How To Disable Indexing Functions in Windows XP, and Windows 7


Windows includes an indexing service that can be used to catalog every file on your hard drive, similar to the way you cataloged your CD or DVD titles into a database. The primary advantage to indexing the contents of an entire hard drive makes searching for a particular file a fast procedure, particularly useful if your hard drive contains a large amount of files and folders. The indexing service does take up system resources, and is beneficial only if you are doing multiple searches for a specific file or searching to find keywords in the contents of your files.

If you're not particular about how fast a search should take in Windows, you can safely disable the indexing service, to help speed up other operations.

Key Terms and Definitions Associated With This Article:

The following key terms and definitions are applicable to this article.

Indexing Service Windows XP system service that indexes all files and folders on a hard drive for quicker searching.
Services.msc A Windows application used to manage system services.
Windows Search The primary search function built into all versoins of Windows that allows for fast file searching.
File A computer file is a computer resource for recording data discretely in a computer storage device. Just as words can be written to paper, so can information be written to a computer file. There are different types of computer files, designed for different purposes.
Hard Drive hard disk drive (HDD), hard diskhard drive or fixed disk is a data storage device that uses magnetic storage to store and retrieve digital information using one or more rigid rapidly rotating disks (platters) coated with magnetic material.
System Resources In a computer system,system resources are the components that provide its inherent capabilities and contribute to its overall performance. System memory, cache memory, hard disk space, IRQs and DMA channels are examples.

Tips and Tricks To Optimize Windows XP

Turn off Indexing Operations

The process of indexing files on a hard disk drive improves the search speed in Windows.

Windows catalogs the contents of every file located on your computer's hard drives and as a result impacts system performance heavily.

If you don't use the Search function in Windows XP you can safely disable this feature to help speed up the responsiveness of your Windows operating system.

How To Disable Indexing Service In Windows XP

How To Disable Indexing Service in Windows XP
Accessing Indexing Options For File and Folder Properties of Local Disk C

  1. Open up "My Computer." Left click the shortcut on your desktop.
  2. Right-click on your hard drive (usually "C:") and choose "Properties."
  3. Uncheck the box at the bottom that reads "Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching..."
  4. Left click OK, and files will be removed from memory. This removal may take a few minutes to complete.

Solution #2 - How To Disable Indexing Service Permanently in Windows XP

  1. Left click the "Start" menu and select "Run."
    left click the Start menu.
  2. In the open box, type the command "services.msc" and press Enter.
    left click the Start menu.
  3. Scroll-down to "Indexing Service" and double left click to view properties for the item.
    left click the Start menu.
  4. If the service status is "Running", then stop it by pressing the "Stop" button.
    left click the Start menu.
  5. To make sure this service doesn't run again, under "Startup Type:", choose "Disabled."

Windows search will still work if you perform these steps, but it will work more slowly than if indexing was enabled.

How To Disable Indexing Service in Windows 7

1. Left click the Start menu orb on the lower left of the desktop.

2. Left click the Computer link.

Disabling the Windows Indexing function in Windows 7 - 01
  1. In the computer window find the Local Disk C: and right click once.Disabling the Windows Indexing function in Windows 7 - 02
  2. From the drop-down menu left click Properties. This will load the properties window for Local Disk C:.
  3. Uncheck the box "Allow files on the drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties".
    Disabling the Windows Indexing function in Windows 7 - 03
  4. This will disable the Windows Indexing service on Local Disk C:.Windows will make file attribute changes to all files on your Local Disk C.

    If you have more than one partition setup on the system simply repeats the steps outlined in this tutorial to disable indexing for those drive partitions.

Solution #3 - How To Completely Disable WIndows Indexing Functions in Windows 7

There is one more way to disable indexing and it will totally turn it off. The above methods will reduce what’s indexed by Windows, but the indexing service will still be running. Here I’ll show you how to turn off the indexing service altogether, which is I’ve done and have never run into an issue where I needed it enabled.

1. Left click the Start Orb on the lower left of the desktop.

2. Open the Control Panel link on the Start menu. This will load the Control Panel.

How To Disable Indexing Services in Windows 7

3. In the Windows Control Panel, double left click Administrative Tools shortcut.

How To Disable Indexing Services in Windows 7

4. Double left click on Services in the list.

How To Disable Indexing Services in Windows 7

5. You can also open Services directly by typing services.msc in the Run dialog or Start Menu search box. This will load the Services Configuration tool.

How To Disable Indexing Services in Windows 7

6. Now scroll down till you find either Indexing Service or Windows Search in the list of services. You’ll see it’s probably in the Started state and is set to Automatic.

How To Disable Indexing Services in Windows 7

Double left click on Windows Search and click the Stop button to stop the service. Then change the Startup Type to Disabled.

How To Disable Indexing Services in Windows 7

After this, you’re going to want to restart your computer. When you turn indexing off, you can still perform a search in Windows, it’ll just give you a message saying it’s going to be slower because there index is not running and you will see a warning from Microsoft indicating that the search service is not active.

Congratulations! You now know how to safely disable the Windows Indexing / Windows Search function service within Windows 7.


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