What’s drive indexing on Windows 10 and how it works
There are many things Windows as an OS platform does good. One of those is manipulation of files and directories. The user interface is similar for ages, and it’s hard to argue about its intuitive nature. Another thing which is rather useful is system search. Thanks to a file indexing, the searches for obscure files in your local drives are not dull and lengthy.
If you ever wondered how it works and how to, if the need arises, disable it, make sure to check to continue reading and find out.
Should you allow partition file indexing in Windows 10?
What the “Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed…” refers to?
Even though Windows 10 is the new dog for a couple of years, this trick is part of Windows for ages. File’s contents indexing is an old feature which is resourcefully implemented in order to speed up the search process of local files. Back in the days, due to different workflow, this was a rather handy option to have. However, nowadays, we can question whether it’s useful or it’s really just slowing down your system due to not-perfect indexing times. Here, we’re referring to everyday users and not the enterprises.
Windows 10 does this better than previous iterations, and it focuses on files you frequently use and access. So, it shouldn’t be an issue to let it be since it’s enabled by default and strictly focuses on certain directories and not every given file within the given partition. But how it works?
It basically scans all accessed folders and subfolders contained within the partition. Then, it indexes them and, the next time you search for a file or a folder, the searching process is vastly faster. The more files you commonly use and look for — the greater value of this nifty feature.
The idea is to index files while the PC is idle, however, this isn’t the case for some users. Namely, some of them reported frequent HDD usage spikes during the startup or while using some demanding applications. This will, of course, affect the overall system performance. On the other hand, looking up for that one file in the directory with tens of thousands can be a slow-death experience, so have that in mind.
How to enable or disable file indexing on the given partition
This feature is, by default, enabled on all your various partitions or drives. Including the external partitions connected to Windows 10 PC. Disabling it is as simple as possible. Just navigate to This PC or File Explorer, right-click on the partition at hand and open Properties. What you want to do next is uncheck the “Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties” box. Or here’s the step-by-step instructions:
- Open This PC or File Explorer.
- Right-click on the partition you want to relieve of indexing and open Properties.
- Uncheck the “Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties” box and restart your PC.
As simple as that. Another good thing you can do is make a selective indexing. Meaning, the indexing will focus on directories you choose and it won’t take a toll on your HDD or processing power. You can choose a certain file type to be indexed (this can come in handy if you have lots of photos), too. Also, you can exclude subdirectories or file extensions if you deem them redundant.
Here’s where to find these options:
- In the Windows Search bar, type Index and open Indexing Options.
- Click Modify to choose the directories you commonly access.
- Click Advanced and choose the File Types tab.
- Select file types you want to be indexed (or uncheck the ones you don’t deem necessary) by checking the boxes.
- Confirm changes and restart your PC.
With that, we can conclude this article. In case you have something interesting to add, we encourage you to do so in the comments section below.
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