How to Fix “Search Indexing Was Turned Off” Error on Windows 10 Search?

by Gabriel E. Hall - -


Issue: How to Fix “Search Indexing Was Turned Off” Error on Windows 10 Search?

Does anyone else encounter a problem related to Windows 10 search? For a couple of month already I can’t resolve an error, which shows up when I try to search for a file or folder on my Windows 10 system. The error says: “Search indexing was turned off”. Ok, so I turned on the search indexing, but then received another error message reporting that “Search Indexing is not running.” I’ve noticed that there are many similar threads on online forums, but Microsoft seems to be ignorant because there are no fixes since 2015. Please help!

Solved Answer

Search Indexing service has been inherited by Windows 10 from the previous Windows versions. The service aims at creating the indexes of files stored on the system and keeping them in a index database. Although there are many discussions where Windows 10 users and IT specialists claim that search indexing negatively affect PC’s performance, the service, in its general sense, it absolutely useful. Search Indexing enabled fast file and folder lookup, thus preventing people from digging into hundred or even thousands of folders to find one small file. To minimize the Search indexing resource consumption, specialists recommend indexing only the folders that you are regularly accessing and searching for files in. For this purpose, type “indexing” in Windows search and open Indexing Options. Click on Modify button and select the folder that you want to be indexed. Then press OK and wait while the folder is being indexed.

“Search Indexing Was Turned Off” when searching for a file

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It’s a common experience when useful services on Windows 10 fail to work. Search is not an exception. Many people complain that when trying to search for a file or folder, Windows Search displays an error saying “Search Indexing Was Turned Off.” Initially, you may think that you should start the Search Indexing manually, but that may lead to another error “Search Indexing is not running.” By default, Windows 10 turns on search indexing, so it doesn’t have to be enabled manually. The “Search Indexing Was Turned Off” error means that there are some problems deep in your Windows 10 OS, which triggered the failure of Search Indexing.

showing Windows 10 Search Indexing Options

The first thing that you should do is to run a scan with a professional optimization tool to detect if the system is not storing malicious or damaged files that may be negatively influencing system’s performance. Our recommendation would be  Reimage. If that did not resolve the problem, run an in-built Search and Indexing Troubleshooter. For this purpose, you have to:

  • Press Windows key + I and open Update & Security.
  • Select Troubleshoot and find Search and Indexing.
  • Double-click on the Search and Indexing Troubleshooter to run it.
  • Wait for the scan to be completed.

If these steps did not help to fix “Search Indexing Was Turned Off” error, our last recommendation would be to rebuild the Search Indexing:

  • Open Windows Search and type Indexing Options.
  • Click on the first matching option to open it.
  • Click Advanced and open Advanced Options.
  • Select Rebuild and white while indexing will be rebuild from scratch.

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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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