Speed Up Windows XP Performance by Turning Off the Indexing Service

We have previously written about setting options for file search indexing in Windows 7. The indexing service may slow down your system because it works in the background to automatically index files in certain locations on your hard drive. Tweaking the indexing service in Windows 7 allows you to increase your system’s performance by removing locations from being indexed.

This indexing service is also available in Windows XP; however, it is not as customizable. It affects your system’s performance just as in Windows 7, but you cannot remove specific locations from the service. The indexing service can either be on or off. This post shows you how to turn off the indexing service if it is noticeably slowing down your system.

To access the Indexing Service, select Run from the Start menu.

Selecting Run from the Start menu

The Run dialog box displays. Enter “services.msc” (without the quotes) in the Open edit box and click OK or press Enter.

Opening Services

On the Services dialog box, scroll down until you locate the Indexing Service. If the service is running the Status column says Started. If it says Automatic in the Startup Type column that means the Indexing Service will start automatically when Windows starts, even if you stop the service while you are currently logged in. Double-click on Indexing Service to access the properties for the service.

Opening Indexing Service

The Indexing Service Properties dialog box displays. If the service is running, the Service status reads Started. To stop the service so Windows no longer indexes the contents of your hard drive, click Stop.

Stopping the Indexing Service

To prevent Windows from automatically starting the Indexing Service again the next time you start Windows, select Disabled from the Startup type drop-down list.

Disabling the Indexing Service

Click OK to close the Indexing Service Properties dialog box.

Closing the Indexing Service Properties dialog box

Notice that the Indexing Service contains no text in the Status column, which means it is no longer running. The Status type column reads Disabled now and the service will not run unless you manually start it, even when Windows starts.

The Indexing Service stopped and disabled

To close the Services dialog box, select Exit from the File menu.

Closing the Services dialog box

Now, you’ve cut down on the resources being used by your computer and Windows should operate slightly faster.

by Lori Kaufman

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