Configuring Indexing for Performance

by Chris Sanders [Published on 23 June 2011 / Last Updated on 30 June 2010]

Indexing has improved greatly in Windows operating systems over the course of the last several years, but you can still benefit from disabling it in certain areas. This tip discusses how to configure indexing for greater performance.

One of the highly touted benefits of Windows 7 and Windows 2008 Server are their enhanced indexing features. Indexing has improved greatly in these operating systems as compared to their predecessors but that doesn’t change the fact that indexing still takes a significant amount of processing to occur. As a result of this you may find it beneficial to modify what is indexed on your computer in order to save valuable CPU time.

In previous versions of Windows you could simply turn indexing off. You can still do this now, but we have a bit more control over what is being indexed so that this isn’t an all or nothing affair. In order to access this screen type Indexing into the search bar and select Indexing Options. On this screen you can exclude directories you do not wish to be indexed. A good candidate for this might be a custom application directory that contains thousands of very small files since the indexing of this takes up a lot of processing but you won’t be searching through those files. A bad candidate might be a user’s data folder as they may be searching it on a frequent basis. You can also exclude items to be indexed based upon file type and whether or not they are encrypted. The more you exclude the more processing time you will save, which should lead to a noticeable performance increase.

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