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Disable Search Indexing When On Battery in Windows 10

Windows 10 comes with the ability to index your files so the Start Menu can search them faster. Indexing runs in the background without trying to affect your PC's performance. In this article, we will see how to disable the Search Indexing feature when on battery. This can save battery power quite a bit.

As you may already know, search results in Windows are instant because they are powered by the Windows Search indexer. It is not new to Windows 10, but Windows 10 uses the same indexer-powered search like its predecessors although it uses a different algorithm and a different database. It runs as a service that indexes file names, contents and properties of file system items and stores them in a special database. There is a designated list of indexed locations in Windows, plus Libraries which are always indexed. So, instead of performing a real-time search through files on the file system, the search performs a query to the internal database, which allows showing results immediately.

If this index becomes corrupted, Search doesn't work properly. In our previous article, we reviewed how to reset the search index in case of corruption. See the article:

How to Reset Search in Windows 10

You can create a special shortcut to open Indexing Options with one click in Windows 10.

If the Search Indexing feature is disabled, search results will always be up to date, because the OS won't use the search index database. However, the search will take more time and will be slow. Instead of disabling Search Indexing permanently, you might want to disable it only when on battery. Before proceeding, ensure that your user account has administrative privileges.

To disable Search Indexing When On Battery in Windows 10, do the following.

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search

    Tip: See how to jump to the desired Registry key with one click.

    If you do not have such a key, then just create it.

  3. Here, create a new 32-bit DWORD value PreventIndexOnBattery. Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows, you still need to use a 32-bit DWORD as the value type.
    Set it to 1 to disable Search Indexing when on Battery Power.
  4. Restart Windows 10.

You are done! To save your time, you can download these Registry files:

Download Registry Files

The undo tweak is included.

Disable Search Indexing When On Battery with GUI (gpedit)

If you are running Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education edition, you can use the Local Group Policy Editor app to configure the options mentioned above with a GUI.

  1. Press Win + R keys together on your keyboard and type:
    gpedit.msc

    Press Enter.

  2. Group Policy Editor will open. Go to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Search. Enable the policy option Prevent indexing when running on battery power to conserve energy as shown below.

That's it.

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2 thoughts on “Disable Search Indexing When On Battery in Windows 10

  1. David

    Unfortunately, this does not seem to work with the current version of windows (June 2020). I am on battery power and see CPU at 15% for Search Indexer process.

    Reply

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