Disable Windows XP Indexing

Windows XP by default enables a feature called Fast Indexing. This is only useful if you frequently use the search option to find files or folders on your computer. Now, if you aren’t using this search capability every day there is absolutely no reason to have it enabled and it’s only slowing your computer down and taking up disk space.

Disabling fast indexing will not hurt your computer at all. You can also re-enable it at any time:

  • Open up My Computer
  • Right-click on your local disk (c:)
  • Select Properties
  • Un-check Allow Indexing Service to index …
  • Click OK

Depending on how fast your hard drive is and how many files there are, this could take several minutes. You may also see a few warnings about some files whose attributes could not be changed. This is normal and just select “ignore all”. If you later decide you want to re-enable this capability, simply go through the steps above and re-check the Indexing Service check box. It will again take a few minutes to re-index all the files on your PC.

The next part is optional. To disable the Indexing Service that runs in the background, follow the below steps:

  • In the “Start” menu, choose “Run.”
  • Type “services.msc” and press Enter.
  • Scroll-down to “Indexing Service” and double-click it.
  • If the service status is “Running”, then stop it by pressing the “Stop” button.
  • To make sure this service doesn’t run again, under “Startup Type:”, choose “Disabled.”

Note, un-checking this box and stopping the service does NOT mean you cannot use the Windows search capability. You can still do so, but it will just run slower. But if you don’t search on a regular basis, then it is best not to have the indexing turned on so as not to needlessly consume system resources

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