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Vista Tips - Using Windows Search without an Index

The indexing service plays a key role in accelerating searches within Window Vista. Although this service provides a lot of value by allowing you to quickly search thousands of files, it is not a requirement of Windows Search. It is possible to completely disable the indexing service. However, searches with Windows Search will require much more time to complete and can cause your hard drive to do a lot of work while Windows Search iterates through folders and files instead of just accessing a search index.
Disabling the indexing service will save your computer extra memory and CPU time required to run the application in the background. Depending on how often you use the Windows Search feature, you can decide if it is worth sacrificing fast searches for a little extra performance from Windows Explorer.

Follow these steps if you decide to disable the indexing service:

  1. Click the Start button, type services.msc in the Search box, and then press Enter (or in Run Command). This loads the Services utility.

  2. After Services has loaded, scroll through the list and locate the Windows Search service. This is the indexing service. Right-click this service and select Stop.

  3. When the service is stopped, make sure that it does not start again. Right-click the service again and select Properties.

  4. Locate the Startup type drop-down box. Change the Startup type from Automatic to Disabled.

  5. Press OK to close the window.
You have now successfully disabled the indexing service that is used by Windows Search. Although your searches are now slower, you have freed up processing power that can be used instead by other processes such as Windows Explorer.
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