Fix: Windows Indexing is not running

The issue of Indexing not running in Windows 10 occurs when the computer isn’t able to use the service of Indexing on your computer. Indexing maintains an index of the majority of the files in your computer to improve searching. A normal search may take 10x more time as compared to indexing.

The scenarios where the indexing service fails to run are a lot and may range from slight application configuration errors to corruption of Windows installation files in your computer. We will go through all the methods one by one and see what solves the problem for us.

How to fix Windows 10 indexing not running

Since indexing is related to search, there are also reports by users that Windows search service is not running on their computers. Furthermore, indexing in Outlook 2010 might also get affected. In some very rare cases, the indexing might be working but its options might be broken. In this tutorial, we will go through all the solutions to fix the indexing and get it back running on your computer.

Before you proceed with the extensive solutions, we can try rebuilding the index forcefully if it isn’t rebuilding automatically.

  1. Open the Indexing window and click on Advanced present at the bottom of the window.

  1. Under the tab of Troubleshooting, click on the option of Rebuild. This will force the module to rebuild the index.

Solution 1: Checking Windows search service

Windows has a search service which manages all the search operations in the computer. Like all other modules, if the search service is disabled on your computer, the search functionality will not be available for you to use. Same goes for indexing. We will check this service and make amends if needed.

  1. Press Windows + R, type “services.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. Once in services, search for the entry of Windows Search, right-click it and select Properties.
  3. Once in the properties, start the service and make sure that the startup type is set as Automatic.

  1. Press Apply to save changes and exit. Restart your computer completely and check if the problem has been solved.

Note: If the service is already running, you stop and start it again to refresh it.

Solution 2: Disabling Cortana

Cortana has been in Windows 10 for quite some time now and it is designed to integrate with Windows search. It is also under development and with every update, it gets better with updated modules to improve its AI and search algorithms. According to several users, disabling Cortana enabled indexing again on their computers.

  1. Press Windows + S, type “Cortana” in the dialogue box and open the Settings. If your search isn’t working, you can navigate to settings and open it from there.
  2. Now uncheck all the options there.

  1. After disabling Cortana, restart your computer and try indexing your files again.

Solution 3: Changing registry value

If restarting the service doesn’t work for you, we can try changing a registry value on your computer. This will reinitiate the entire Windows Search module and force the computer to start indexing your files. Instead of deleting the key, we will rename it so you can easily restore the key in the future if needed.

Note: Before proceeding, it is wise to make a backup of your registry. Registry Editor is a powerful tool and changing keys which you don’t know about can have severe consequences.

  1. Press Windows + R, type “regedit” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. Once in the registry, navigate to the following file path:
Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\FileChangeClientConfigs
  1. Rename the folder and add something in the end like the example below:
Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\FileChangeClientConfigsBAK

  1. Restart your computer complexly and perform the first solution. If the service is already running, stop it and start it again. Check if indexing started on your computer.

Solution 4: Deleting .BLF and .REGTRANS-MS files

Microsoft has officially recognized the problem and even documented a fix on their website. According to them, your indexing modules might be corrupt or some registry values might be missing from your computer. We will navigate to the index directory and delete some system files. This will be noticed by Windows which will recreate the files, refresh the entire module and start the indexing again.

  1. Navigate to the following file location using File Explorer or paste it in Windows + R.
  1. Once in the directory, click on View > Options > Change folder and search options.

  1. Select the tab View and uncheck the option Hide protected operating system files. If prompted with a warning, press Continue. Press Apply to save changes.

  1. Now delete all the files with the extension REGTRANS-MS and BLF.

  1. Restart your computer completely after making changes. After you restart, the search service will start running and indexing will start automatically.

In addition to the above solutions, you can also try:

  • Making a new administrator account and see if indexing works there. If it does, you can migrate all your data to the new account and delete the older one.
  • Using the inbuilt troubleshooter for search and indexing. Let the troubleshooting finish and apply any fixes (if proposed).
  • Changing the registry value manually to force the indexing to begin. Navigate to HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows Search/SetupCompletedSuccessfully and change the value to zero (0). Apply changes and exit.
  • Install a fresh copy of Windows on your computer. It is possible that you have corrupt system files beyond repair.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.