Microsoft corrects search to avoid high disk usage – Applications and Software

In the posts we publish about the Windows 10, we noticed several reports that the system can be very slow on computers with a hard drive (instead of SSD) because of search indexing. Well, finally the Microsoft is doing something about it: this Windows Search feature can be disabled if other programs are consuming a lot of CPU, if the battery is low, or if the power saver is active.

Windows 10

These changes are in effect since build 18945, available to participants of the Insider program. If all goes well, they will be expanded to all Windows 10 users in the first half of 2020 update.

The search indexer will lose priority or be stopped in one of these situations:

  • the use of CPU exceeds 80%;
  • the use of disco exceeds 70%;
  • the charge of drums is less than 50%;
  • at the time the device is unplugged the socket to operate on the battery (that is, when switching from alternating current to direct current);
  • the mode of battery saving is enabled;
  • the mode of connected wait (connected standby) is on;
  • O Game mode is enabled;
  • the moment the screen is turned off;
  • the device is waking up after being in low power mode or after login.

The Windows Search indexer scans the name and content of your files to gather information such as words and metadata. This way, Windows 10 can display results faster when searching for File Explorer, Outlook, Timeline (Win + Tab) and universal applications (UWPs).

Windows 10 uses new algorithm to disable indexing

In 2018, Microsoft ran an experiment among users of the Insider program. Whenever someone deactivated the indexer, the system would display a notification asking why. The main justifications were: excessive disk and CPU usage; general performance problems; and low perceived value of this search feature.

Then, in July 2019, Windows 10 gained a new algorithm that decreases indexing activity by evaluating various signals, such as high disk consumption. Windows Search also stopped searching repositories like Git, which usually have their own indexers; and stopped tracking Visual Studio project folders.

Even so, indexing ends up being turned off on some PCs. Since build 18945, the main reason is: “done without the user’s intention”. That is, an application automatically disabled this feature of Windows Search. “Our guess is that, as our partners discover how the indexer evolved, disabling it may no longer be necessary”, says Microsoft.

The second main reason is to “protect the SSD from wear and tear”, something that Microsoft does not comment on. There is still no consensus on this: solid state drives are not as fragile as they used to be, but they have their limitations. A test of Tech Report found that they can write 300 terabytes or more before they fail – it’s enough to record 100 GB every day for 8 years.

With information: Microsoft.

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