How to enable or disable indexing on Windows PC

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Indexing is a process through which you can make your search results appear quicker than they otherwise would. In brief, it works by categorizing all the information about your files, email messages, and other content of your PC, into a single index. So the next time you search for anything, your Windows will look straight through the index instead of looking all over your PC.

In this article, we’ll cover how to enable (or disable) indexing on your Windows PC and make the most of your searches.

How to enable or disable indexing on Windows PC

Indexing speeds up searches and gives you search results almost instantly. If it has been disabled on your PC for some reason, enabling it right away makes perfect sense.

But before you do that, setting an indexing category is important. Here’s how you can do that on a Windows PC:

  1. Launch the Windows Settings by pressing the Windows key + I.
  2. Select Privacy & security.
  3. Click on Searching Windows.

Expand the Find my files option, and you will get two options to pick from here: Classic or Enhanced. The Classic option for your Windows works only by indexing your Documents, Pictures, Music, and desktop folders. On the other hand, the Enhanced option is a feature that will go over your entire PC and look for your files.

searching windows

Depending on your preference, pick one of the options and jump over to the next section, where we get down to enabling indexing.

Enable indexing on your Windows PC

Although indexing comes pre-enabled on almost all Windows operating systems, learning how to enable it on your own can come in handy; especially when it has become disabled for some reason. In the above section, we discussed the type or category of indexing you’d like to follow, not the actual steps to enable indexing. We’ll cover it below.

Here’s how you can enable indexing on your Windows PC:

  1. Launch the Run dialog box. Type in ‘run’ in the Start menu search bar, and select the best match.
  2. Type in ‘services.msc’ in the Run dialog box and hit Enter.
  3. Look for Windows Search and launch it.
  4. In the Windows Search Properties box, head to the General tab.
  5. Click on Start under the Service Status section to enable indexing on your PC.

windows search properties

That’s it. As soon as you do, your Windows will start indexing all your Windows files (if you have chosen the Enhanced versions of indexing).

Disabling indexing on your Window computer

Now, as fantastic as the indexing feature is, like anything in life, it naturally comes with its own costs—one of the major ones being its relatively high consumption of CPU resources.

So if you’re short on power or facing some other miscellaneous difficulties with your PC, disabling the indexing feature is worth a shot. 

Here’s how you can disable indexing on Windows PC:

  • Head to the Windows Search Properties dialog box, following the above section.
  • In the General tab, click on Stop (under the Service status).

Finally, click on Apply, and the indexing feature will be disabled on your PC.

And while we are discussing disabling the indexing feature, you might have to hide all your files and folders from your PC on rare occasions; we recommend going through our Windows 10 file/folder hiding guide just for those cases.

Enabling or disabling indexing on your Windows PC

By enabling the indexing features, you will get faster search results for all types of files on your Windows computer. You don’t have to take our word for it—go ahead and try it out and see if enabling (or disabling) makes a dent in your PC’s performance.

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