How to Configure Search Indexing for Windows 11 Search?

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Search Indexing is a feature of Windows 11 that allows your computer to search through every folder and file and then provide you a result based on a word or metadata. Although you can find a file or folder manually, it will take a lot of time if you have several files and folders on your computer. Using Windows search, you can quickly find an item from most apps, such as File Explorer, Groove, Photos, etc.

Indexing enhances the search functionality, but a computer with low specifications can put a lot of burden on your CPU, resulting in slower performance. Therefore, if you notice that your computer is getting slower, you can try disabling Search Indexing and see the results.

How to Configure Search Indexing on Windows 11?

Step 1. First, open the Settings app by pressing Windows + I keys.

Step 2. When Windows Settings opens, select Privacy & security category from the left sidebar.

Step 3. Then on the right-side pane, scroll down to the “Windows permissions” section. Under that, click on the Searching Windows option.

Step 4. In the “Searching Windows” settings, choose Enhanced if you want to search your entire PC. You can select the Classic option to search only Documents, Pictures, Music, and the Desktop folders. You can even customize location by clicking Customize search locations.

How to Enable or Disable Search Indexing on Windows 11?

Search Indexing is enabled by default on Windows 11. However, if you need it, you can enable or disable it according to your needs. To turn on or off the search indexing on Windows 11, use the following steps:-

Step 1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows + R keys from the keyboard.

Step 2. In the Run box, type the following and hit Enter from the keyboard to open the Services window:-

services.msc

Step 3. When the Services window opens, locate the “Windows Search” and then double-click on it to open its Properties.

Step 4. If the “Windows Search” service is already running, you will see the “Stop” button is active. Otherwise, the “Start” button will be active to enable this service. According to your needs, you can stop or start this service.

Those who prefer to use command prompt to stop or start services can execute the following commands in the elevated Command Prompt window:-

Disable Search Indexing:

sc stop “wsearch” && sc config “wsearch” start=disabled

Enable Search Indexing

sc config “wsearch” start=delayed-auto && sc start “wsearch”

How to Change Indexing Options on Windows 11?

If you want to exclude a drive or folder from Search Indexing, you can change the Indexing Option in Windows 11. To do that, use the following steps:-

Step 1. Click the Search button on the taskbar and then type Indexing Options.

 

Step 2. In the available search results, click the “Indexing Options” to open it.

Step 3. When the “Indexing Options” window opens, click the Modify button.

Step 4. In the “Indexed Locations” window, you can check or uncheck the folders/drives according to your needs. When done, click the OK button. If some of the folders/drivers do not appear, you can see them by clicking the “Show all locations” button.

The folders or drives you uncheck will be removed from “Search Indexing.”

How to Rebuild Search Indexing on Windows 11?

When Search Indexing is not working well or due to some reason, if you want to rebuild them, use the following steps:-

Step 1. Click the Search button on the taskbar and then type Indexing Options.

Step 2. In the available search results, click the “Indexing Options” to open it.

Step 3. When the “Indexing Options” window opens, click the Advanced button.

Step 4. In the “Advanced Options” window that appears, click the Rebuild button under the Troubleshooting section.

 

Step 5. Click “OK” on the “Rebuild Index” dialog.

That’s it. Now Windows 11 will build the search indexing list from scratch.

Good luck.

One comment

  1. HI, thanks for the detailed description, still search doesn’t get my data stored in PDF or excel files, this is really weird, it used to work perfectly on Windows 10. Please help.

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