searchindexer.exe utilizing near 100% CPU usage; suggestions from this forum tried to no avail RRS feed

  • Question

  • The SearchIndexer.exe process is utilizing near 100% of one of my CPUs.  Opening the Indexing Options from the Control Panel strangely reveals that "Indexing is reduced due to user activity". I have left my computer in this state overnight only to find no progress the following morning.  Little to no more items are indexed, status is still "Indexing speed is reduced..." and CPU usage of SearchIndexer.exe is still near 100%.


    Searching this forum and other sources, many suggest unchecking certain file types or rebuilding the index or Restoring Defaults.  I have done all to no avail.


    Any assistance on this is most appreciative!




    (Windows Vista Enterprise)


    Monday, May 14, 2007 2:17 PM

All replies

  • Do you have iTunes installed? If you do, please disable .xml file indexing from the advanced options. Also, which anti-virus software do you have running on your machine?

    Monday, May 14, 2007 4:45 PM
  • I have disabled .XML filter from the Advanced Options.  No go.  I even rebuilt the index.  I had hope as it appeared to be indexing normally and the CPU usage was down.  It then hit "763 items indexed" and stopped.  Status is still "Indexing speed is reduced..." and SearchIndexer.exe is pegged again near 100%, but the # of items indexed remains the same.


    I am running an Symantec Antivirus 10.2 Build 276.


    Thank you again for your help.



    Monday, May 14, 2007 7:09 PM
  • What platform is this on? XP or Vista?
    Monday, May 14, 2007 9:51 PM
  • Vista (Enterprise)
    Monday, May 14, 2007 11:49 PM
  • I've made some good progress and think I almost have it!


    I'm running MS Sysinternals Process Monitor ( ) filtering on ProcessName = 'SearchProtocolHost.exe' and Operation 'ReadFile'


    When the CPU gets pegged, the files that are consistently being addressed by the process are Outlook files.  Specifically 'outlook.ost', 'archive.pst' and a Hotmail PST file.


    Upon removal of these files, the Indexer no longer exhibits the problem!  I've even let this run overnight with Outlook open (to prevent outlook.ost from reforming, i uncheck the "Use Cached Exchange Mode" option in the Account settings) ... and the problem never came back.


    Upon recreaing the outlook.ost file, the problem reoccurs.  I am unable to exclude the folder containing this file, as well, in the Indexer Options.


    Any thoughts or assistance on this is most appreciated!


    Tuesday, May 15, 2007 3:17 PM
  • Now I'm very confused.  I never noticed that, by default, .OST and .PST files are UNCHECKED in the Indexing Options ... but SearchProtocolHost.exe surely appears to be hung on these files


    The only other thing I can think of doing is moving these files to a location that I can exclude from the Indexing Options


    Your help is most appreciated.


    Much obliged!


    Tuesday, May 15, 2007 4:54 PM
  • We index the contents of .Ost and .Pst files through Outlook, using the Mail API {MAPI}. So if you want to disable indexing of Outlook mail you can use the indexing control panel and uncheck the Microsoft Office Outlook location.


    However I'm not sure whether your original high-cpu was expected. Does the Indexing Control Panel report the number of items increasing? If you leave it does it complete indexing and then CPU drop back to zero?


    • Proposed as answer by stayros gr Monday, May 2, 2011 9:23 PM
    Wednesday, May 16, 2007 12:18 AM
  • Number of items do not increase, despite indexer saying it is running, and searchindexer.exe running near 100% CPU.  I have left my computer in this state overnight with no change.
    Wednesday, May 16, 2007 12:27 AM
  • Hmm, this doesn't sound like a known issue. You could try finding in TaskManager the process that is using 100% CPU {SearchIndexer.exe or Search ProtocolHost.exe} and right clicking and using the Create Dump File option. Then you could mail the resulting file to me at


    Is it having the Outlook OST that is causing this problem, or is the Hotmail integration needed too?



    Wednesday, May 16, 2007 1:04 AM
  • I too have been exhibiting this problem and found the Task Manager does not list the SearchIndexer.exe. I had to run Vista's Resource Monitor to find the cause on my constant 45->50% CPU hog.

    SearchIndexer.exe (Microsofts Windows Search Indexer) has no been running at 45-50% CPU usage for nearly 3 days now and I cannot fathom how to abort, reset or find its cause.

    I have tried:
    - Rebooting the PC.
    - Having no applications running.
    - Leaving machine on for 2 days in the hope the indexing will complete.

    All to no avail. Any further help much appreciated.

    *Update 11:39am: SOLVED *
    Have now killed off task and after a short while it restarted, but now its NOT stuck in 45-50% CPU usage. Therefore cured problem, but love to know what caused it?


    Wednesday, May 16, 2007 8:31 AM
  • Dave --


    The DMP file is almost 200MB ... I've compressed it to 55MB, but my work account will still not allow me to send it.  My Hotmail acct. fails to allow me to upload it.  My Gmail account throws an error saying the ZIP file contains an executable and will not allow me to attach.


    Public file sharing sites are giving me the same problem.  Any suggestions?





    Friend gave me access to his RapidShare acct.  I've emailed you a link to where you can download the file.  Let me know if there is anything further I can do.

    Wednesday, May 16, 2007 11:40 AM
  • Dave -- I want to thank you for your assistance.  I realize that my problem may be a unique one which, appropriately, means resources should be placed on more common problems.  I have one last question, then:


    Upon analyzing my DMP file, you mentioned my NlsData0011.dll may be corrupted.  Perhaps a simpler method than analyzing my DLL, would be if I could replace it from a working colleague's machine.


    Unfortunately, some assistance on this is required.  I have turned off Account Control and attempted to unregister this DLL (error came back leading me to believe that it is NOTa registered DLL to begin with). ... At any rate, I am unable to rename or replace this file.


    Any assistance on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

    Monday, May 21, 2007 7:36 PM


    Hi Tom,


    We are looking at this issue internally. I can reproduce it myself by taking your version of NLSData0011.dll and copying it onto my machine. Then when I index a Japanese document I see the 100% CPU usage like you do.


    For reference, NLSData0011.dll is the Word-breaker for Japanese text. So when you have a Japanese e-mail / document etc. the text that comes our of the document is passed to the relevant word-breaker to split it into words which are then put in the index and can be searched over.


    I'm working with the Natural Language team at Microsoft who write the word-breaker dlls to try and understand how this issue can happen - it's very odd that system dlls get corrupted or aren't the same on all machines so I'm at a little bit of a loss here. Do you know of anything unusual that might have been installed or run on this machine that might be related to this?


    To fix this, don't try and call regsvr32 on the dll. You best bet is to run the sfc.exe tool {from an elevated command prompt}. Sfc.exe /? will give you the options for the tool and:

     sfc.exe /scanfile=C:\windows\system32\NLSData0011.dll

    should repair the file I think. Let me know how you get on ...




    Monday, May 21, 2007 8:34 PM
  • thanks for your prompt reply!


    Running the scan produced the result:

    Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them.
    Details are included in the CBS.Log windir\Logs\CBS\CBS.log.


    I will email you this file if you think it will assist you.


    Lastly, you asked if anything unusual had happened. A couple of weeks ago, my harddrive was exhibiting signs that it had "bad sectors" on it (this description coming from our hardware support staff).  Accessing, copying, moving, or deleting certain files would cause the harddrive light to remain on while no (or little) physical activity was occurring on the drive itself.  (We did not investigate the files themselves, as merely the sound my drive was making was indicative enough to our support center that it was the drive itself.)  A scan/repair tool was run on my harddrive, which confirmed the problem and  seemed to fix the issue entirely.  I however, was asked that for good measure it would be worth getting a new drive altogether as, apparently, my old drive would have a greater chance of being susceptible to such a condition in the future.


    I crated an imaging using the Backup and Restore center in Vista.  Then used the "Repair" option found in Vista's installation disc to restore this image to a new drive.


    It was around this time that the problem described from this thread began.  While I was not so naive to think the problems could be related, my initial research into forums like these showed similar issues w/ resolutions ... considering the alternative would be to rebuild my machine with no guaranteed results, versus this further investigation which was proving promising ... i became quite bias to what we were finding here.


    I apologize for not mentioning this earlier ... I think once i narrowed it down to a file or two causing the problem, i blocked the HDD failure as a cause, as I believed the situation would have been a lot more grave if the incident caused corrupted files.


    soooo... not sure where this leaves us, or, more importantly, my best course of action at this point.


    If there's a legitimate case of the HDD incident creating corrupted files, do i have an alternative to a rebuild?  Is there a means by which I can scan system files/others to look for corruption? Is there a chance the corrupt DLL is an isolated case?


    I appreciate your patience.  Looking forward to your suggestion.



    Monday, May 21, 2007 9:49 PM
  • Sure, e-mail me the log file - I'd like to see why sfc couldn't fix the file. However realistically I think you want to be rebuilding your machine - who knows what else is unhappy on your system at this point ...?


    I think a hard-drive corruption was one of the few issues we could think of internally that might lead to a corrupted dll, so it seems likely this is the cause. Strange that neither Backup and Restore nor sfc could fix it though ...



    Monday, May 21, 2007 10:28 PM
  • Dave --


    Thanks again for your understanding.  I have emailed you the log file.  I agree with you; I think i was just purely in denial about having to rebuild my machine.  If you could assist me in fixing the DLL so I can turn Indexing back on until I can find a good chunk of time to rebuild, I would be MOST appreciative and I'll cut you loose of this abomination that's been the last two weeks of my life :-P


    thanks, as always,


    Tuesday, May 22, 2007 2:15 PM
  •  DaveWood_MS wrote:
     However I'm not sure whether your original high-cpu was expected. Does the Indexing Control Panel report the number of items increasing? If you leave it does it complete indexing and then CPU drop back to zero?



     I am running on XP with OneCare. My system drops down to 0 to 10 items left to be scanned.  Then starts climbing back up to around 8,000, then starts to slowly drop down.  Then it drops from about 3,000 item suddenly back down to 0 to 10 items again.  Today, it always shows 8 items ready to scan, waits awhile and then starts climbing.  But it has not returned to zero all day.  This appears to then be causing Outlook 2007 to crash (which it has done 2x today).  When Outlook comes back up, I get a message the BCM failed unexpectedly.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2007 7:32 PM
  • Try uninstalling BCM and see if your issue no longer occurs.
    Thursday, May 24, 2007 6:26 AM
  • Is there an alternative method to repairing the DLL since sfc failed?  I have a "good" version of it from a colleague ... but can't quite figure out how to replace dll's in the system32 directory ...


    Thanks again!



    Friday, May 25, 2007 6:14 PM
  • Dave,

    I am still having problems and its getting progressivley worse.  I now average BSOD 3-4 times a day and when check EventViewer, the Application Error is 8/10 times either SearchIndexer.exe or SearchProtocolHost.exe.

    I have tried running in an elavated Command Prompt:
      sfc /scannow

    However, the scan never completes and last three attempts are below:
        V:\Windows\system32>sfc /scannow

            Beginning system scan.  This process will take some time.

            Beginning verification phase of system scan.
            Verification 6% complete.
            Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation.

        V:\Windows\system32>sfc /scannow

            Beginning system scan.  This process will take some time.

            Beginning verification phase of system scan.
            Verification 13% complete.
            Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation.

        V:\Windows\system32>sfc /scannow

            Beginning system scan.  This process will take some time.

            Beginning verification phase of system scan.
            Verification 11% complete.
            Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation.

    Any help would be much appreciated as I really want to avoid a full re-install.


    Saturday, May 26, 2007 9:04 AM
  • Wayne,


    If you can see the search crashes in "Problem Reports and Solutions" in the Control Panel and you can get me the Bucket Ids recorded for each crash then I can take a look.


    Tom's issue was caused by a corrupted hard-drive. It's impossible to say if you are having the same issue or not. I don't believe the Blue Screens are related to Windows Search, so I am guessing there is some additional issue affecting your machine.



    Tuesday, May 29, 2007 10:52 PM
  • Dave,

    Thanks for getting back.

    I have uploaded all 9 of 10 Search Indexer faults via Vista Problem and Solutions.  The Bucket Ids for these 9 errors I cannot seem to find now uploaded the error via Vista.

    Can you advise how I find the Bucket Ids as the Problems have now disappeared from Vistas Problem & Solutions?

    Thanks for any help, appreciate

    Wednesday, May 30, 2007 6:00 PM
  • Hi Wayne,


    I'm not an expert on "Problem Reports and Solutions", but if I go there, and go to "View Problem History", and then double-click on one of the entries marked "Report Sent", then at the bottom there is a field under "Extra Information about the problem" called "Bucket ID". This allows me to look up your issue in our internal problem reporting database.




    Wednesday, May 30, 2007 7:25 PM
  • Dave,


    As requested I have checked Problem History and listed below my last 7 errors.  I note also a total of 44 times the error has occured in the history.


    Bucket ID: 436715519

    Bucket ID: 41947615

    Bucket ID: 439204598

    Bucket ID: 435982299

    Bucket ID: 41942040

    Bucket ID: 435982299

    Bucket ID: 435965422


    Hope this helps find the cause.


    Many thanks



    Wednesday, May 30, 2007 7:43 PM
  • I have the EXACT same problem!

    Outlook2007 crashed on me 2 days ago, ever since, my pc has sat at 100% cpu usage for SearchIndexer.exe!!!


    This is driving me insane. I can't use my brand new laptop anymore.

    Did anyone get any response back from Microsoft?



    Wednesday, May 30, 2007 8:13 PM

    I have the EXACT same problem!

    Outlook2007 crashed on me 2 days ago, ever since, my pc has sat at 100% cpu usage for SearchIndexer.exe!!!


    This is driving me insane. I can't use my brand new laptop anymore.

    Did anyone get any response back from Microsoft?


    What is BCM?



    Wednesday, May 30, 2007 8:16 PM
  • btw - for what its worth, i also reinstalled office which didnt resolve the issue.

    should i just downgrade back to good old xp?


    Wednesday, May 30, 2007 8:22 PM
  • Hi Imtiaz, I just posted the following on the newsgroup you posted on:


    - If you right-click on the SearchIndexer.exe process while it is using 100%
    CPU you should be able to create a mini-dump file. If you can get that dump
    file to me { } I can do some debugging and try and
    diagnose the problem.

    - I would also double-check that it isn't still indexing e-mail - open the
    Indexing Options Control Panel and see what status is reported and whether
    the number of indexed items is increasing. I would have thought 12 hours

    - Ultimately you can reset your index {Restore Defaults} in the indexing
    control panel, although if possible I'd like to debug this first ...

    Dave Wood

    Wednesday, May 30, 2007 8:24 PM
  • Dave,

    Another small bit of info...

    SearchIndexer.exe is now averaging 49-51% cpu usage.  I have just checked the Services and Windows Search Service says its Starting..., yet it been like this for over 30 minutes.  Will check in hour or so.

    I have also just tried to install Windows Vista Update hotfix KB929735 as its new one.  It mentions fix for SearchIndexer with dates.

    However, Vista after a while reports it failed to apply the update.

    I have click try again and left running, will check in hour or so.


    Wednesday, May 30, 2007 8:39 PM
  • Yes - sorry for the double posting Dave.

    The file is being sent as we speak. It's around 22MB zipped.


    Like Wayne Dury, my windows search service also sits on a started state, so i've disabled it for now.

    I also set the process to Low priority for now which atleast lets me use my pc now.




    Wednesday, May 30, 2007 8:56 PM
  • Dave,

    To update from my last post, I decided to leave my PC on overnight.  I have come down this morning to find the CPU at 52% usage for SearchIndexer.exe.  However, to my surprise the Windows Search Service says its Started!  Smile

    The KB has failed to install again and gives no reason why, but Vista suggests I try again as it did last night.  I will kick it off once more before I head off to work and check when get home.


    *Update 09:44 GMT* 

    Got to work and just found this thread on MSDN Forums for same problem with SearchFilterHost.exe

    Daves also been posting there, and the thread suggests excluding .XML files from the Indexing files fixes the problem, so will try this when home.  Although when I looked at the Indexing Options in Control Panel it stated the Indexing Was Not Running, possible due to Service Starting problem mention above?


    I will update again if this works once home from work.



    Thursday, May 31, 2007 7:24 AM
  • Today, my computer again slowed to crawl.  When I checked the indexer, it had twice the number of files than usual it still needed to check.  I was about to close the status window when something caught my eye that I had not seen before.   The number of files indexed was rapidly decreasing.  By the time it finished checking the 9,000 files, my once 42,000 indexed files are now reduced to less than 29,000.  I also noticed that my search in Outlook was now only partial.  I searched "Brian Smith" and it returned a bunch of Smiths, but no Brian.  I had to find it manually.  The only change to WDS was the removal *.html a week ago.  This had no effect except to rebuild.


    Was automatic update sent through for WDS?  Do I need to rebuild again?  Is there any reason I should delete the old database before I reindex?

    Thursday, May 31, 2007 9:06 PM
  • Dave,


    Tonights update is I have had now choice but to Disable the Windows Search Service.  This was due to the SearchIndex.exe will not kill process and stay dead.  It keeps restarting and sitting at 49-52% CPU usage.


    Being a user of Adobe Lightroom I could no longer do an import as SearchIndexer.exe kept hoggin the CPU and thus making Lightroom hang.  Added to this my web browsing and in particular my Outlook 2007 was unusable (not even compelte loading after 5-10min).


    Its a shame as Im really missing the benefit I had with Windows Search Service running before the problems.


    SOLUTION QUERY: Can I delete the index database files (what are they?) to then force a complete index rebuild upon re-enabling the Windows Search Service?





    Thursday, May 31, 2007 9:15 PM
  • Wayne - FWIW, i have the EXACT same issue as you. Outlook wont open if I leave the window search service running.

    Ive emailed Dave a mini crash dump file so hopefully we will get something back from MS soon.

    Maybe a new issue,bug or possible vulnerability being exploited here... not sure.

    Fingers crossed on a quick solution.

    Thursday, May 31, 2007 9:30 PM
  • Hi guys,


    Well I looked through all the various dump files and Watson logs you have sent me.


    In general I think you all should reset your index and rebuild it. You can do this by going to the Indexing Options Control Panel, Advanced and then Restore Defaults. If you can't get to this button, then go into the registry to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search and delete the "SetupCompletedSuccessfully" value. Then reboot and the index will reinitialize itself as if it was a clean machine. Don't try and manually delete any index files - odd things can happen. The index will take a hour or so after reboot to rebuild itself, after that you *should* be back in business.




    Wayne - I looked at some of the Watson buckets and saw some crashes consistent with index corruption. In some cases we can detect this automatically and rebuild the index but not in every case, so I would try a rebuild.


    Immy - it seemed to me that the dump file you sent was from a point where the process had only been running a few seconds, so I don't think it was at a spot where it was actually hung. Could that be the case? If you want to send me another dump when the process has been running for a few minutes then go for it.


    Jon, I'm not too sure about this. I would try rebuilding as above.


    Let me know how you get on with this,



    Thursday, May 31, 2007 10:34 PM
  • Jon,


    Also I don't know if you saw this thread which describes a problem between Search and BCM {Business Contact Manager} and how to fix it:


    "This hotfix is installing version 2.0.50727.91 of mscorjit.dll and several other CLR DLLs. All of these CABS have version 2.0.50727.42 of mscorjit.dll and some have also version 2.0.50727.42 of the other CLR DLLs installed by this hotfix while the others have version 2.0.50727.91 of some of those DLLs. In the former case, apparently this hotfix is not installed at all, in the latter it appears to be installed "partially" (definitely incorrectly).

    If you have mscorjit.dll version older than .91, please install the following KB hotfix: 923319"


    "Robert, the hotfix for KB923319 is also included as part of the installation for Business Contact Manager 2007. If you have installed BCM by installing Office 2007 CD2, the file to install the hotfix will be included in that CD. The setup file for the hotfix should be under the folder KB923319. There are 3 different files in this folder depending on the target platform (32bit or 64bit OS). The file NDP20-KB923319-X86.msp contains the patch for x86 32bit OS. Running this file will install the CLR hotfix discussed in KB923319."


    If you don't have BCM installed tis won't be relevant.


    Thursday, May 31, 2007 10:47 PM
  • Dave,


    Many thanks and appreciate the help. Smile


    Will give it ago and report back tomorrow.



    Thursday, May 31, 2007 10:48 PM
  • Dave,


    Last night I removed the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows Search\SetupCompletedSuccessfully value and re-enabled the Windows Search Service back to Automatic.  I then rebooted the PC, logged in and open Task Manager to verify SearchIndexer.exe was running, it was so I went to bed.


    Came down this morning and notice no disc activity on the PC so expected to login and find CPU usage at 0%.  Sadly I was wrong and there was SearchIndexer.exe at the usual 48-51% CPU usage. 


    When I checked the Windows Search Service it was still showing Starting.  I think this explains why Control Panel->System->Indexing Options shows the Indexing is NOT Running.


    It looks like I have no option but to rebuild my machine, but what worries me is I go to all the hassle of a rebuild and this happens again within a week or something.


    Do we have any more options to try or is a rebuild my only course?


    PS: The more I read this issue in other threads it seems we all are running Outlook 2007, can thisw be part of the problem?


    Thanks again for all the efforts.





    Friday, June 1, 2007 7:53 AM
  • Hi Dave- yes, in this instance you are right.

    When I sent you the log, my service had been running for around a minute.

    I will restart my service and leave if for a few minutes and then upload it my website again.

    I won't be able to do this until Sunday UK time though as I am away this weekend.


    I'll let you know when I've done it.




    p.s - I'll also try your suggestion regardless

    Friday, June 1, 2007 10:26 AM
  • Last night, I deleted "SetupCompletedSuccessfully" value in the registry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search, rebooted and let it run all night.  This morning, there were about 28,000 items indexed and 0 left to scan.  I clicked on Outlook, at the hard drive took over for almost two hours.  "Left to scan" climbed to 14,600 items and Outlook was unusable.  I tried Excel and it took several MINUTES to change a font.   The items left to scan finally dropped below 9,000 and I abondoned using the PC.  Shortly thereafter, I recieved a message that WDS had stopped responding and had to close.  The error message was sent at 9:56 CST AM. 


    This is happening across the company.  I know of no one NOT having serious issues with WDS.  We are now faced with rolling back all the equipment to Office 2003 making this the most expensive DISASTER we have ever faced.  The downtime of our entire staff is already monumental.  This will require at least two entire days of downtime for each employee as their laptop are shipped back, reinstalled with 2003 and overnighted back. 


    I know that you do not want to admit the scope of this issue and the immediate solution will force you to do so.  But, if you give a darn about your customer you will rebublish the old WDS that did not have this issue and a clean set of instructions on how to rollback WDS. 


    That is how we are getting on with this Dave.

    Friday, June 1, 2007 3:19 PM

    Jon, Wayne, Imitiaz, if any of you can get me a dump file {in the case of a hang or 100% CPU}, or a "Problem Reports and Solutions" Bucket Id {in the case of a crash} then I can investigate these further. Otherwise it's fairly difficult for me to debug remotely - this isn't normal behavior that we've been able to reproduce locally.


    FYI: If you disable the search service or uninstall WDS then Office 2007 will continue to work. Searching in Office will work in basically the same way as it did in Office 2003 - it will be slower than using the indexed search but will still work. Obviously this isn't the solution either I or you want, I'm just pointing this out in case it is useful in the short-term.


    Saturday, June 2, 2007 12:57 AM
  • OK, so I have a very similar problem. Searchindexer.exe is using between 48 and 55% of the CPU. Of course you can't just end the process.


    I'm running Vista Home Premium. I tried to do something in the search indexing properties and when I try and open them it says search indexing isn't on.


    can someone help me? I swear i'm going to break my brand new (1 month old) computer Sad



    EDIT::: Found this in another thread here and it seems to have gotten rid of all problems...


    Set the registry value HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\SetupCompletedSuccessfully to 0 and try restarting the Windows Search service.

    Monday, June 4, 2007 4:23 AM
  • Dave,

    At your suggestion, we contacted customer support for the Business Contact Manager (BCM) update (it is not publicly available).  This was at 11:30 CST on Friday, and paid the $49 charge to hopefully speed up the response.  They sent a receipt for the charge, but we never heard  back.

    During that wait, we then decided to isolate the problem by systematically eliminating options until we could find a group of file types or locations that were overwhelming system resources. 

    The details are below but we have learned the following:

    ·         File type specifications in the options screen are ignored by WDS.  Excluding file types always increase the number of items indexed and the excluded file types were rechecked after each boot.

    ·         Locations specifications are partially ignored.  Even when we excluded BCM, opening WDS’s option panel gave us a BCM error.  Outlook can not be excluded entirely although the options panel indicates that it can.  Excluding folders on the desktop and “my documents” did not decrease the number of indexed items.

    ·         Each rebuild produces wildly different numbers for items indexed – ranging from 103,104 to 5,293 items.  The results from the various builds are bolded below.

    ·         Since we noted that our options selections were not accurately stored from boot to boot, it is a possibility that rescans are occurring because file types or locations are not static in indexing options OR are repeatedly set to some alternate background configuration.

    ·         WDS is so unstable that nothing can be reproduced and therefore it is impossible to isolate the problem.



    We sketched out the following plan and ran it on one PC:


    1.       In indexing options, aggressively remove file types starting with alph A to N, but leaving BCM file types.

    2.       Run test protocol, below. 

    3.       In indexing options, remove BCM file types.

    4.       Run test protocol.

    5.       In indexing options, remove Outlook location.

    6.       Run test protocol.

    7.       In indexing options, aggressively remove file types starting with alpha M to Z.

    8.       Run test protocol.


    a.       Delete “setupcompletedsuccessfully”

    b.      Reboot

    c.       Rebuild with Outlook off.

    d.      Launch Outlook (“rebuild until items left to scan” is 0)

    e.      Record “items indexed so far”, the HIGH of “items left to scan”

    f.        Shut down Outlook, and then relaunch Outlook.  Check for rebuild. Reboot and check for rebuild.  If rebuild occurs, move to next step in isolation plan.


    At the start of the test:

    ·         “Items indexed so far”:  42,112

    ·         HIGH of “Items left to Scan”: 0



    ·         “Items indexed so far”:  70,830  NOTE:  This is more items indexed than this PC has ever displayed which is puzzling since we removed dozens of file types.

    ·         HIGH of “Items left to Scan”: 14,800


    ·         Rebuild occurred when Outlook was opened and after reboot.


    ·         NOTE:  When we went to remove only the BCM files, we found that all the file types were again checked and our latest selections were not showing.  We are not sure if this is just a default and unrelated to how the scans are actually ran. 

    ·         “Items indexed so far”:  103,104  NOTE:  Again, the highest number yet for this PC and more than 2.5 times the original count.

    ·         HIGH of “Items left to Scan”: 19,807 (hovered around this number for a little over two hours)


    ·         Rebuild occurred when Outlook was opened and after reboot.


    ·         NOTE:  Removing Outlook from the locations and deleting “setupcompletedsuccessfully” did not cause a rebuilding of the index.  During two tries to rebuild the index, the index began at 103,104 item already indexed.  Next, we removed a directory from the desktop and one from my documents.  We then reset the database directory to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\WDS.   We then deleted “setupcompletedsuccessfully” and rebooted.  After startup WDS status screen again showed 103,104 “items indexed so far” and 43,070 “items left to scan.”  Doubling checking the indexing options, we saw the new locations were correctly the desktop and my documents.  The new index location was correctly reset with the new “WDS” directory.  Next, we tried the rebuild button in the advanced option screen and the index set to zero and began to rebuild, but it added back Outlook to the locations.  While it was indexing, we again removed Outlook from the locations list, and without rebooting, let the index run.   It took only 30 minutes to run.

    ·         Items indexed so far:  5,293

    ·         We then started Outlook, and were disappointed to see the index start climbing.  Checking the options, we noted that Outlook was again in our locations.   We again removed Outlook from the locations list, deleted “setupcompletedsuccessfully” and rebooted.   This time, “items indexed so far” climbed to 5,293 and then it reindexed about another 2500 and stopped at 5,293.  Location was still correct in the indexing options.  We started Outlook and it again added itself to the locations list.  We opened options and removed BCM from the Outlook options.  This time, “items indexed so far” climbed to 26,708.  For the first time, when we reopened Outlook, reindexing did not occur. 

    ·         However, when we rebooted the PC, it began reindexing.  When we checked the locations, we began getting a series of errors that said BCM was unable to connect – odd considering we had not started Outlook.  The error message kept repeating itself until it finally showed the locations where Outlook was listed but BCM was excluded. 

    ·         At this time, the team has decided to abandon further testing.  WDS is so unstable that nothing can be reproduced.  We suspect there may be an issue with BCM, but Microsoft support has been unresponsive so we are unable to move forward on this issue.  We also believe there are some issues with the software that are unrecognized by Microsoft and therefore must discontinue use of WDS and possibly Office 2007.  We will next remove WDS and see if Outlook is searchable without it. 

    Each time we eliminated file types in indexing options, the number of “items indexed so far” increased from the previous high.  The best explanation, but not a complete explanation, is that the options panel is ignoring the specifications for file type and possibly locations.  Since we noted that our selections were not accurately stored from boot to boot, it is a possibility that rescans are occurring because file types or locations are not static in indexing options OR are repeatedly set to some alternate background configuration. 

    Tuesday, June 5, 2007 5:17 PM
  • Hmm, if I'm reading this right you first set the various extensions you want to exclude, and then deleted the SetupCompletedSuccessfully key? Unfortunately I don't think this is going to work. When the indexing service next restarts it's going re-run it's initial setup, which includes resetting the list of extensions back to the default! In some cases it may also alter reset the set of indexed locations. So you would either want to not touch SetupCompletedSuccessfully in the registry at all, or do it before making any changes to what is indexed.


    Note: Deleteing SetupCompletedSuccessfully does something similar {not identical} to the Restore Defaults button in the control panel. Actually Restore Defaults does a more complete reset so that's probably preferrable if available.


    It seems like that may explain some of the behavior you were seeing above. The fact that you see an error when opening the control panel makes me think there's a problem related to BCM.What error were you seeing?



    Tuesday, June 5, 2007 11:35 PM
  • We suspected we needed to delete the SetupCompletedSuccessfully key first.  So we executed the delete before we reset the directories as you suggested above.  It would hold the directories, but it would not exclude Outlook.  Outlook would reappear on the locations list as soon as it was launched.  We kept Outlook, and unchecked BCM, this would stay static in the locations list. 


    We were entirely unsuccessful at finding a way for the file types to remain as we selected. 

    Wednesday, June 6, 2007 2:39 AM
  • Dave,

    Just to update you I decided against a reboot as PC still has XP boot for older apps not yet supported by Vista.  Thus a rebuild of the PC is just to much hassle compared with disabling WDS.

    I will however, re-enable WDS and let it crash, then when got a dump file somehow get it to you, along with the BucketID.

    Thanks for continued support of this issue.

    Wednesday, June 6, 2007 4:17 PM
  • Okay, that makes a bit more sense. There is a known issue where the Outook node in the indexing Control Panel cannot be truly disabled. If you need to disable Outlook indexing  completely you need to either disable each individual store or use the Group Policy we have for this in the Admin Guide: 


    One other thing is that to completely reset the indexing database and settings it is necessary to set SetupCompletedSuccessfully to 0. Deleting the registry value doesn't {quite} do a full reset. I'm sorry to have mislead you previously, I just realised this today from looking at the setup code. Setting the registry value to zero does exactly the same as the Restore Defaults button in the Control Panel {in normal operation it shouldn't be necessary to modify the registry}.


    You say "we were entirely unsuccessful at finding a way for the file types to remain as we selected". Can you explain this a bit more - when are the file types being reset? Perhaps more to the point, if you disable indexing of the BCM store, and do the Resotre Defaults as I mentionned above, are you still seeing the 100% CPU issues?



    Wednesday, June 6, 2007 11:47 PM
  • We also previously tried to reset the registry value to 0, and found it reset our selections to the default.  Using the default settings, we had the high CPU usage and constant rescanning.  So, that is not a workable solution.


    On file types.  When we went to remove the BCM file types, the 'number of items already indexed' increase 250% (103,104 over 43,070).  We reopened the file options panel and found that all file types were again checked and our latest selections were not showing.   However, this did not explain the increase of 250% since the base test (43,070) had all file types checked.  Since we followed the exact procedure, the number of file types should have decreased by the number of files containing BCM extensions.  When the file types are changed, a rebuild automatically begins so we did not alter the registry. 


    We did realize that ‘number of items already indexed’ could vary wildly depending on whether you forced a rebuild by changing the registry value, deleting the registry value, changing a directory, changing file types, clicking rebuild, or clicking restore defaults.  We found variations of 20x from one test to the next and they did not correlate with the action (such as the number of files increasing when we deleted a directory).  This is not workable for a typical user environment. 


    One of the suggestions you made was to unistall WDS.  Does Microsoft have a mechanism to do this?  Will uninstalling WDS allow search in Outlook?


    Thursday, June 7, 2007 4:25 PM
  • If the problems you are seeing are related to BCM, {and I'm not sure they are but it's my hypothesis at the moment}, then disabling the BCM node in the indexing control panel would be the way to go. Note I don't think excluding file types is necessarily going to have an effect on BCM behavior, because it's being indexed through Outlook, not through the file system protocol handler.


    All that Restore Defaults {or setting SearchCompletedSuccessfully to zero - they are the same thing} does is reset the search index to its 'factory defaults'. It can be useful if the index datafiles have got corrupted or if the index is in some other unrecoverable error state. But it is an error-recovery action only.


    I must admit I'm at a bit of a loss here. Something is clearly very unhappy in your system but it's hard for me to diagnose without being able to debug your box. I'm gonna pass this thread on to one of our senior Program Managers and see if he has any suggestions to move this forward.


    Yes WDS should be in Add/Remove Programs and Outlook 2007 will work without it. Again, if you have any event viewer events, crash dumps or other info please e-mail it to me at .

    Thursday, June 7, 2007 8:06 PM
  • Thank you for the follow-up. 


    Here might be another clue: when I looked at "Add or Remove Programs" on the test PC, it does show "Windows Desktop Search 3.01".  However, it says it hasn't been used since 4/13/2007, used rarely, and is 4.99MB.   I will also try to remove file types on one of accounting PCs and see if that holds.  These PCs only have Office Professional 2007.


    If this helps, all the PCs that are experiencing this issue, have only these things in common:


    Office Professional 2007

    Outlook includes Business Contact Manager

    One Care

    Dell PCs

    Windows Internet Explorer

    Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Professional

    Offsite FTP folder, but not included in the WDS specifications + Sync Tool

    Microsoft Streets and Trips 2006

    Executive Software Undelete

    IP Blue

    Thursday, June 7, 2007 9:00 PM
  • Dave:  Using, Add/Remove Programs, we uninstalled WDS across all the systems and have had positive feedback.  It appears system speeds are back to normal and searches are working well within 2007 and XP Professional. 


    If a solution is ever found for the excessive system demands of WDS, please post here and we will give another go.

    Tuesday, June 12, 2007 5:54 PM
  • We have found a problem with the search in Outlook when we removed WDS.  Search of system files and search of emails works well.  However, searching contacts is dodgy.  When a search is first entered, it will immediately say, ie., "No matches found for "Shaffer".  However, if you wait 15 seconds it might pop up something.  Compare this to email where it tells you that it is still searching, ie, "Searching...". 

    More importantly, it only returns some of the contacts associated with the search.  If we want to continue to use Outlook 2007, then we have to manually search our contacts.  We tried this across multiple systems with multiple configurations. 

    Thursday, June 14, 2007 8:02 PM
  • Hi everyone!


    I have the same problem. I am running Vista Ultimate. Recently my PC was sooo slow and I noticed SearchIndexer.exe is using a lot of CPU and the total CPU is usage is 100%!. I noticed my PC slows down whenever I open Windows Mail. If I kill this (SearchIndexer) process everything is back to normal but this process starts again by itself. Here is a screenshot of the Task Manager:


    I went to Control Panel > Indexing options, but it says Indexing is NOT running.


    What can I do? Please help!


    PS: Dave, I am sending you the dump file.



    Saturday, June 16, 2007 11:41 AM
  • I am having the identical problem.


    This is not the only thread on this problem, they are all over the net, forum after forum, with searchindexer.exe causing problems and people trying to shut it off.


    The problem was so great that I ended up uninstalling my Vista Ultimate (blaming that), installing XP Pro on my brand new 3.4 Dual Core system.


    This system has some of the fastest hardware on the market as of 3 weeks ago. I only bring this up because if Vista is doing this on the fastest systems on the market, what is it doing to slower hardware?  I also have 2 GB RAM (my understanding is that VISTA doesn't really process more RAM than this), 640 mb cached on my 8800 GTS video, a Raptor SATA 10,000 RPM HD, and 6000 transfer rate on Xtreme DSL.


    It took 1-2 full minutes to pull up my newspaper homepage (less than 5 seconds on my 6 year old 2.4 GHz XP system). When I checked performance in the Windows Task Manager with nothing open, it pulled up 4 Kb available Physical memory... 4 k!!!!  Vista ranked my system a 5 for performance and Vista capability (highest possible).


    4kb with ONLY Vista and Office 2007 loaded, and NOTHING running but the sidebar (with 3 items on it), not even Explorer. ALL the memory was the Indexer. With what I have, it was like dial-up speed. It took me over 30 seconds to open an email message (and still does).


    I did import all my Outlook email files, including archive and outlook.pst. And this in fact was the problem, as after I uninstalled Vista and installed XP and Office 2007 Ultimate, it did exactly the same thing on XP (but I had more memory left... a whopping 500 kb of 2 GB).


    My solution, which has worked just fine so far, is to disable Windows Search at Services. However, I have to disable it every time I get an update.


    Is there a way to permanently disable this function? What on earth does it do besides slow down your entire system to AT 286 levels? If there are any benefits, I don't know what they can be, since my computer doesn't reach a useable speed with it on. Removing my email archives is out of the question, I save purchase receipts there so I don't have to print them out. I don't have corrupted files, and I don't have a virus. This system is brand new. All files/programs run just fine on my old 2.4 GHz XP system (using Office 2003).


    For the record, my system has:

    Office Ultimate 2007

    Adobe Creative Suite CS2

    Adobe Acrobat Professional 8

    Zonelabs Zonealarm (tried OneCare and it slowed everything down even more)

    Internet Explorer


    I do not have any of the other software that was listed. The guilty party = Outlook 2007 + searchindexer.exe + imported outlook files.


    We are certainly not alone with this problem, it appears searchindexer.exe is one of the biggest reasons to uninstall Vista, except it shows up anyway with Outlook 2007.  I have even been thinking of installing Outlook Express now,  and dumping 2007, except I'm not going to get my money back for Office Ultimate.


    Whatever benefits the entire 2007 suite may offer, making the fastest computers money can buy slow to 20 year old computer processing rates is an absurd tradeoff that no one would accept.


    Thank you.



    Monday, June 18, 2007 2:12 AM
  • Dave...

    I too am having the very same issue.  I just purchased (within past month) an HP Pavillion a1712n w/ Vista Home Premium.  My CPU usage pegs out at 100%.  SearchIndexer seems to be the problem. We are using the Windows Email instead of one of the Outlook tools.

    I've tried following your suggestions but I can't figure out how to reset the "SearchCompletedSuccessfully to zero" and I couldn't locate WDS in Add/Remove Programs.  What is WDS anyway.

    Thursday, June 21, 2007 1:02 AM
  • WDS is Windows Desktop Search - which is the search add-on which can be installed on Windows XP. It's similar to the built in search in Vista.


    In the case of problems, you can reset the search index in one of two ways:

     - Open the Indexing Options control panel, go to Advanced, and then hit Restore Defaults and reboot.

     - If that option isn't available, and you are comfortable modifying the registry, you can go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows Search and set the SetupCompletedSuccessfully value to 0, and then reboot. Caution: this is not a formal tech support forum, and randomly modifying the registry can do bad things to your machine. If in doubt I would recommend going to and following one the the product support options there.

    Thursday, June 21, 2007 4:53 PM

  • Resetting (restoring the defaults) of the indexing process cannot rectify the problems engendered by SearchIndexer.exe, because it is the *amount* of CPU and IO resources consumed by *any* SearchIndexer.exe process which are the problem. You can limit how much is indexed by excluding folders for instance. Yet whatever *else* *is* indexed still will cause all the ramfications of the SearchIndexer.exe process, *because near 100% of CPU and IO resources can and will be consumed by SearchIndexer.exe processes, even for days on end.*

    I have maintained relatively careful notes which document how CPU and IO overhead related to SearchIndexer.exe are so excessively intensive as to defeat (crash) many critical, competing processes running on Vista. Many online forums are reporting the same issues without resolution. There is no end user resolution of the issues related to SearchIndexer.exe, because the consumption of CPU and IO resources are a design matter: nearly (and up to) 100% of CPU and IO resources can be consumed needlessly for as much as (in my recent experience) 40 hours straight, with the principal consequence being not merely extremely poor performance (over even such extensive periods), but critical failures of competing processes *during the whole* while(s).

    Many users reporting the resultant excessive drive activity generally do not have sufficient background to understand the causes, or to link them with their many unavoidable consequences. In my brief, initial experience with Vista, among those consequences are:


    Between several Microsoft personnel and myself, we have *several days* just in attempting to install Visual Studio 2005 onto my brand new Vista system. Here are my deductions why:

    Prior to *attempting* to install Visual Studio, I moved something less than 100 Gigs of personal work onto the new system. This automatically invoked a SearchIndexer process which did not finish for something like 40 hours. Immediately after moving all this personal work, I then attempted to install VS2005 onto the system, not yet knowing the consequences of the SearchIndexer process, and that the MSI processes of the install would unsuccessfully compete with SearchIndexer. The VS2005 install failed many times, for a variety of reasons, including falsely reported corrupted files.

    Amit (Microsoft VS Personnel) cleaned up the failed install over a shared desktop session. But, in part because the original SearchIndexer process *still* had not completed (I complained many times about the insane drive activity), his efforts too failed.

    Later, Kelvin (Microsoft VS Personnel) tried to complete the install, and got just a little farther than we had before. As I complained further about the insane drive activity, he installed a performance monitor onto my system. We immediately observed the incredible consumption of resources by SearchIndexer. Activity was so profuse, you could hardly tell anything *else* was going on.

    Kelvin tried until it was time for him to go home from work. I tried for several hours afterward. Many reasons were reported for failed processes. But eventually I did succeed; and further evidence (as follows) leads me now to believe this was probably due  (finally) to the quieting of drive activity due to the concluded original SearchIndexer process.


    I then downloaded and attempted to install the most recent Vista updates. The *download* engendered yet another lengthy SearchIndexer process. Some of the related installation processes failed here again, until the drive activity quieted when SearchIndexer finally concluded -- much later. Obviously, many users suffering failed installs would not connect the dots to SearchIndexer.exe, or bother reporting the potentially prevalent issue.


    The same pattern prevailed during download and install of all the necessary VS2005 updates.


    I have seen SearchIndexer go busy for many minutes, even as a result of a single, simple email download. During this activity, normally stable, proven applications like PhotoShop have crashed.


    SearchIndexer and incredible hard drive activity were likewise noticed as soon as shared desktop sessions were started. If this is a result of attempts to index file IO resulting from shared desktop sessions, of course this activity is not only unwanted; it is an impediment to efficient, reliable sessions.

    I think we might finally have the attention of systems engineers on this issue; and hopefully it will be resolved shortly.

    Friday, June 22, 2007 10:40 PM
  • As a follow-up to this posting.  We contacted Windows support and requested the file be sent to us.  We were issued a confirmation (1036562135) but we never heard back from them.  It has been 22 days waiting for Hotfix 923319 so this option does not appear to viable for anyone.  Unless anyone wants to donate $49 to Microsoft. 
    Saturday, June 23, 2007 2:59 PM
  • Mike: 


    Users have experienced the same "consequences" in XP, so Vista is not the base of the problem. 


    We also had no success in exclusing folders as you suggested was an option.  On one PC, we specified only My Documents, and the number of 'files indexed' was the same in the rebuild.  We then removed dozens of file types, and the number of 'files indexed' increased in the rebuild!  Pass that one on to the engineers. 


    Yesterday, we ordered a batch of loaded Dell Latitudes.  Dell insisted that the new system be shipped with Vista.  So we ordered a bunch of extras figuring we would find this problem on a large sample of the new laptops.  We will test each one for WDS problems by loading a sample My Documents, BCM and Outlook files.  If WDS overtakes the laptop, we will rebox the laptop and send it back with the sample files.  I figure if Dell starts getting laptops back because they can't handle Vista, then Microsoft will hunker down on the issue.

    Saturday, June 23, 2007 3:26 PM
  • Hi, Jon.

    I meant by the opening sentence of the second paragraph to link my report explicitly to Vista. I have never experienced the same problems on XP (which allowed disabling indexing), so I assume the cited users may simply not know how to disable XP indexing processes.

    In regard to excluding folders, I haven't looked at that so exhaustively as yet as to verify that in fact folders are excluded from the indexing process if you set them to be excluded, but certainly they can be *set* to be excluded: Select the folder | Properties | Advanced | and then uncheck "Index this folder for faster searching." Whether the setting is honored, I cannot verify. Did you try this, and, if so, please report how you believe you determined that the folder was still included in the index process. That may be difficult to assert independently, because for instance, a process might avoid rebuilding an index to exclude previous inclusion. There wouldn't be much point in that; and so a quickly executed search (benefiting from the indexing) might still result.

    When you say that, "On one PC, we specified only My Documents..." this leads me to believe you did not select for instance some subfolders of My Documents, and toggle search indexing off for those folders. Give that a go as in my preceding instructions, and see if the number of files indexed is indeed not reduced.

    As to excluding files by eliminating extensions which are indexed, neither can I verify that works on Vista. I looked at that, but there was no documentation for many of the extensions -- not even a description of what executables might claim or process them -- so I thought it better to keep hands off for now, as there were many new, unfamiliar extensions.

    What is certainly evident however, is that the indexing (and possibly other, similar operations such as scheduled defrags, and even processes I cannot fathom -- such as roaming, a process which evidently can consume similar processing bandwidth) is highly detrimental to the reliability of competing processes, and to the productivity of the machine's operator. Many failed processes. Many reboots. Lots of slowed processes. Very substandard reliability and productivity.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Monday, June 25, 2007 1:27 AM
  • I penciled a long write-up on our testing - which is this posting somewhere above.  Using an isolation plan, we attempted to identify the file types or directories that might be causing the problem.  We were unable to do so because the indexed result did not match our efforts.  For instance, when we eliminated the *.doc extension, the net results was an INCREASE in the number of files indexed; despite that the PC had over 3,000 word documents.  We abondoned the testing because we were unable to determine a base number of 'items indexed so far" which we needed to compare the results when we added or deleted file types and directories.  We also attempted eliminating Outlook, an option under Folders, but this would not hold and it would reindex Outlook.  We finally decided all the WDS controls were like an elevator call button: you can keep pushing it, but you don't know which elevator you are going to get. 


    In XP, we had the option to remove under the Control Panel, but now we can't search contacts in Outlook 2007.  However, this is a better option than reinstall Office XP on all the systems.  I guess Microsoft just doesn't do search. 


    We are waiting for a fix.  And dreading the arrival of the new batch of Vista laptops.

    Tuesday, June 26, 2007 9:01 PM

  • Jon (and Microsoft? -- is anybody listening out there?),

    I don't have time to document all of this, so my post will be a summary.

    The many failures of my new Vista system have been a huge (perhaps unforgivable) impediment to work (software development). To this point, we have approximately 17 hours with 2 Microsoft Visual Studio technicians, their manager (who, at the urging of said two technicians, and after conducting a responsible interview with myself, conscientiously escalated this well documented and *studied* issue to higher eschelons of support), a top system diagnosis technician (6 3/4 hrs yesterday -- he went home last night at 10:45 Toronto time, unfinished), and several other Microsoft support personnel. Two other Microsoft personnel wanted ***to charge me*** to report these many Vista faults (while of course we can understand how costly *it would* be for Microsoft to be *responsible* for the costs it inflicts on its market). Two of these some 17 hours were spent with three to four Microsoft technicians in conference, and approximately half of these 17 hours have been spent not only on the telephone clear across the country, but in shared desktop sessions where the several technicians involved have witnessed for hours on end, the behavior and consequences we have documented to be associated with SearchIndexer.exe. (In other words, the reported effects have been *thoroughly* demonstrated to Microsoft.) The chronology of problems we have collected over that time, demonstrates diverse process failures, largely (because this was the work we were doing) having to do with software installation, downloading updates, and installing updates.

    I have collected data on many other related issues; and there are further unrelated issues, which are now further compounding the problems we already have. My Vista experience therefore can be summarized as absolutely disgraceful, obstructive dysfunctionality.

    On top of this there is such a prolific number of "little things" (which amount to big things, as we routinely encounter them again and again) which Microsoft can never get right. What am I talking about? Hideous, stupid things. For instance, my Task Bar is 7 rows high, comprising 150 shortcuts in 10 separate toolbars. Obviously, a person will enable Auto-hide for such a configuration. So, for almost 7 hours yesterday, we're to invoke Run... procmon, regedit, cmd, msdt... on and on... and the real care by which this operating system is engineered (and these faults are never fixed) is *most* (and constantly) evident in the utterly stupid concept of invoking the Run dialog *behind* the Task Bar. Yep, click run, or Windows+r (with the Task Bar raised), and you'll never even see the Run dialog you just intended to access. No. You have to move the Task Bar out of the way each time; and you have to come back to background of the Task Bar to play the Microsoft game in this intentionally unuser-friendly dialog. This isn't exactly a standard worthy of the arrogance I will address in just a bit.

    Just a few other issues: Change an icon for a tool on the Task Bar and it may *or may not* be refreshed to the tool; Rename a directory and the old folder and name may still be drawn where they were, with the new folder *name* being displayed on a new folder location -- with the obvious further ramification that you can't access the graphically displayed old folder and name... and you even have to wade through a redundant error dialog which documents *their* screwup if you dare click that erroneous representation of the former folder; Right-click a shortcut on your Task Bar and click Properties -- and you lose the intended dialog behind the Task Bar, just like the Run dialog.

    Just simple things that anyone and everyone who has a right to call their self a software engineer should *always* get right.

    The question is, what makes these people deaf to *years* of pleas and submitted flaws?

    So, Jon, I appreciate the tests you are doing, but I forewarn you that *use* is going to be your real Pandora's box. Just for instance:

    Because Microsoft provides no way ("obstructs"???) to bring mail forward from *the data* (a running hard drive from a system broken by the MS mup.sys infinite boot loop flaw), I have permanently moved my mail to Thunderbird. I start up this morning, open Thunderbird, and it starts to download approximately 30 emails. OK, so there goes SearchIndexer.exe again, and after about 30 seconds I click my stop watch. While this is happening, there is extremely slow response to other processes. I try to drag one of the new mails to a "Microsoft" folder, and it doesn't land there for a whole minute (similar to the extra time it takes to open Photoshop when SearchIndexer is busy). Five minutes of SearchIndexer.exe later I notice that a number of my hundreds of new manually built mail rules (because Microsoft *obstructs* bringing them forward from data) are not correctly executed. Hmmm. After SearchIndexer is finally finished, I apply the rules to the InBox and sure enough they are all correctly applied. Now, please note that well after startup I haven't noticed this *particular* manifestation of the competing processes -- the mail rules have always been correctly executed. But then, ask yourself what is the sanctity/reliability of the thread competition *handling* (by the OS), if Thunderbird's processes are *always* otherwise executed perfectly?

    That's not a stupid question, and it *is* rhetorical.

    These are just *some* of the things which are going on. What else?

    Well, yesterday a Microsoft technician was attempting to perform regular diagnostic processes important to gathering evidence for systems engineers. We waded through masses of laughable of documentation in a shared session, and reach a point where the system is required to reboot to honor the changes. "Software engineers" of course "might" consider this too a flaw... but what happens next? Ostensibly, to successfully execute the reboot so that it will not break the shared session, the technician has to initiate the reboot. Everything on my system worked fine to that point, except when SearchIndexer competition precluded. So what happens? A new form of blue screen of death tells us startup has failed and Windows is going to diagnose the problem. OK, so Vista reports a $$%$@# of problems it is going "to repair." Really? No option to cancel or ignore. Vista reports it will run CheckDisk... and it tells a few other lies... the screen is blinking back and forth between this an that -- then finally, no diagnosis, no repair... only a few seconds into a process it tells us could take hours, all of a sudden (surprise), I'm at the password dialog for login.

    Hmmm. So is everything fine?

    Absolutely not. Things are such a $%@$%@$ mess now we have no idea yet how to restore the system without rebuilding it (and negating *days* I have in setting up my software -- which process of course I am going to have to go through again). We don't even know if we'll get my software development environment back on the system -- although, one would think, what with the indexing process being completed, the SearchIndexer thread competition which existed should not be a further problem. But...???

    What are some of the further problems?

    Well, just for starters, we try to open Internet Explorer (necessary nowadays only for Microsoft sites), and what happens? It *starts* to open, instantly closes, and presents us (still, *always*) with five successive dialogs which apprise us that a "navcancl" file "from ie...something.dll" cannot be opened. Well... research soon shows that evidently this yet another well known Vista issue... and so we go into the diagnostic and repair processes for this issue.

    The only problem you see, is that at one point of this process we have to open the Users interface in Control Panel to do some simple verification of password data... and, (guess what?) ummm... we next are shown that Users *can no longer be opened*.

    Well, "that's real good," right?

    Actually, you can probably begin to understand now why this technician and I spent 6 3/4 hours on my system just yesterday.

    Here are just *some* of the consequences:

    I ***RELY*** on FireFox! But the Internet Explorer ***WE NOW CAN NEVER OPEN*** (it always closes and notifies you of the navcancl issue VISTA WILL NOT ALLOW US TO FIX) ***IS NOW PERMANENTLY SET AS THE DEFAULT BROWSER****. NO LINK I CLICK IN AN EMAIL FOR INSTANCE WILL EVER OPEN. YOU HAVE TO COPY THE LINK *SOURCE*, OPEN FIREFOX (THE ONLY OPERATIONAL BROWSER STANDING), AND LABORIOUSLY PASTE EACH LINK IN. And whatever way there might be to fix IE now, we do not yet know. We both decided to sleep on it. More research has to be done -- and were MORE, giant steps backward. "Where do YOU want to go today?"

    You get the picture. I'm so frustrated right now I can't possibly tell you. All this is a giant leap backward from the worst of the Windows 3.x days; and about the only thing Microsoft can do right now, is to offer ME the job of assuring all these kinds of things get fixed. Believe me, nothing like this would even *be build* under my watch.

    Instead, we have resistance from the systems engineer people. They want us *to reproduce* issues they readily know exist -- when several Microsoft technicians have *already* witnessed said events for hours on end, and when they were (and will be) produced by installing Microsoft software ***AT DAYS OF EXPENSE***!

    Here is ONE THING which is wrong with this picture:

    ANYONE who designs an *operating system* thread which *can* (and *does*) consume 95% of CPU and IO resources for *any* sustained period (more than a few seconds) *has committed a fatal (and rudimentary) design flaw from the very outset. But OBVIOUSLY, without any need to reproduce *anything*, the very fact the thread *can* consume so much of resources is therefore the issue -- and one which has to be fixed.

    If this person (or these persons) worked for me, the rules of design would have forbid them to implement such an ill conceived philosophy. In fact, I wouldn't let them dedicate 25% of resources to such a thread; and here is why:

    What you *really* need to do is dedicate UP TO 25% of resources to a certain *class* of OS thread. Why? Developer A has the selfish approach of whoever wrote SearchIndexer, and grabs the limit of the rule we subject them to ("25%"). Developer B does as well. So do C and D, and we're using 100% of resources.

    The obligatory approach is to share only so much of system resources so that *other* competing process *can* succeed -- and that's the whole issue here: people *refusing* to do right the job they should (already) know is done wrong. When you hear it from a customer who can't use their system, you have really blown it.

    There IS a way to build software without flaws. Many of us have been doing it for many years. If those well known principles are not enforced as a standard, this is the result. Moreover, this far inferior result is produced at far greater cost, because everyone in the development process suffers the consequences of the poor work. But shipping this to the consumer, and particularly as a glorious advancement, asking customers to pay to report flaws they and Microsoft technicians have well documented... is worthy of no more than a class action suit.

    If Microsoft paid me for what they have already cost me *in this "one incident"* (playing by *their* rules), they couldn't hope to make it back for the next few centuries.

    And yet, we have a broken system... and we're only hoping to gather evidence with broken tools... hoping to convince "engineers" their code has a problem which WAS obvious from the outset.

    Thursday, June 28, 2007 5:15 PM
  • PS.

    I *have* now verified that folders outside the domain of SearchIndexer indeed are not indexed. Yet of course there will still be many redundant indexing processes which the current approach will not avoid. For instance, SearchIndexer may spend several minutes indexing a handful of emails before automated rules land them in the trash. That is, *if* the mail rules are properly executed by competitive thread handling. This morning, I saw the rules defeated by SearchIndexer competition. When SearchIndexer had completed, I invoked the rules on the InBox, and they worked perfectly.
    Thursday, June 28, 2007 6:10 PM
  • I experienced the same problems described for my XP machine  Searchindexer ran CPU usage up to about 50% and did not drop.  I experienced a brief boost in performance when I killed the application, but it came back to life almost immediately.  As I was about to remove the WDS, I noticed the FindFast service in the Control Panel.  Back in the day, findfast was one of those things you might either disable, or remove for performance and memory improvements.  I removed the FIndFast, and relocated the WDS directory to a drive other than my C drive, I then rebooted my PC.


    SearchIndexer initially ran the CPU to about 50 (I suspect because it was doing some building).  However, despite starting and stopping Outlook a couple of times and jumping around all over Outlook, the network and my PC, the only time searchindexer jumps to 50% of CPU usage is on the inital openning of Outlook.


    I have not read anything related to the old FindFast tool, but it makes sense that the two processes would compete with each other.  I am not certain if moving the WDS file to a different drive, removing/Disabling FIndFast or both contributed to the better performance that I am experiencing.  I am also not sure if FindFast is at all related to Vista.


    If you have not removed or disabled FIndFast (especially for WinXP), it couldn't hurt to give it a try..

    Friday, July 13, 2007 6:04 PM
  • I have the exact same problem, no solutions yet?


    Monday, July 30, 2007 11:25 PM
  • It appears not. This thread was very active over the last 2-3 months (when it appeared the problem began).

    Dave Wood has been very helpful, however; in my eyes it appears Microsoft have not accepted there IS a major problem here, either with the services itself or a potential vulnerability. There are too many people with "the same" problem and the sooner MS get a patch out, the better! - In the meantime (and this is why I think MS have not moved on it) you can stop your "windows search" service to resolve the problem. All that it will mean is that your searches won't be as fast as they should be, but the performance is fine! I believe it's just the same search capabilities as XP once the service stops, which is fine by me! Atleast I can continue to use my pc now.


    Message to Dave: Out of interest Dave, how is this issue going at MS?




    Tuesday, July 31, 2007 9:04 AM

    Hi all, so to try and summarize my advice at this moment in time:


    - First off, a great deal of work is going inside the indexer team at Microsoft to further improve the reliability and performance of the indexer for future releases. If you are having issues with search we are really interested in trying to diagnose and fix them.

    - If you are seeing crashes of SearchIndexer.exe then I would first recommend allowing the Microsoft problem reporting system to report the bug to Microsoft {there's a whole bunch of settings in "Problem Reports and Solutions -> Change Settings to alter whether this happens automatically or not}. I and other people on the team are actively looking at the database of reported crashes and hangs in SearchIndexer that we get from end-users, and we are working on fixes for the most common issues. If you are seeing a particular crash bucket number often, you can always post it on a new thread here, and I will try and take a look at it. But the fairest thing I believe is to use the database and look at the overall most frequently-reported crashes first, so that the most urgent issues across our entire user base get prioritized.

    - If you are seeing permanent 100% CPU usage from SearchIndexer.exe then this won't normally be being reported through Problem Reports and Solutions. In this case, you can produce a dump file for SearchIndexer from the Vista Task Manager and send it to me at the address I gave above {you'll probally have to put it on a Web / FTP site as the dump files are large}. Please only do this if the indexer is really using CPU continuously and making no progress indexing and has made no progress for many hours - if it is making progress but slower than you'd like or using more resources then you'd like then in truth I doubt I'll able to diagnose the issue with a dump file. But if it is overdriving the CPU always and never making progress indexing then it may be possible for me to see where the infinite loop is using the dump file.

    - One person so far on these forums did send me a dump file and we diagnosed the 100% CPU as being caused by a  corrupted system dll after a hard-drive failure. A couple of other people sent me dump files but they either weren't for searchindexer.exe or weren't at a point where the indexer was actually in an infinite loop so it wasn't really possible to diagnose. A couple of people sent me mails saying, "My search isn't working, can you help?" which in an ideal world I'd be able to but instead I'd recommend you post on a new thread here with your issue - there's probably something like 100 million users of Windows Search right now and only one of me, so even if only a tiny fraction of users are having issues with search my ability to give you personal attention is very limited!

    - Note also this isn't a formal tech support channel and I'm not a support engineer. Official support options are listed at . Also, I'm not a lawyer, so no mention of legal issues please :-).


    Dave Wood


    Wednesday, August 8, 2007 1:49 AM
  • I've had the same problem, hard drive running fullout for 20 minutes a few times a day, and I am wondering if a program called Punkbuster may be the cause.


    Thursday, August 16, 2007 6:45 PM
  • I run Office 07 and Vista on an HP computer.  My Outlook will not open and my CPU is running at very high % - the problem seems to be all from SearchIndexer.exe.  Also, I can't use Outlook search - it freezes and has no capacity to search inside documents.

    Please offer any help if you can.  I rely on my Outlook for work, and my search functionality to find documents. 

    Thank you.

    Ellen S.

    Saturday, September 29, 2007 10:12 PM
  • I am having the same problem as Wayne.  My CPU meter has been at at least 50% for a couple of weeks.  SearchIndexer.exe is using about 49-50% continually.  How do you kill off the task?



    Friday, October 19, 2007 5:24 AM
  • I read through some of this thread. I have the same issue on a tablet PC. What makes this even worse is I need the battery life and it is killing the battery.


    Here is what I tried.

    - Removed search of e-mail [no help]

    - Removed search of xml [no help]

    - Removed search of everything [no help]

    - Removed Business contact manager. Don't want it anyway [ tbd]

    - Removed registry key recommended [tbd]


    I found this in the log "

    Advise Status Change failed. The system is probably low on resources. Free up resources and restart the service.



    That would explain problems with indexing and crashing.. maybe it is restarting. I also noticed there were MAPI  (mail) errors in the search engine.


    In attempt to kill search from running I stopped the service... but it continued to run...


    I may check in later aftrer doing this.... but here would be my suggestions. Uninstall BCM unless you know the value and want it. It comes with MS SQL server so I suspect if your not using it .. it is waisting resources. Then again best bet is always remove things you don't want or use.


    Change the registry setting as suggested.


    Set the search service to disabled. Reboot.


    If the service does not show up... and things look great. Start the service then co to start - control panel - index - advanced and rebuild the index.


    Wait a few hours and check back.



    Thursday, October 25, 2007 12:59 AM
  • Is this on Vista? If so can you send me a dump of the SearchIndexer.exe process when it is in the state of using 100% CPU?



    Thursday, October 25, 2007 8:42 PM
  • I am using XP .. and have the same problems ..
    Can any body please help ?
    My computer becomes very slow though..
    Tuesday, November 6, 2007 7:28 AM

    Hi Dave,


     I have a very simlar problem on XP. Here is some more information which might be relevant:


    • I wanted to upgrade my laptop hard disk so I took a backup and restored it onto a new hard disk. At this point everything was working fine.
    • When I booted up with the new (faster,larger) harddisk and open Outlook, I got a message saying that the OST was corrupt and that I shoudl stop Outlook, then delete the OST file and that when outlook started next time, it would automatically recreate it.
    • I did this. I have Business Contact Manager 2007 installed BTW.
    • From that point on Searchindexer maxed out the CPU and tsrated hammering the new disk.
    • I used PSTools to investigate and found that one thread called ADVAPI32.dll!CryptVerifySignatureW+0x17 was running the CPU at 98.44% with CSwitchDelta of 63.

    I'll try uninstalling Busines Contact Manager to see if this helps. But any help you could give would be really appreciated as my upgraded machine is now unsuable and I might have to put the old hard disk in.





    Friday, November 23, 2007 11:49 AM
  • Hey Dave!

    Just to report - Today I too faced the same problem after getting a few Japanese mails in my account.
    Now that I have deleted those mails, the condition seem to have improved a bit.


    Monday, January 7, 2008 2:18 PM
  • i've been watching this thread for the past while hoping to find some answers to the stability problems with Search. 
    the good news is that i installed Vista SP1 RC1 refresh 2 (got it off torrent) and i rebuilt the index and the search indexer works fine now, it has indexed all my outlook items and it's doing grand.  unfortunately this only half my problem because i still find that explorer.exe takes over a CPU core.  ProcMon shows explorer.exe reading pnidui.dll a few times every second.  now i'm running vista without a shell.  what fun.
    Sunday, January 27, 2008 3:02 PM
  • The problem is in your primary hard disk drive partition (usually CSmile and the solution is to check this partition for errors: open Computer, right-click on this partition (local disk), click Properties, click the Tools tab, click Check Now, schedule a disk check for the next time your computer starts, restart your computer and let CHKDSK run its course. After your computer retstarts you should have no problem running SFC /SCANNOW succesfully.


    Sunday, January 27, 2008 10:31 PM

  • I have the 100% CPU usage problem except ONLY when I  come out of STANDBY or HIBERNATE on my Dell 8200 Laptop.
    It never happens when I boot up from the POWER button. I know it has nothing to do with System Idle or the number
    of programs running. Also this has only started happening after I replaced my Hard Drive. The magic Hotfix from Microsoft
    hasn't seemed to have worked either. But I'll be eagerly watching the posts because it
    is a pain to have to keep booting up and shutting down every day.
    I hope this may add some light to the problem.
    Friday, February 1, 2008 1:37 PM
  • Your searchindexer.exe process comes from your Windows Search service. You can turn it off by opening your Services folder (click Start, Run, type services.msc and click OK), changing the Windows Search service startup type from Automatic to Manual and then clicking Stop the service. Hope this is helpful.


    Friday, February 1, 2008 2:25 PM
  • THANK YOU for your excellant post! I had the same problem with a brand new HP laptop and couldn't figure out what was going wrong. Of course, if Vista's Task Manager didn't default to USER processes only, I might have found this thing on my own. Thanks again -

    Wednesday, February 6, 2008 7:38 PM
  • You are welcome. You may wish to do the same with your Machine Debug Manager service.


    Wednesday, February 6, 2008 7:59 PM
  • I installed office 2007 which totally drained my system. Removed it and then discovered all these problem with searchindexer.exe - never had the problem until the 2007 install.


    Any advice would be great. I have to physically delete the process through task manager.





    Sunday, March 23, 2008 1:08 PM

    By "physically delete the process" I assume you mean manually end it. Your searchindexer.exe process is your Windows Search service. To disable it, click the Start button (Windows Vista logo) in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen, click Run, type services.msc and click OK, scroll down to the Windows Search service, click on it, click Stop the service in the left-hand pane, right-click the Windows Search service, click Properties, click the triangle next to Startup type, change the Windows Search service Startup type from Automatic to Disabled, click Apply and OK. You can also change  the Startup type to Manual, but then your searchindexer.exe will start whenever you do any kind of search in Windows Vista. I hope this is helpful.


    Sunday, March 23, 2008 2:11 PM
  • Hello all

    I read this thread religiously and tried everything but none worked. I have HP desktop with XP mediacenter edition. I was getting 99% CPU utilization, typically after starting Outlook. After several efforts to recover PC also the problem was not going away. Finally I chatted with a smart support guy from HP support team in Bangalore. He told me that this issue is due to a virus or spyware that affects master boot record. He gave me some complicated key strokes such as Ctrl+backspace etc to enter into manufacturer's recovery procedure and I erased partition, erased master boot record and then recovered my PC (Of course, I had backed up all my data before). After recovery, it is working great! The process "searchindexer.exe" does now show up anymore.

    Thursday, April 10, 2008 1:03 AM
  • I've deployed a fair number of HP machines running Vista Business and Office 2007 with BCM.

    One of those machines recently had this very fault.

    Setting the HKLM > Software > Microsoft > Windows Search | SetupCompletedSuccessfully key to 0 worked.
    (initially I deleted it and that obviously failed, so I re created it and set it to 0)

    However getting the process to re-init the index was mildly annoying:

    1. Set registry key to 0
    2. in the Services windows the Windows Search service still showwed "starting" and would not respond.
    3. Set Windows Search service to "Manual" start.
    4. In the Task Manager I used "end process tree" on SearchIndexer.exe
    5. Maunally started Windows Search service
    6. Set Windows Search service to "Automatic" start.
    7. In the Task Manager I used "end process tree" on SearchIndexer.exe
    Now it's fine.

    It seems that if the index gets corrupted search indexer loses the plot and uses up all the process handles. The instant I fixed it I was able to run programs.
    Thursday, April 17, 2008 5:26 AM
  • I haven't read all the posts to this point, but saw the question was still open.

    I've had the same problem, and was unable to fix it by disabling searchindexer.exe in the Administrative Tools control panel. The process continued to start on its own and hog the CPU

    I finally went to C:WINDOWS/system32 and renamed the file to searchindexerRENAMED.exe. I put a shortcut on my desktop just to remind me I'd done that in case I have problems that might require restoring it. Meanwhile, I'll put up with slower searches of my HD in return for being able to use my computer in real time.

    HTH someone.

    Monday, May 26, 2008 10:07 PM
  • The best way to disable the indexer is to use the Services Control Panel and disable the "Windows Search" Service. I wouldn't recommend renaming files in the windows\system32 directory.



    Tuesday, May 27, 2008 8:15 PM
  • I've run into this same Search Indexer issue with a new Vista notebook. Search had been functioning normally during the first two weeks, but while importing some photos, I noticed CPU activity rise to 50% and stay there for the next day while I tried to resolve the issue. Finding no solution, I've disabled Search Indexer. Here is one of many similar problem reports:



    SearchIndexer.exe has terminated SearchFilterHost.exe because it appears to be hung.

    Problem signature

    Problem Event Name: MsSearchTerminateProcess

    Problem Signature 01: Microsoft Windows Search Filter Host

    Problem Signature 02: 7.0.6001.380

    Problem Signature 03: 1

    OS Version: 6.0.6001.

    Locale ID: 1033


    Instant Search is a great feature. Hopefully we'll find a fix soon.


    Kind Regards,


    Wednesday, May 28, 2008 1:46 PM
  • More than 1 year on and still our fix is to "disable the indexer".

    Sorry - but I think Microsoft have really failed to deliver with this problem and the sooner they find the cause and release a patch, the better!



    Wednesday, May 28, 2008 10:14 PM
  • Again, if you can send me a dump file at the point SearchFilterHost.exe is spinning its wheels I can take a look {davewood at microsoft dot com}..


    - Do you have the "DNG Codec" beta from Adobe Labs installed? We've had a couple of reports that having this installed can produce similar symptoms {we are investigating this internally currently}.

    - Also remember to install out latest release, which includes fixes for many performance and reliability issues that customers have encountered: -




    Thursday, May 29, 2008 2:11 AM
  • Open your Control Panel, open Administrative Tools, open Services, scroll down to Windfows Search, click it, in the left-hand panel, click Stop the Service, in the right-hand panel, change the Startup type to Disable, click Apply and OK.


    Thursday, May 29, 2008 5:24 AM
  • Hello Dave,


    I installed the Search 4.0 Preview after my problem began, but with no improvement. However, I also have the new Adobe DNG codec installed. It was installed for about a week before my issues began. I'll delete it and see if anything improves.


    Thanks for staying on top of this.


    Thursday, May 29, 2008 5:45 AM
  • Hello Dave,


    The Adobe DNG Codec was the issue. I deleted the codec, restarted the computer, restarted the indexer and watched the indexer begin where it had been hanging and successfully finish indexing. I've had no problems since.


    Thank you,



    Friday, May 30, 2008 3:12 AM
  • I've read that the SearchIndexer should stop running when I'm playing games, but it doesn't. Even if I'm playing games such as Age of Conan and the SearchIndexer starts running, it will totally ruin my performance. For ten minutes or so, I can't do anything while my HDD keeps running and running. Its horribble.

    Even if it did stop while playing, the HDD sound is driving me crazy. I can't believe something like this has been implemented in the first place. It should atleast ask whether I want to run it or not. Or when do I want to run it.

    I'm using Vista 64bit Home Premium.
    Monday, July 28, 2008 3:28 PM
  • If you select the radio button on the bottom of the task manager (Vista) that says "show

    processes from all users" you will see the search indexer process. Vista is funny that way. I too killed the process and rebooted. But the indexer is still pegged at 50-60 % and never completes. This just started happening recently. I wonder if it is due to a service pack that recently was applied. I am going to check it out and repost.

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008 1:46 PM
  • This happened to me as well; I am running XP and installed Office 2007; the problem seemed to start when I uninstalled 2003.   I just tried to get into the "add/remove programs" and removed Desktop Search, and that did fix it!


    I agree on the comments on Microsoft- I had SQL Server Express 2005 running and that also hung when I removed 2003 (and I lost a month's worth of work in developing a database), all my shortcuts somehow got hidden (and it took me a while to figure out what happened), and also I use Outlook Express for newsgroup mail related to my job and the spell-check only spell checked in French!!! And Microsoft has actually documented this one, with no offer of a fix!  All of these things lost me much work in addition to costing me a great deal of time to solve; this is a cost Microsoft is "imposing" upon the American work force.


    The productivity loss of going to Office 2007 for me has been enormous- I teach at the community college and all of my knowledge of 2003 was essentially devalued, as everything is in a new place in 2007, along with the productivity of trying to do things for work, where I have to work on these problems instead of doing real work.   We were evaluating database products, and I have just recommended to my manager that we go with Oracle rather than Sql Server!






    Thursday, July 31, 2008 3:59 PM

    First let me say that I’m running Windows XP Professional w/ SP3 update.

    I just loaded the system and finished getting all the updates and loaded what programs were going on this system when after I run its first virus scan I notice that it was still running hard slowing things down a bit. Looking for the problem I quickly found that searchindexer.exe was using a lot of resources and memory. I had to end task on it 3x before it stayed shut down. Then I did a file& folder search for seachindexer.exe. The search returned 4 results (listed below) I removed all 4 files(listed below), saving them and listing where they were installed to, rebooted the system with no problems and it appears to be running correctly for now. I was short for time and didn’t run any test to see if it will cause any problems.  I will add to this if I find it’s going to cause me any grief. If I don’t get back with any other comments in the next few days I would say problem solved. Just so you know I find it hard to believe something bad isn’t going to come from it.


    searchindexer.exe.mui  Located here C:\WINDOWS\system32\mui\0409


    searchindexer.exe.mui  Located here C:\WINDOWS\system32\en-US


    searchindexer.exe.mui  Located here C:\WINDOWS\system32


    searchindexer.exe  Located here C:\WINDOWS\system32

    Monday, September 8, 2008 3:06 PM
  • To "TechGod42"


    I think what has happened is Windows Search 4 has been installed on your system. This was recently added to Windows Update as an optional {not required} update. If you have it installed and don't want it you can go to Add/Remove Programs and it should be listed there and can be uninstalled.


    Note it is normal for Windows Search 4 to use some CPU initially while it builds the index. The should be temporary.


    Dave Wood


    Tuesday, September 23, 2008 12:21 AM
  • If your list of Indexed Locations contains folders which are frequently altered by other running programs and scheduled tasks (such as incoming email, log file updating, and such), the indexer will exhibit this behavior, especially in directories containing frequently updated temp files.  So, choose your indexed locations carefully to avoid this.  You might also make sure that your computer is not running any scheduled tasks that you do not really need.



    Wednesday, September 24, 2008 10:45 AM

    Dave, I started a new SearchIndexer.exe thread for a problem that began after an update on 8/31/08.  View the post at  Can you shed any light on this?  Should I simply try to uninstall the update? 


    Since that post I've been watching CPU time in the task monitor.  I've had SearchIndexer go to 25% twice.  One of these produced the email search hang when I tried email search about an hour after noticing SearchIndexer CPU consumption.  Unfortunately I didn't notice any unusual activity before the CPU usage increase.  The second increase was immediately after an unusual event in Media Center.  Media Center hung when attempting to record a TV program while the antenna was disconnected.  I noticed the hang immediately because I was also listening to FM radio at the time and the radio stopped.  After this, SearchIndexer was at the 25% of CPU usage rate, however a reboot was all that was necessary to clear it (and the Media Center hang too). 


    Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.


    John Z. 10/1/08 (This topic is old and long.  Responses are not dated.)

    Thursday, October 2, 2008 12:54 AM
  • i tried all the options , then i get sick ,

    i decided to uninstall windows search 4.0 from control panel , then every thing went normal


    good luck

    Thursday, November 13, 2008 4:25 PM
  • Deleted
    Wednesday, November 19, 2008 3:38 PM

    Here my trouble-shooting instructions for uninstalled WS4 from:



    1. Check Add Remove Programs and try and uninstall there.


    2. If that fails, look for C:\Windows\$NtUninstallKB940157$\spuninst\spuninst.exe and run it {this is a hidden folder so you'll need to "show hidden files and folders" or use "dir /AH" to see it.


    3. If there's no C:\Windows\$NtUninstallKB940157$ directory do the following:

         - A/ Delete the following reg keys if present:

    "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Updates\Windows XP\SP3\KB940157"


    This will make the installer believe no Windows Search 4 is on the system.


         - B/ Reinstall Windows Search 4.

    This will add the uninstall files back to C:\Windows\$NtUninstallKB940157$


         - C/ Now the uninstaller should be present in Add/Remove Programs again and can be uninstalled as normal.



    Dave Wood


    Friday, November 21, 2008 7:01 PM
  • A very BIG thankyou to Dave Wood for all the good advice in this thread which has enabled me to overcome my most recent problem of Outlook 2007 refusing to close properly and opening in Safe mode all the time. I only noticed that searchindexer.exe was clocking up nearly 100% CPU usage by accident but then when I searched and found this thread it all became clear where the root cause of the problem resided and once I followed your instructions (in my case to remove Windows Desktop Search 3) my issues disappeared so I can now hopefully carry on with a healthy PC and OS.


    Thanks again and good luck to other users trying to resolve your own probs.



    Monday, November 24, 2008 11:37 PM
  • Wow i started searching for a fix as was noticing my CPU spiking everynow and then due to the SearchIndexer.exe process. A google search brought me to the first post in this thread. Finding after 7 pages later this thread has pretty much been active for over a year now.

    I am realy interested in the process of this issue as myself working in the IT Industry. Im what i like to say a low level computer techie, in which we see these and all sorts of software and hardware issues on our clients systems. Which 95% of the time actually get resolved. Also i have been recommending going with vista for first time buyers or those upgrading as they will likely be using this it in the future (but to my surprise XP Pro Continuation has been extended).

    Last year i purchast a nice new sony vaio SZ series notebook (Model: vgn-sz483) pre-installed with Windows Vista Business 32bit edition. pretty much 3 months after having it it was always running over 50deg centergrade. Which i never realy looked much into, as you know how it is when you work in the IT industry... Take more time working on other peoples computers than your own (apart from sending it back to the manufacture, who replaced the CPU and a lot of other components totaling over 1k).

    This SearchIndexer issue could very likely be the root to the problem and think ill check my lappy out in a more thorough investigation (man havent used it for like half a year because of the overheating, and slows annoyingly when im playing a game. Even though it should totaly be able to handle what i threw at it being that it had a 2.2GHz C2D, GeForce 7400Go and i think 2GB of DDR2-667 SODIMM.).

    I would realy like to actually use it as cost me NZD$3800 (which i was guttered it dropped to NZD$2600 6 months later ). If i find anything that solves this issue will definately let you know. For now it seems the best thing to do is remove the prevous version 3 and install version 4. However not resolving the issue for alot of users. Thus Disabling the Windows Search Process (which i have to say just tracked it down and disabled on my XP desktop system i currently use, and seeing if i could find an actuall resolution after) as discussed over this now 8-paged thread.

    - B2E
    Sunday, November 30, 2008 6:47 AM
  • I have run into the same issue, and surfed a lot of answers.  Many suggest shutting down indexing on the C drive.  Sounds less than optimal, and it appears that searchindexer is a pretty persistant program that restarts itself.  The problem is that your index file is corrupt and needs to be rebuilt.  Windows is straining to complete a job that can't be completed.  I wish windows would "know" this, because the fix is not too complicated and takes a couple of minutes.  Seriously...



    Second option:



    I have fixed ours by doing a regedit and resetting the index so it would rebuild  - this is a bit less intimidating.  Good luck.

    Tuesday, December 16, 2008 4:40 AM
  • start menu-->control panel--->add or remove programs...  remove windows search 4.0.

    Saturday, December 27, 2008 6:56 AM
  • can someone help me my laptop keeps over heating and someone told me it sounds like my CPU is over working it self and i need to knw how to fix this problem because ever time i run one of my games on my laptop for a little the laptop keeps shuting down
    Saturday, April 25, 2009 5:29 PM
  • My computer was running very slowly today. To the point that I couldn't even click on anything, and the mouse was moving very slowly. I'm on WinXP with the "new" Outlook 2007 install from last week. In the task manager I could see searchindexer.exe taking up 2% to 14% of the CPU. However, the CPU was always 80% available.After reading through this list I went to: Start>Control Panel>Indexing Options. I turned off Indexing of anything outlook related.

    This has given me back the speed I was used to in Windows XP. Searchindexer.exe is still taking 2% of CPU but it seems transparent to my daily usage.

    -Mark Ruzomberka
    Tuesday, May 5, 2009 6:56 PM
  • I am using XP and experiencing similar difficulties. The CPU shows 100% usage at all times. Outlook continually locks up and/or shuts down. At times it takes several minutes to open email or change folders. Similar loss of functionality is experienced when using other Office programs and trying to navigate through the file system to locate folders. Has anyone a solution for this? Thank you.
    Wednesday, May 6, 2009 2:55 PM
  • I am running Windows 2000 and MS Office 2003. Searchindexer.exe is also using 100%cpu on my machine until I stopped the process. From what I read in this forum, it will restart by itself? Is it necessary for this process to run for MS Office to function properly? While this file is running I can not do anything on my PC because of the delay in time form the time I do something and the time the PC reacts.

    What should I do to fix the problem?

    Tuesday, June 16, 2009 5:04 AM
  • Try to reinstall windows, that always works.
    Thursday, June 18, 2009 2:40 PM
  • For Windows XP  this is the easiest way I found to get back to the old Search Companion and get rid of Windows Search 4.0.
    The method would be to set the vaule of HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows Desktop Search/DS/ShowStartSearchBand to 0 to disable the pane.
    also go to run/services.msc, look for Windows Search and stop it and set it to disabled.
    Monday, June 22, 2009 9:53 AM
  • Yea this new search and indexing turns my computer into molassis combined with real time virus scan protection.

    Disabling the Windows Search service solved it for me. Good riddance... I'm certainly not killing my virus scanner or letting this wear out my drive.

    Windows XP is fully updated. I'll keep an eye on this thread if you find a solution that works with real time virus scanning.

    Wednesday, July 8, 2009 4:03 PM
  • Thread started May 07. Issue unresolved. Every PC I have accessed in the last 5 months has the searchindexer.exe problem. I renamed to searchindexer.ex3. No Office installed, not using any brand of eMail, Internet eMail only (gmail, etc.). A fresh machine with no new software installed. All search functions on default. Only doing normal MS updates.

    Renaming works for me. Only use XP or Vista when forced to by some obscure program that only works on IE, since IE is not available for MAC or Linux. My MAC & Ubuntu machines work fine & do not have this problem. My customers bulk at Ubuntu at first, but everyone eventually likes it. Works on both 32 & 64 bit processors. I get fewer problem call backs. Just need some more software.

    I know this may not immediately solve your problem, but I do not have two years of manhours time to waste on this problem.

    Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:42 AM
  • DaveWood_MS had number of interesting suggestions that helped me solve the issue for my computer.
    The issue with high cpu utilization started when I upgraded to Windows 7 Ultimate RC 7100. One of the CPUs was almost 100% busy, but that was not slowing down my computer. The only reason why I even pursued fixing this issue, CPU utilization was draining my battery too fast. The other one, hands down, Windows 7 rocks, I did not want it blemished.

    So what did I try? I tried chkdsk /r, sfc /scannow.  None of them reported any issues. To get more color of what was taking place during indexing, I went the old fashined debugging approach, line by line. I installed ProcessExplorer and ProcessMonitor, Microsoft's SysInternal debugging tools. In addition, I launched Indexing window from control panel, that will show me count of files that have been processed so far. Inside Process Explorer, I set the filter to look for processes that begin with search and when path begins with c:\.  Once having all three applications ready, I set in the Indexing window to rebuild index.

    At first CPU was fine 10-20% busy, but then around 4000+ files, CPU utilization spiked to 100% on one of the CPUs. I went to ProcessExplorer and watched the file it was having issues with. It turned out to be  C:\Program Files\Common Files\Sonic Shared \SonicMC01\ It created some kind of infinite loop, it would work on that file for good 5-10 minutes, and then it would switch to few other files inside C:\windows directory, and then come back to file etc.
    Someone suggested to uninstall Sonic Shared AMR. I could not find which application installed it. I renamed the folder, and killed the searchfilterhost.exe process that was utilizing the CPU. The cpu went to 10-20% range, and 10k files later, indexing completed.

    In conclusion:
    1. It seems that the indexer high CPU utilization is unique from computer to computer, so the above approach of debugging seems one way around it. It does take time to download, install, and set up tools, but I think it's worth it long term.
    2. A mystery. Why is Indexing querying Program Files or Windows folders at all? I specifically checked Indexer to ensure it was only indexing user directories.

    • Proposed as answer by ed24 Friday, August 21, 2009 9:57 AM
    Friday, August 21, 2009 9:57 AM
  • How do I just turn off or eliminate these search index. All is does is tie up all of my new 8 gig memory, all of the time, send me error messages and interrupt my work, etc.

    I don't care about fast searches, just getting my work done. This search engine function destroys all  of the reasons i upgraded to a new computer.

    Just tell me how do disable it.
    Tuesday, August 25, 2009 4:38 AM
  • I have Vista Premium running on an AMDX2 HP with 2 gig ram.

    I found this on a google search: I haven't tried it yet, but it Sounds like it might work. 

    Also, I notice that the MS OFFICE ONE NOTE caused my Indexing Service to run like crazy and kill my CPU. IF you go to control panel, Indexing options, and it appears in the window, choose advance, and then choose to remove or disable it. (I forget exactly what the commands are, but it should be intuitve). Anywho, the second I did that, the indexing stopped and I gained all of my CPU back.

    Howver, when I go into the resoruce Monitor through the Task Manager, I notice that the SearchIndexing is still using a good bit of the memory (RAM) even though the program is not technically running. I have not figured this out yet.

    Anywho, my next PC will not be windows based, anything after XP seems to suck. Going with a linux based system, maybe Freewire or Ubuntu or whatever derivative will be available the next time I get a PC.

    Hope it helps, haven't seen anyone respond to you yet Edy....

    Good luck.
    • Proposed as answer by Gilles E. _ Friday, December 11, 2009 12:53 PM
    Sunday, November 8, 2009 11:33 AM
  • I had this problem: CPU usage of searchindexer.exe always very important (between 50 and 100%), even if the user activity was important. This was the case only when Outlook 2007 was opened.
    I have reinstalled WDS, reinitialised the index 2 times. Each time the problem did appear some time (less than one day) after the first index to be completed.
    I have then clean my C: drive (more free space) and I did defragment it. Since that, I have no problem anymore (~3days).
    Hope this helps.
    Friday, December 11, 2009 12:54 PM
  • I was having the same issue.  I am one to tinker so I went into system32 where the file originates, and removed the file completely (made backup copy as saftey net to reinstall if needed) The activity stopped and has yet to restart.  So far there have been no side effects of this action.  The file name is SearchIndexer in the system32 folder. ***** This is just to let you know what I have tried about this issue,  I have a system I use for just this kind of testing.


    Windows Vista Business
    Saturday, December 12, 2009 2:32 AM
  • I had the same problem as many people above - Searchindexer.exe with extreme high CPU load.
    One of the suggestions was the DNG codec of Adobe as the culprit.
    I de-installed the Codec and restarted the laptop (Lenovo T61).

    Indexing is working again (10-15 files indexed / sec instead of one per 15 minutes) and CPU load from searchindexer.exe  and searcProtocolhost.exe is back to a few percentagepoints.

    I hope that it will help a few people

    Friday, January 15, 2010 8:50 PM
  • Can I simply "end process" of searchindexer.exe ? Or will this cause major probs? I'm using Windows xp media edition. Thank you:)
    Wednesday, February 3, 2010 3:09 AM
  • So I realize this thread was Vista centric from the get go, but I have an observation:

    Windows 7 Professional Intel Q8200 Core2Quad

    Noticed today that my processor was running about 50% with GMail open in Firefox. Thought, this was odd behavior. Started digging into the perfmon, only to find our pal searchindexer.exe consistently hanging out with 25% of the processor followed closely by searchprotocolhost.exe at about 20%. Started my usual online search for what these services are, and happened upon this discussion, as well as a few other scattered threads on this issue.

    As an employee at another tech company that does work with support, I cannot help but ask why a Microsoft KnowledgeBase article has not been generated to address this issue? Granted in my case the 50% does not cause a significant system drain, until say I'm looking to do something important like coding in Visual Studio, or working in the Adobe Design Suite, or any other time I would want to take advantage of the performance I built into my system. Per your Engineer Dave's observation, this is a KNOWN issue, and ought be documented as such.

    For other users, my current solution has been disabling indexed search of XML, OST, and PST file types. My idle has since returned to 1-2%. Quite clearly, there is root cause to the index hanging on, what's that another Microsoft product in Outlook.

    PLEASE CREATE CUSTOMER FACING DOCUMENTATION OUTLINING THE ISSUES AS THEY HAVE BEEN CAPTURED HERE, AND PROVIDE A LIST OF POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS. I am sure your engineering group does not deal with this type of performance drain, and has long since been supplied with a work around. Please show respect to your user group, and release a path forward.

    Anyone at MS listening, I appreciate your time. We are just asking for you to take responsibility for the troubleshooting process.

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 5:19 AM
  • Just thought I would add one more user to the list experiencing this issue.  I agree with the above post.  In my case disabling XML, OST, and PST file types in index advanced options did not solve my issue. I run Windows 7 proffesional 64 with a raid 5 drive partitioned into two partitions, one for OS and the other for files.   I don't use outlook on this machine, but I do use gmail and hotmail on it.

    Diabling the service is the only solution that I have found after attempting various of the suggestions in this thread.


    An update to fix it would be nice too.

    Sunday, March 7, 2010 2:32 AM
  • SearchIndexer.exe is an substantial part of Microsoft’s operating system VISTA. It is stated as a service called Windows Search. On most systems it causes slow responses of the system because it takes all the resources to scan certain aspects, which can cause the system not to response for several seconds. As a test you might disable this service without any danger to check if the system is working better (with viewer or non system stops). You might notice that if your browsing that the system is searching a bit longer, but it should not cause a hang-up or system stop for several seconds.

    Amolkumar Supe
    Monday, March 15, 2010 5:54 PM
  • Has anyone noticed that with Windows 7, running applications BOINC causes SearchIndexer.exe to be active?
    Monday, March 22, 2010 3:53 PM
  • Has anyone noticed that with Windows 7, running applications BOINC causes SearchIndexer.exe to be active?
    Monday, March 22, 2010 3:53 PM
  • Hey. Download the Process Tamer.
    Friday, April 16, 2010 2:04 PM
  • I too have SearchIndexer.exe in Win7 chewing up 90%+ of the CPU even when I'm using the system AND I have lowered the priority to low.  This is ridiculous.  I'll try process tamer.
    Sunday, April 25, 2010 2:10 PM
  • Excluding the BOINC directory from the the index search did help a bit.  SearchIndexer.exe is still busy quite a bit when all the applications are terminated.
    Sunday, April 25, 2010 9:35 PM
  • New Windows Search eats up the entire CPU. There are few processes related to this application that consume so much CPU.

    searchindexfilter.exe is the main cluprit. I left the indexing of my entire C drive to complete. It took two days. Even after indexing was compelte, the searchindexfilter.exe kept consuming 50% of my CPU... On killing the process it kept restarting...

    I finally found a resolution to the issue. I uninstalled WindowsSearch from the control panel. the system is running fine now



    Monday, May 17, 2010 9:20 AM
  • I wanted to resurrect this old post.  I have been having a problem with SearchIndexerHost.exe running 40 - 50% utilization ever since I installed Office 2010 64-bit, build 14.0.4760.1000.  I have been researching the cause and effect for about 3 days.  I came across this thread and it seemed similar.

    Through the use of Sysinternals, I found that Outlook's .pst and Hotmail connectors were the ones the indexer was stuck on.  David mentioned that the Mail API for Outlook controls the indexing functions, rather than the file extension settings in Control Panel.  I modified the control panel's indexing settings to skip over Outlook personal folders.  This resolved a part of the problem.  Utilization then went to 20-25%, but was still high on a quad core 64-bit machine with 8GB RAM.  I removed the indexing from the Hotmail Connector and WHAM, CPU utilization dropped to zero. 

    Just for full-disclosure, I live out in far Western Alaska and all of our Internet connectivity is over high-latency satellite links.  I am not suggesting that this is an error of the Hotmail Connector for Outlook, it is very possible that the indexing of the content via the connector was disturbed by the high-latency link.

    I hope this helps someone else, even though it is an old post. 

    Keywords for search engines to grab: Office 2010 beta, Outlook 2010 beta, Office 2k10, Outlook 2k10, searchindexerhost.exe, process tree, windows index, cpu utilization.


    Spencer Hamons
    Bethel, Alaska
    Find my podcast at:

    Spencer Hamons
    Thursday, June 10, 2010 5:59 PM
  • Hi Spencer,

    Firstly, thank you all for your contributions.  I'm reading through the thread now -- from Tom's and Dave's, et al. discussion, and finally to your post.


    This past week... it was my first time that I've experienced the SearchIndexer.exe issue where I cannot kill the process without it restarting automatically.  My dual-core HP Compaq 8510p with 3GB RAM  on Vista Business is generally pretty snappy.  But, this issue with searchindexer.exe has the CPUs collectively pegged at around 50+% where everything is crawling.  Several reboots (some B.S.O.D, others with me doing a clean shutdown/restart) seems to have NO NOTICEABLE AFFECT on performance -- my usually zippy machine is on it knees.

    However, I will attempt to try some of the possible fixes recommended here.  Fingers crossed.

    (Spencer, thanks for resurrecting the post and input!)


    Frank C.
    Santa Clara, CA

    Monday, June 14, 2010 6:42 AM
  • New Windows Search eats up the entire CPU. There are few processes related to this application that consume so much CPU.

    searchindexfilter.exe is the main cluprit. I left the indexing of my entire C drive to complete. It took two days. Even after indexing was compelte, the searchindexfilter.exe kept consuming 50% of my CPU... On killing the process it kept restarting...

    I finally found a resolution to the issue. I uninstalled WindowsSearch from the control panel. the system is running fine now



    You can also disable "Windows Search" in Services. It won't start if it's disabled. However killing the process will result in the service restarting, as you experienced. For the amount of time you are actually searching for files, you can just let it search without an index. It works fine. All Windows Search does is build an index to make file searching faster. You don't need the service running to search files. If you are running AV, there is no other solution, except to disable the AV file monitor which re-scans when files change. IMHO If you run AV, Windows Search is worse than useless. Combined with AV it will wear your drive(s) out. I am being 100% sincere when I say I don't even know it's turned off, even when trying to find text within a file. It really doesn't do all that much for you unless you have gigs of text you are searching through. Of course having gigs of text files exacerbates the problem this thread is dedicated to. Organize them and search in the appropriate directory instead of searching everything. Draconian but very effective.
    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 4:50 AM
  • You could try tuning the service down, see if that helps;

    This workedI needed the oposite and indexing went from 1 per min to thousands per hour.

    Open the Computer Management control panel.

    1. Expand the "Services and Applications" item.
    2. Stop Indexing Service (right click -> Stop).
    3. Right click Indexing Service -> All Tasks -> Tune Performance.
    4. Select the Customize radio button and click the "Customize" button.
    5. Select "Lazy" indexing performance.
    6. OK, OK.
    7. Start Indexing Service (right click -> Start).
    Tuesday, July 20, 2010 8:58 AM
  • Hi all,


    I just has an annoying issue and it seems to be related to SearchIndexer BUT and I emphaized the word BUT, the CPU is not what everyone is saying it is in fact the opersite effect.  maybe 1 to 5% CPU but what is happening instead is a constant harddrive write/read/seek as the hard drive LED is on constantly and slows everything right down to a crawl.


    Swtiching or minimising windows would be instant but there is a massive lag of around 5 to 8 seconds before any actions takes place and opening Process manager reveals nothing to be 100% CPU but I has killed SearchIndexer before and thus stopped the hard drive read/write/seek problems but now unable to kill the task or process.


    Any ideas on why this is happening?  I am running Vista 32-bit (home I believes)

    Monday, July 26, 2010 2:15 PM
  • Sep 2010: My WinXP Pro box is experiencing the exact same symptoms as outlined in PJ9094383's post.

    Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:47 AM
  • I came back today to check if anyone had found any better final resolution to this problem.

    2 years ago I tried all of the then available suggestions to fix the problem on a Vista Home computer.  The only choice that worked then was like XP to turn off the Search Service, and keep turning it off whenever something like Windows Update or whatever would reinstate it.

    I find myself with exactly the same issue now on a relatively new Windows 7 machine and no better choice than the primitive choice I had then.

    It's almost criminal that we are now 3 and a half years beyond this problem originally being discussed in this thread.  And I have experienced exactly the same problem with 3 different computers running 3 different MS operating systems going back to XP Pro.

    It's amazing to think we actually pay MS to make our lives difficult and our computers unusable!



    Thursday, December 16, 2010 3:28 PM
  • I found that the SearchIndexer.exe process was continuously burning CPU attempting to index a log file from a Dell configuration utility. Since the Dell configuration utility updated the log file every second or two, SearchIndexer.exe never stopped. I was able to solve this problem two ways. First, I changed the indexing options to exclude the log file. This worked rather well. Later I decided that the Dell Universal Connection Manager (Dell.UCM.exe) simply wasn't worth having and removed it. This also solved the problem.

    I determined this a couple of ways. First, I modified my file options to show all hidden and system files. Second, I downloaded XYPlorer and installed it. I used it to repeatedly find all of the files that had been modified in the last 10 seconds. The Dell log file kept showing up.

    Note that other folks have also had problems with SearchIndexer.exe and the Dell utility.

    Saturday, December 18, 2010 12:55 AM
  • I've read these posts pretty closely.  Have had this issue with Vista and Windows 7.  Before you do anything else try this tool, makes it MUCH easier to stop and start the service when troubleshooting, as well as keep an eye on what it is doing.  Also seems to allow selecting areas that should be indexed and avoid areas that should not (or that at least can slow things down or even induce hangs).

    In my case I was about to set the "SetupCompletedSuccessfully" flag to 0 and go after the Adobe DNG codec (seems Adobe updates are among the best ways to destabilize your machine) but remembered this gadget.  Here is  what seems to have worked for me.

    - Tried to use Device Manager to stop the SearchIndexer and it hung

    - Killed it with Task Manager

    - Changed Properties to Manual Start with Device Manager

    - Left it stopped

    - Downloaded and installed this gadget

    - Restarted SearchIndexer

    - Seemed to be running dine so set it back to Automatic Start in Device Manager

    The gadget defaults to exclude some areas from indexing that were apparently problematic.  It also seems to allow some customization of areas to be indexed.  Great tool.

    Thursday, January 13, 2011 8:03 AM
  • I've read these posts pretty closely.  Have had this issue with Vista and Windows 7.  Before you do anything else try this tool, makes it MUCH easier to stop and start the service when troubleshooting, as well as keep an eye on what it is doing.  Also seems to allow selecting areas that should be indexed and avoid areas that should not (or that at least can slow things down or even induce hangs).

    In my case I was about to set the "SetupCompletedSuccessfully" flag to 0 and go after the Adobe DNG codec (seems Adobe updates are among the best ways to destabilize your machine) but remembered this gadget.  Here is  what seems to have worked for me.

    - Tried to use Device Manager to stop the SearchIndexer and it hung

    - Killed it with Task Manager

    - Changed Properties to Manual Start with Device Manager

    - Left it stopped

    - Downloaded and installed this gadget

    - Restarted SearchIndexer

    - Seemed to be running dine so set it back to Automatic Start in Device Manager

    The gadget defaults to exclude some areas from indexing that were apparently problematic.  It also seems to allow some customization of areas to be indexed.  Great tool.

    having the same problem here, win7 x64.  to what 'gadget' are you referring to?  i'd like to give it a try but not sure which 'tool' you're talking about. 
    • Proposed as answer by Dmarsonic Friday, February 25, 2011 3:23 PM
    Monday, January 24, 2011 3:59 AM
  • After a couple days that the issue was driving me crazy I found a very easy fix , I would like to share with you guys  Try  this  GO TO CONTROL PANEL –  ADMINISTRATION TOOLS – SERVICES  -  WINDOWS SEARCH – and in the box STARTUP TYPE: select the choice  MANUAL. Click OK restart your computer and that’s it. I did work for me.

    Friday, February 25, 2011 3:24 PM
  • I had the same issue. I opened my “Outlook archive.pst” from a network drive. After a few minutes Outlook 2010 hangs, IE 8 hangs with other apps. At one time I tried to reboot Windows, I left the computer running over night, in the morning it was still trying to log off.

    The CPU shows 25% CPU or more (4 cores CPU). Index searcher is constant at 25%. I cannot kill any task that is not responding.

    To fix my issue I excluded the index for my “Outlook archive.pst” and so far so good.

    The OS I use is Windows 2008 R2 standard with all hotfixes up to this date. The "outlook archive.pst" is only 119 MB in size.

    Monday, March 21, 2011 9:41 AM
  • Running Windows 7 professional 64 bit on Dell E6500 T9600 2 core processor with 8gb RAM.  My searchindexer "feature" is that in running process explorer, seachprotocolhost is shown continuously starting and stopping.  As time proceeds, this process takes more and more of my CPU cycles until I can't even switch to an active window.  The search index seeems to work fine in that the search works both in Outlook 2007 and within Windows explorer which is what I want, but after a couple of hours, I have to shut down and restart to get back to where I can work.  I believe my problem is related to the constant starting and stopping of the process basically every second. I have been working on this a while and resolved a problem with an old NVIDIA driving conflicting with a Windows critical update and thought this problem went away at that time, however, ITS BACK.  I did turn off searchindexer in the system which SOLVED the problem but then I lost the search featture which is very useful to me, if it only behaved...
    • Proposed as answer by Chris Raisin Monday, April 18, 2011 10:15 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Chris Raisin Monday, April 18, 2011 10:15 PM
    Monday, April 4, 2011 2:42 PM
  • Well, after reading through all this I think I have the ultimate solution for everyone.

    1. Run (from the Start/Run button) "services.msc"

    2. Locate "Indexing Service", right mouse-click and select Properties

    3. Change "Start-Up Type" to DISABLED and click OK

    4. Close the "Services" dialogue

    5. Go to the website

    6. Download the latest version of Locate32.exe for your system
        (this FANTASTIC utility is sourceware and totally free and totally fantastic)
       Note: this program is 1K in size! and is lightening fast!

    7. Install the program, then run its initial indexing propgram "Updtdb32.exe"
        which updates its database.(It is also 1K in size. It indexed my
        entire system (including two external hard drives) in 11.25 minutes
        (798,242 files)

    8. Now you can find files INSTANTLY (almost) and you will never have to worry 
        about searchindexer again!

    Hope this helps!




    Monday, April 18, 2011 10:17 PM
  • Hi,

    Here's what you can do:

    • Disconnect from the Internet
    • Go to the performance mode: - Right-click Computer > Properties > Advanced system settings > Settings > Adjust for best performance
    • Close any background applications
    • Temporarely disable your Anti-Virus

    Then restart the Indexing process

    Hope this helps.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011 6:12 PM
  • I am having the a similar issue...

    Microsoft SearchIndexer.exe is taking WAY TOO MUCH CPU!!!

    Microsoft Outlook 2007 is also hanging up, When I use Microsoft Office 2007 Diagnostics, it says No Problems Found!

    Also, I cannot Delete Browser History using Microsoft Internet Options.  Just hangs there!

    What is going on here?

    I have Windows 7 32-bit.  All updates installed.  

    Please help if you can,


    Friday, August 12, 2011 11:43 PM
  • Microsoft Office File Validator, I uninstalled it, and SearchIndexer virtually disappeared.  It is weird that it is running, because I had it turned off in the first place. 

    Some other svchost.exe process are also using


    amounts of disk resources, though it appears to be better behave.  Before I uninstalled MSOValidator, I could barely type a blog post in Firefox, which is really sad because I use the same apps at work on XP, and the system was running faster.


    Thinking back I did see the file that SI was indecing and its was MSO, so probably that was what did it.  I tried turning SuperFetch off, seemed to help for a little while but I ended up turning it back on.

    • Proposed as answer by dominiqueb Sunday, October 2, 2011 11:15 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by dominiqueb Sunday, October 2, 2011 11:15 PM
    Saturday, September 10, 2011 10:04 AM
  • Experienced the same problem and I think I might have found a workaround.

    1. Close all programs except Outlook
    2. Try to search anything on the search bar
    3. Open task manager and show all processes from all users
    4. Highlight SearchIndexer and right-click on it
    5. Set affinity so that it will use only a specific CPU. For example, if you have a quad-core processor, you might just only need 2.

    This worked for me. Propose as answer if this works for you.

    Take care everybody!



    Sunday, October 2, 2011 11:18 PM
  • Experienced the same problem and I think I might have found a workaround.

    1. Close all programs except Outlook
    2. Try to search anything on the search bar
    3. Open task manager and show all processes from all users
    4. Highlight SearchIndexer and right-click on it
    5. Set affinity so that it will use only a specific CPU. For example, if you have a quad-core processor, you might just only need 2.

    This worked for me. Propose as answer if this works for you.

    Take care everybody!



    It definitely has something to do with the SearchIndexer utilizing a quadcore processor... ;)


    Sunday, October 2, 2011 11:25 PM
  • Try this: 

    Put the following in to notepad.exe and save as "Outlook2007DisallowSearchProtocolHostConnection.reg" or something

    =======COPY EVERYTHING BELOW THIS LINE=====================

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


    =======COPY EVERYTHING ABOVE THIS LINE=====================

    Double click the .reg file, reboot, and see if SearchProtocolHost.exe is still trying to index your Outlook 2007 OSTs/PSTs

    Wednesday, April 18, 2012 12:08 AM
  • I have this exact same problem, and can't find the solution. The "Microsoft Windows search indexer" crushes my computer speed and places cpu usage at 99% almost eternally. It never seems to end indexing, even when I leave it on all night. What aggravates the most, is that ever clicking "end task" via the task manager, it then reappears within 5 minutes. I have probably try to kill it running 50+ times today as I need to work and can't deal with the computer freezing. This problem has been on going for a while, but seemingly getting worse. I have windows 8.1 on a dell inspiron 7000 series.
    Friday, June 12, 2015 9:01 PM
  •  The high usage of CPU by searchindexer.exe can also be resolved by renaming korwbrkr.dll to korwbrkr.bak. This can be done by opening the command prompt and typing in cd C:\windows\system32, after pressing enter just type: ren korwbrkr.dll korwbrkr.bak. Now restart the computer and your problem will be solved hopefully.
    Sunday, April 30, 2017 8:39 PM