links here:
    High processor usage by indexer - Windows 10 Forums

    The major advantage of Windows Search vs 3rd part tools (which I do use too) is content indexing- and sometimes convenience. However, the way Windows search is implemented means that searching a whole partition which is partly indexed means such a search is slow. (Indexed files are not prioritised - non-indexed files are searched first if they are encountered first). I.e. you only get quick results when file explorer is pointed to an indexed location.

    (Cortana uses Windows search but only gives indexed results).

    3 free tools often quoted for 'instant' search results: (these do not index content)
    Everything (by voidtools) (use beta for parameterised choices similar to others last I looked)

    These do a fairly fast index of all disks/partitions and a couple can add a text search on textual documents.
    Search can typically be specified for size/file type/date/ and regex searches are supported by some.

    I use Locate32. I find Everything uses resources seemingly unnecessarily.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


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