How to fix indexing is paused on Windows 11?

Question

Issue: How to fix indexing is paused on Windows 11?

 Whenever I try to look for files in my folders, search results return nothing. It happened because “Indexing is paused.” I had to re-index, which took me forever, and now I face the same problem. I don't want to keep reducing this – how do I fix the “Indexing is paused” in Windows 11?

Solved Answer

Windows 11 is the latest operating system from Microsoft, designed to make computing easier and more efficient for users. It has an improved design that provides more personal customization options, allowing users to tailor their experience to meet their individual needs.

Debuting on October 5, 2021, the newest operating system had an overall positive reception, although there were quite a few negatives some users pointed out straight away. Listening to peoples' feedback, Microsoft addressed some of these issues, although many remain the same.

However, Windows 11 still suffers from issues that were present in Windows 10, and “Indexing is paused” is one of them. Users reported that one day, they noticed that their searches in File Explorer no longer yielded any results, and files they know exist are never found. This becomes extremely frustrating because users have to search for files manually.

Many users resorted to re-indexing their files, which takes a lot of time usually (depending on the size of the storage drive and how much it is filled). In other cases where users experienced “Indexing is paused” in Windows 11, they said that they couldn't turn the feature back on at all, which makes the PC almost unusable.

In most cases, search not working due to indexing being paused can be addressed relatively easily – checking whether relevant services are set up correctly, for example, helped many users to tackle the issue, although not all. That's why we provide several methods below that should help you find the solution once and for all.

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How to fix indexing is paused on Windows 11?

Fix 1. Try Search and Indexing troubleshooter

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Since Windows search indexing can easily break at any point, there is a Search and Indexing troubleshooter you can try running – it could address issues related to it. Please follow these steps:

  • Click the Start button and select Settings.
  • Go to System and then select Troubleshoot.
  • Next, pick Other troubleshooters.
  • Locate the Search and Indexing section and click Run.
  • From the given options, select the issue you are having (most likely, Files, folders, apps, or settings don't appear in results) and click Next.
  • Wait till the scan finishes and the fixes are applied.

Run Search and indexing troubleshooter

Fix 2. Rebuild the index

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Instead of re-indexing your files, try rebuilding the index instead:

  • Type Indexing options in Windows search and press Enter.
  • Click Pause.
  • Click Advanced.
  • Find the Troubleshooting section and click Rebuild.
  • Confirm the action and wait till the process is finished.

Rebuild index

Fix 3. Restart Windows Search service

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This solution works best after rebuilding the index, as explained in the previous step.

  • Type Services in Windows search and press Enter.
  • In the new window, scroll down to find Windows search.
  • If it's running, right-click and select Restart.
  • If the service is not running, double-click it and, under Startup type, select Automatic (Delayed start) from the drop-down menu and click Apply and OK.

Restart Windows search service

Fix 5. Uninstall buggy Windows update

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If issues with indexing started after installing the Windows update, it may be related to it. You can uninstall the update that caused it as a workaround and wait for Microsoft to fix it.

  • Open Settings and go to Windows Update.
  • Select Update history and pick Uninstall updates.
  • When Control Panel opens, sort it by the date.
  • Select the most recent update and click Uninstall at the top.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions and reboot your system.

Uninstall update

Fix 6. Try System Restore

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If none of the solutions above worked, resting the system to the previous point in time when everything worked fine might just do the trick. Follow these steps:

  • Press Win + R simultaneously.
  • Type in rstrui.exe and press Enter.
  • Click Next.
  • Select a restore point with a known good system configuration.
  • Click Next and press Finish.
  • Restart your computer.

System restore

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About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate computer expert

Gabriel E. Hall is an expert troubleshooter who has been working in the information technology industry for years.

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