How to Enable or Disable Indexer Backoff in Windows


By default, Windows will use the index when searching to give you faster search results. The search index only includes your selected locations. These locations can be filtered for what file types (extensions), file properties, and file contents you want indexed.

The index uses the Windows Search service and runs as the Searchindexer.exe process in the background. The index will automatically rebuild and update for changes made to the included locations since the last index rebuild to increase search result accuracy.

By default, the search indexer backoff feature will reduce indexing speed while rebuilding the index when there is user activity, and will automatically continue at full speed when no user activity is detected.

If indexer backoff is disabled, indexing will continue at full speed even when system activity is high.

Starting with Windows 10 build 19592, the Windows Search Platform (Indexer) has been updated with improved logic to help find better times to perform indexing of your files and avoiding heavily indexing while you are using your machine. An improvement was also made to significantly limit the amount of times the service indexes your files for content that doesn’t have an impact on search experiences, and gives you a better experience on Windows.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable indexer backoff used to reduce indexing speed when there is user activity in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

You must be signed in as an administrator to enable or disable indexer backoff.



Contents

  • Option One: To Enable or Disable Indexer Backoff in Local Group Policy Editor
  • Option Two: To Enable or Disable Indexer Backoff using a REG file



EXAMPLE: Indexed backoff enabled and disabled
Enable or Disable Indexer Backoff in Windows-indexer_backoff_enabled.png Enable or Disable Indexer Backoff in Windows-indexer_backoff_disabled.png






OPTION ONE

To Enable or Disable Indexer Backoff in Local Group Policy Editor


The Local Group Policy Editor is only available in the Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.

All editions can use Option TWO below.


1 Open the Local Group Policy Editor.

2 In the left pane of Local Group Policy Editor, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below)

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Search

Enable or Disable Indexer Backoff in Windows-indexer_backoff_gpedit-1.jpg

3 In the right pane of Search in Local Group Policy Editor, double click/tap on the Disable indexer backoff policy to edit it. (see screenshot above)

4 Do step 5 (enable) or step 6 (disable) below for what you would like to do.


5 To Enable Indexer Backoff

A) Select (dot) Not Configured or Disabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

Not Configured is the default setting.


6 To Disable Indexer Backoff

A) Select (dot) Enabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

Enable or Disable Indexer Backoff in Windows-indexer_backoff_gpedit-2.png


7 When finished, you can close the Local Group Policy Editor if you like.






OPTION TWO

To Enable or Disable Indexer Backoff using a REG file


The downloadable .reg files below will add and modify the DWORD value in the registry key below.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search

DisableBackoff DWORD

(delete) = Enable
1 = Disable


1 Do step 2 (enable) or step 3 (disable) below for what you would like to do.


2 To Enable Indexer Backoff

This is the default setting.

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

Enable_Indexer_Backoff.reg

Download


3 To Disable Indexer Backoff

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

Disable_Indexer_Backoff.reg

Download


4 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

5 Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

6 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

7 If you like, you can now delete the downloaded .reg file.


That's it,
Shawn