A couple weeks ago I was testing some things on my Windows 7 laptop and needed to make sure that all of the data on my hard drive was included in Windows Search. After adding a large amount of data it seemed as though Windows Search was taking forever to index everything so I started investigating how to speed up the index process. There is a configurable option called “Disable Indexer Backoff” which can be disabled to allow Windows Search to index without any limitations though by default the Indexer Backoff is enabled and thus depending on the speed of your Windows 7 computer it can take quite awhile to index everything on the hard drive. Follow the directions below to speed up Windows Search indexing process by disabling Indexer Backoff.
Speed Up Windows Search Indexing:
- Open Local Group Policy Editor: Click the Windows Start Menu icon located in the lower left corner of your Windows 7 screen, type “gpedit.msc” in the “Search programs and files” box, and click on gpedit.msc which will appear underneath Programs in the search results as shown in the below example image.
Once you click on gpedit.msc the Local Group Policy Editor configuration window will open as shown in the below example image.
- Open Windows Components Search: Now highlight Administrative Templates located underneath Computer Configuration in the left navigation which will then display all of the Administrative Templates in the center column as shown in the below example image.
Once the Administrative Templates display in the center column double click on Windows Components to display the list of Windows Components in the center column as shown in the below example image.
Now with the Windows Components list displaying in the center column scroll down until you find the Search folder and double click on it to display the various Search configuration options as shown in the below example image.
- Modify Search Indexer Backoff Setting: With the list of Windows Search configuration options displaying scroll down until you see Disable Indexer Backoff. Once located double click on Disable Indexer Backoff which will open the Disable indexer backoff configuration window displayed in the below example image.
Move the radio button from Enabled to Disabled as shown in the example image above and then click the Apply button to save the settings.
- Close All Windows & Reboot Windows: You can now close all of the configuration windows that have been opened during this process including the Control Panel. I don’t believe a reboot is required but you can go ahead and reboot your Windows 7 computer to confirm that the changes are immediate and Windows Search will index regardless of CPU usage, etc.
I ended up disabling Windows Search after the testing I was working on because even though my computer has more than enough power to run it smoothly I pretty much know where all of the files I need are located and I wanted to cut down on disk activity to extend the life of my solid state hard drive as long as possible!