How to Disable or Enable Windows Search Indexing in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to turn On or Off Windows Search Indexing in Windows 11. Windows has a built in search feature that allows you to search for documents from a particular folder or the entire PC.

To return faster results when users are searching for files, emails, or other local content, Windows indexes those content on the local computer. There are two types of indexing options in Windows 11: Classic and Enhanced indexing options.

The Classic indexing option will index content found in the user profile folders, including Documents, Pictures, Music and the Desktop.

Users can add additional locations using the Classic indexing option to include additional content.

The Enhanced indexing option indexes the user computer’s entire contents, all hard drives, and partitions, including your libraries and desktop by default. The indexer uses the Windows Search service and runs as the Searchindexer.exe process in the background.

How to disable Windows Search indexing in Windows 11

As mentioned above, Windows Search indexes content on user’s computer to provide faster and improved results. Search indexer is a service that runs in the background.

You can search Windows without using its indexer. However, you may not get faster or enhanced results if Windows indexer is turned off.

Below is how to turn off or disable Windows Search indexer in Windows 11.

First, open the Services console, then location Windows Search service. On the Windows Search service name, double–click it to open.

On the Windows Search Properties window, click the Stop button to stop the service.

The select Disabled in the Startup type drop menu, and click on Apply.

You can close out the Services console.

When you stop Windows Search service, it will also stop Windows Search indexing. As you can see in the image below, Indexing status should indicate the service is Not running.

How to enable Windows Search indexing in Windows 11

If Windows Search indexing is disable, you can reverse the steps above to re-enable it. Open the Services console, then location the Windows Search service, double-click to open.

On the Windows Search Properties window, select Automatic (Delayed Start) for the Startup type drop down menu, then click the Apply button.

Also click on the Start button to start the Windows Search service right away.

Windows Search Indexing should be re-enabled.

How to enable or disable Windows Search from the command prompt

The same steps above can be done using the Command Prompt.

To do that, open the Command Prompt as administrator.

The run the commands below to enable Windows Search Indexing.

sc config "wsearch" start=delayed-auto && sc start "wsearch"

To disable, run the commands below.

sc stop "wsearch" && sc config "wsearch" start=disabled​

That should do it!


This post showed you how to disable or enable Windows Search Indexing in Windows 11. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.