How To

What Is Windows Search Indexer and How Do I Fix Its High CPU Usage

Rebuilding the Search Indexer is a solid step to fix high CPU usage on your Windows device


Windows Search is powered by a vital component called Microsoft Windows Search Indexer, or searchindexer.exe. This tool indexes the files and directories on your computer, and due to the nature of how it works, it occasionally uses a significant amount of CPU.

However, if CPU consumption is consistently high for an extended length of time, it may be a sign of a deeper issue that requires attention. In this guide, we will walk you through some of the most effective troubleshooting techniques available to overcome the high CPU usage of Windows search indexers.

Before trying anything advanced, we recommend taking the steps below.

  • The first thing you should do is reboot your device. This step seems too simple to work, but it can resolve glitches and errors causing this problem.

If the problem persists after taking the steps above, go ahead with our solutions below.

1. Restart Windows Search Indexer

Start out by restarting Windows Search on your PC if possible. That should fix minor technical difficulties and lower the searchindexer.exe process’s high CPU use. Follow the steps below to do this.

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run dialogue, type services.msc in the text field, and click Enter.
    windows search indexer
  2. Locate Windows Search, right-click on it, and choose Restart.
    windows search indexer
  3. Doing this should help fix the Windows search indexer’s high CPU usage.

2. Run SFC and DISM scans

A command line program called System File Checker (SFC) can assist in resolving system file corruption problems that are the root cause of Windows Search Indexer troubles. The DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) tool is used to fix issues with the operating system’s stability.

  1. Hold the Windows + R keys simultaneously to open the Run dialogue, type cmd in the text field, then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open the command prompt as an administrator.
    windows search indexer
  2. In the command prompt, input the command below and hit Enter.
    sfc /scannow
  3. Allow the program to finish running then input the DISM command below.
    DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Restorehealth
  4. After running these programs, check to see if the Windows search indexer CPU usage has reduced.

3. Run the Search and Indexing Troubleshooter

The Windows 11 system comes with a built-in troubleshooter that helps to diagnose and repair various system issues including Windows search indexer CPU high usage. Follow the steps below to run it.

  1. Press Windows + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Click the Troubleshoot option on the right pane.
    windows search indexer
  3. Next, choose Other troubleshooters.
  4. Locate the Search and Indexing option, then click the Run button on the right.
    windows search indexer
  5. Follow any other on-screen instructions to complete this process.

4. Update your Windows operating system

Maintaining the most recent patches and updates for your Windows operating system can assist in resolving problems with the Windows Search Indexer function that result in high CPU use. Additionally, this enhances the system’s stability, security, and performance.

  1. Hold Windows + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to the Windows Update tab on the left pane, then click the Check for updates button on the right side.
  3. Doing this will help update your system and potentially fix the problem.

5. Rebuild the Search Indexer

Corruption in the Windows Search index frequently results in inconsistent behavior with connected processes. To completely rebuild the index, use the Indexing Options console in the Control Panel.

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run dialogue, type control.exe srchadmin.dll in the text field, and hit Enter.
    windows search indexer
  2. Click the Advanced button at the bottom of the menu.
    windows search indexer
  3. Finally, click the Rebuild button.

6. Perform a malware scan

The Windows Search Indexer can be taken over by malware, which will use a lot of CPU power. To find and get rid of dangerous software from your machine, perform a complete system scan.

  1. Press Windows + S to bring up the Search bar, type Windows Security in the text field, and select the relevant option.
  2. Choose Virus & threat protection.
  3. Next, click the Scan options link.
    windows search indexer
  4. Now, select the Full scan option, and click the Scan now button.
    windows search indexer
  5. Allow your device to run and scan your system for malware. If you also need suggestions for reliable third-party antivirus programs, check out this guide about the Antivirus Without Ads.

Wrapping things up

By following the steps listed in this guide, you should be able to resolve the Windows search indexer high CPU usage problem easily. If the problem persists after trying out all the steps in this article, we recommend contacting Microsoft Support for guidance.

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David Ogbor
David is a tech guru with extensive knowledge in technical articles. He is passionate about writing and presents technical articles in an easy-to-understand format for easy comprehension. He aims to present easy solutions for day-to-day problems encountered while using PC. In his spare time, he likes traveling, playing sports, and singing.