How to make Windows 11 Search faster and improve accuracy

Windows Search enables you to find files, folders and documents stored on your local file storage. Plus, it can even fetch you results from OneDrive and the web for easy access. This is usually one of the fastest ways to find a file because it’s usually a system-wide search, and you get results right away.

However, if you notice that the search time has increased significantly, whether over time or suddenly, or it is not displaying documents stored in a particular folder, you may need to tweak the functionality to suit your needs. .

On the other hand, you can configure the Search feature to look only in specific directories where you usually store files to make the search faster and more accurate. Whatever your reason, this guide will serve you just right. However, before you start making all kinds of changes to the feature, it would be good for you to know what exactly makes it slow and sluggish.

Why does search get slow overtime or not display results from a certain directory?

The search functionality is powered by an indexer that keeps track of all the files and folders on your local hard drive and provides the location of any particular file.

In general terms, think of an index as a table or list with the addresses of all your documents, and whenever you search for something, it is matched against that list and returns the address of the matched value. .

While fewer than 30,000 items are typically indexed, the indexer can index up to 1 million items. Any more than that, and it can either crash whenever you search or cause extremely high CPU, RAM, or disk space usage issues.

That being said, you may notice a significant degradation in the performance of the search functionality as soon as you breach the 400,000 indexed items mark. In addition, the size of indexed files also affects performance.

To make matters worse, many small files combined with a few large files have been known to compound the problem, which usually happens because you can have files of different types and sizes.

Fortunately, all hope is not lost, and several methods exist to fix the problem. Now that you are familiar with the ‘why’ of the problem, let’s move on to the ‘how’ part of solving it.

1. Update Windows

One of the most elementary and effective ways to solve most of the issues is to update your system.

First, go to the Start menu and click on the ‘Settings’ tile.

After that, click on the ‘Windows Update’ tile from the left sidebar to proceed further.

Then, on the right side, click on the ‘Check for Updates’ button. Otherwise, click on the ‘Download and Install’ button to download the update. If the updates are already installed, click ‘Restart now’ to restart the computer and apply the changes.

Once the system is updated, check if it was able to speed up the search process. If not, move on to the next fix.

2. Restart Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer handles most, if not all, of the operating system’s GUI components – primarily the desktop, taskbar, and Start menu. If something is wrong with GUI elements, it may take longer than normal to return search results.

To do this, right-click on the taskbar and select the ‘Task Manager’ option.

Then click on the ‘Run New Task’ button. This will open a separate window on your screen.

Next, type explorer.exe textbox and click ‘OK’ or press Enter on your keyboard.

Your screen may flicker momentarily. do not worry; It simply means that Windows Explorer restarted successfully. Now, check whether this method has improved the search performance on your PC.

3. Run the Windows Search and Indexing Troubleshooter

The next logical step would be to run the Indexing Troubleshooter which can look for systemic errors and fix them for you.

First, go to the Start menu and click on the ‘Settings’ tile to proceed.

After that, make sure you have selected the ‘System’ tab from the left sidebar.

Then, click on the ‘Troubleshooter’ option from the right part.

Next, click on the ‘Other Troubleshooters’ option to proceed.

Next, locate the ‘Search and Indexing’ tile and click on the ‘Run’ option. This will bring up a separate window on your screen.

The troubleshooter will now run on your system and detect system inconsistencies. Once done, it will fix the issues or suggest appropriate actions to rectify them.

As mentioned earlier, Windows Search not only allows you to search your apps, files and documents but also provides results from across the web. Web search is known to cause unnecessary slowdown of the feature, and if so, turning it off will solve the problem for you.

First go to the start menu and type Registry Editor to do a search. Then, from the search results, click on the ‘Registry Editor’ tile.

After that, type or copy+paste the below address in the address bar and press Enter to navigate to the directory.


Then, right-click on the ‘Windows’ key and hover over the ‘New’ option. Next, click on the ‘Key’ option and change it to ‘Explorer’.

Afterward, right-click on the ‘Explorer’ key and hover over the ‘New’ option. Then, select the ‘DWORD’ option. rename the created file DisableSearchBoxSuggestions,

Finally, double-click on the newly created DWORD file. This will reveal its properties.

Now, overwrite the ‘Value’ field to 1 and click ‘OK’ to save the changes.

Finally, restart your PC to deactivate Search in the Start menu and check if the search performance has been restored.

5. Modify Indexing Options

As mentioned earlier, the performance of the search functionality highly depends on the number of items indexed on your computer along with its configuration. So modifying the indexing options may help.

First, go to the Start menu and click on the ‘Settings’ tile to proceed.

After this, click on the ‘Privacy and Security’ tab from the left sidebar.

Afterward, click on the ‘Search Windows’ tile from the right pane to continue.

Then, click on the ‘Advanced Indexing Options’ tile to proceed. This will bring up a separate window on your screen.

Now, click on the ‘Modify’ button to continue. Additionally, you can view the total number of items indexed on your computer.

Next, uncheck directories that do not contain files that you usually search for or directories with a very large number of files. Once done, click on ‘OK’ to save the changes.

6. Rebuild the Search Index

If even after modifying the search index, you were not able to see a noticeable increase in performance, there might be something wrong with the search index itself. All you have to do is refresh it to make the problem go away.

First, go to the Start menu and click on the ‘Settings’ tile.

Afterward, go to the ‘Privacy and Security’ tab from the left sidebar.

Then, click on the ‘Search Windows’ tile to proceed.

Afterward, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the ‘Advanced Indexing Options’ tile. This will bring up a separate window on your screen.

Click on the ‘Advanced’ option from the separately opened window to continue. This will again open a separate window on your screen.

Finally, click on the ‘Rebuild’ button and click on ‘OK’.

There you go, guys, the methods mentioned above are bound to fix sluggish search performance on your Windows 11 computer. Let us know which method worked best for you in the comments section.

Leave a Comment