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
Microsoft has already finalized the next major release and
20H1 could be deployed as soon as April/May 2020.