Windows employs indexing to maintain its search catalog in real-time. This process does this by monitoring changes made to files.
However, constant scanning can consume many resources on your PC and make it run slower. Should indexing be disabled? Read on to discover more!
Table of Contents
1. Storage Space
Indexing is an efficient way of searching files quickly on your computer, yet it consumes considerable disk space and CPU/memory resources as it organizes data stored there. Over time, this may slow down performance significantly and decrease overall system efficiency.
If your hard disk space is limited, disabling indexing could free up significant space – however it will make files harder to find and may take longer for programs to access the data they require as the indexing process must rebuild its entire database.
Your computer may be suffering from too much storage capacity; by disabling indexing for folders that you no longer use, you could significantly decrease their strain. But keep indexing active for frequently-used ones to ensure you can still locate files and documents quickly and efficiently.
Diminishing storage strain, disabling indexing can also improve computer performance – this is particularly applicable if your computer features SSD drives since indexing can significantly lengthen loading times of these hard drives.
SSD is a unified space that connects multiple hard drives together into a virtual drive, offering better performance than traditional hard drives and helping users recover faster from hard drive failure. Unfortunately, however, SSD has some drawbacks such as limited storage capacity and higher price point that must be considered before investing in one.
SSDs offer many advantages as an alternative to external hard drives, including greater security and portability. Furthermore, SSDs support multiple operating systems and can even serve as boot drives – giving greater flexibility and improving productivity.
2. Battery Life
Indexing files uses up a lot of memory and CPU resources, which can significantly decrease battery life for laptops or desktop PCs. Disabling indexing can extend how long your device can remain powered without needing to be charged again.
Your PC could take hours to index all of the data files it needs to index, which could significantly impede its performance. Instead, the Windows Search Options feature can help control which folders are included or excluded from indexing – saving both time and energy when searching for files on your PC.
Search Indexes in various applications offer you an efficient means of quickly locating files. They typically include information like file name and contents, along with details such as its location.
To manage which locations should or shouldn’t be indexed, launch Search Settings by pressing Windows + E and clicking This PC. Right-click a drive you want to change and choose Properties from its menu; on the General tab uncheck Allow files on this drive to have their contents indexed as well as file properties before clicking OK to save your changes.
Indexing files may also have adverse impacts on your system if you’re using an SSD as your main boot drive, since your SSD already provides fast performance without needing an indexing service to tie up CPU and memory resources to index files.
If you’re uncertain whether indexing should remain active or disabled, try keeping it on for areas you often search, while disabling it in other folders. This should strike an ideal balance between speedy searches and saving CPU and RAM resources. On the other hand, if your computer features fast CPUs and regular hard disk drives it’s wiser to leave indexing active; that way you’ll conserve resources necessary for features that matter most on your system.
Indexing can improve search capabilities, but can become slow-running if the amount of data to index becomes too large. If you have many large files to index, disabling indexing could free up RAM and CPU resources which would otherwise be spent creating it; making your computer feel faster overall while potentially improving performance of Microsoft Store apps as a result.
If you want to keep indexing enabled, using the Indexing Options control panel you can reduce its size by selecting which folders Windows should index or even exclusion specific file types from being indexed if space saving is desired. This way, searching files quickly without wasting storage or processing power on unnecessary information is still possible.
Dependent upon your computer and file types, indexing can take up anywhere between 5-9% of disk space. A larger percentage could be consumed if there are many small files or you’re indexing computer code; to minimize this impact, only include personal folders like Documents, Pictures and Videos in your index.
If your PC is used exclusively for work without many personal files, leaving the indexing feature enabled may be best. However, if you have an underpowered CPU speed or traditional hard drive it could be more effective to turn it off; similarly SSD drives are much quicker at searching without indexing.
Disabling indexing could make your PC vulnerable to spyware. Because Windows relies on index data to locate files and folders, malicious software could exploit this process and gain entry to your files and folders. Luckily, there are steps you can take to protect yourself, such as using Auslogics BoostSpeed as an optimizer; using such software will remove junk files that eat up CPU and RAM resources as well as clean out faulty registry keys to help stop malware from executing itself on your machine.
Before turning off indexing, it is imperative that you create a backup of your system using Backup Buddy or WinBackup in case anything goes wrong. By creating an image of your hard drive and saving it to either an external disk or flash drive, if anything goes amiss you will be able to restore it back into working condition should anything go amiss.
After creating a backup, you can temporarily suspend indexing service by opening Control Panel > Indexing Options and making appropriate selections in Indexing Options. From here, you can choose which drives or folders should not be included in the index, and how much space will be taken up by it; typically about 10% of total file sizes; larger indexes could result from having many small (4 KB) files or computer code to index. To reduce its size even further, dynamically generated files should be marked for exclusion as much as possible.
Dependent upon the size and nature of your PC, updating its index may take some time. In the interim, searching files and folders might take more time. But this delay is worth the sacrifice in terms of speedier system performance.
Indexing should always be enabled on areas of your PC that frequently use search. Doing this allows for faster file and folder searches while freeing up more processor and RAM resources for other tasks, while at the same time keeping performance issues to a minimum. Also keep in mind that some apps in Microsoft Store require indexing data in order to function properly.