Microsoft is introducing a new algorithm for the Windows Search indexer that makes it more efficient in terms of overall system performance, CPU and disk usage. The changes included in Windows 10 version 2004 (20H1) could finally address the complaints of high CPU and disk usage in the OS.
Microsoft says it carried out extensive research over the last year to identify critical problems in Windows Search. The research revealed that excessive disk and CPU usage are the two main general performance issues experienced by users.
Windows Search service or search indexer powers Windows Search across all apps, File Explorer, and it roams across your PC. Microsoft uses search indexer to crawl your files, documents, pictures, videos, apps, and metadata to return results quickly when you trigger Windows Search.
Microsoft has been continuing to work on Windows Search improvements while developing new features for the OS. For example, Windows 10 May 2019 Update added ‘Enhanced Mode’ that makes it easier to expand a search index.
By default, Microsoft limits Windows Search to scan folders like document, pictures, videos, and desktop. The Enhance mode expands the coverage to include all folders except the locations used by Windows such as System32.
While Windows Search indexer is important, it causes excessive disk and processor usages. Microsoft is apparently aware of significant system slowdowns caused by Windows Search and a fix is included in the next update.
According to Microsoft, Windows 10 version 2004 comes with a new algorithm to detect excessive disk usage and other performance issues. If performance issues are detected, Windows 10 may throttle any search indexing activity to reduce possibilities of slowdowns.
Microsoft says it would stop the Windows Search indexer service when CPU usage goes above 80% and disk usage goes above 70%. The service is also disabled when gaming mode is turned on or when the device’s battery charge is less than 50%.
Microsoft says it would also continue to improve Windows 10 search in other ways and Windows Search improvements is very much an ongoing process.
You can expect your devices to run a little smoother after installing Windows 10 version 2004. According to a recent report, Microsoft has already finalized the next major release and 20H1 could be deployed as soon as April/May 2020.