5 Ways to Fix the Windows “Indexing Is Paused” Error

Ways To Fix Windows Indexing Status Temporarily Paused

“Indexing has been temporarily paused” is an error that affects the Windows search functionality. This can be due to an automatic pause to Search Indexing on some PCs. If you’re unable to effectively find files and folders on your PC, this post equips you with the knowledge required to resolve the “indexing is paused” issue.

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Common Solutions

Search Indexing is an integral part of Windows that makes it easier to identify files on your system. If the service is paused or disabled, Windows Search will work much slower, as it will have to go through all of your files in real time to locate the desired assets. In such cases, the “Indexing has been temporarily paused” error message will be visible in Windows Settings, alerting you that the service has stopped working.

Many reasons could lie behind this system feature failure, so users must experiment with various solutions before they can fix the problem for good. First, let’s try some more common solutions that can also be applied to a number of other Windows errors.

If these preliminary fixes haven’t worked for you, continue on through our list of more specific solutions.

1. Enable Search Indexing on Low Battery

The Windows Indexing feature regularly runs in the background and turns off when the device is low on battery to preserve power. In this case, you can adjust the system settings by following the step below to keep Windows Indexing running at all times and avoid facing further issues.

  1. Right-click on the Start menu and select “Settings.”
Opening up Settings in Windows by pressing on Start button.
  1. Click “Privacy & security” and select “Searching Windows.”
Opening up "Searching Windows" under the "Privacy & Security" menu.
  1. Turn off the toggle next to “Respect power settings when indexing.”
Disabling the "Respect power settings when indexing" option.
  1. Verify whether the file search function works as it should.

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2. Tweak the Registry

The Windows Registry contains keys and values that help your system operate accurately, and several issues can emerge if these files are corrupt. Modifying registry files is another way users can work around the Windows “Indexing is paused” issue.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open Run.
  2. Type regedit and select “OK.”
Run window executing "regedit" command.
  1. Click “Yes” to grant administrative privileges and proceed.
Open "Registry Editor" as Administrator.
  1. Paste the following address in the navigation bar:
  1. Press “Windows Search” on the left, then double-click “PreventIndexingOutlook” on the right.
Tweaking the registry under "Windows Search" key.
  1. If you don’t have “Windows Search,” you can create it by right-clicking “Windows -> Edit -> New -> Key.” Name it accordingly, then create the “PreventIndexingOutlook” value by right-clicking an empty space on the menu on the right and selecting “New -> DWORD Value (32- bit).”
  1. Once created, double-click it to adjust the “Base” to “Hexadecimal” and change “Value data” to “1,” then click “OK.”
Tweaking Dword Value.
  1. Reboot the computer.

3. Restart the Search Service

A malfunctioning Search service could also lead to similar issues, leaving users without a file search function. Follow these steps to restart it.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open Run.
  2. Type services.msc and select “OK.”
Executing "sevices.msc" in Run.
  1. Right-click on “Windows Search” and choose “Properties.”
Properties function for "Windows Search."
  1. While on the “General” tab, select “Automatic” from the “Startup Type” drop-down.
Changing "Startup Type."
  1. Click “Start” under “Service Status,” then “Apply -> OK.”

Note: if the service was already running, disable it using the “Stop” button, and re-enable it by following step #4.

4. Run the Search and Indexing Troubleshooter

Windows features a dedicated Search and Indexing troubleshooter. Run it to see if it helps.

  1. Click on the Start menu, type “Troubleshoot settings,” and press Enter.
Using Windows Search to look for "troubleshoot settings."
  1. Open “Other troubleshooter.”
"Other troubleshooters" menu in Windows.
  1. Find and run “Search and Indexing.”
"Search and Indexing" troubleshooter in Windows Settings.
  1. Select the issues that you’re having and click “Next.”
Issue selection in Search and Indexing troubleshooter.
  1. When prompted, provide a brief description of the problem and click “Next.”
Describe issue for Search and Indexing Troubleshooter.
  1. If Windows finds a solution, it automatically repairs the corrupt settings. Check whether the file search function behaves correctly.
  2. In Windows 10, go to “Settings -> Update & Security -> Troubleshoot” and select “Additional troubleshooters” to find this particular option.

5. Rebuild Search Index

Devices running Windows 11 on the minimum specs required are known to face an indexing glitch. It happens due to insufficient processing memory, which can trigger the error we’re currently discussing. In this case, try rebuilding the search index and see if it helps.

  1. Click on the Start menu, type “Control Panel,” and press Enter.
  2. Look for “Indexing Options” using the search bar in the window’s top-right corner.
Searching for "Indexing Options" in Control Panel.
  1. Click one of the folders and select “Advanced.”
Folder selection in Indexing Options.
  1. Navigate to the “Index Settings” tab and choose “Rebuild.”
Activate "Delete and rebuild index."
  1. Repeat step #4 for all of the other folders.

If none of these fixes worked for you, you could also try doing a system restore. Windows System Restore keeps instances of your operating system from when it was working correctly, allowing you to go back to a version before the problem manifested.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I fix the Windows Indexing high CPU usage?

If you’ve recently rebuilt the search index or accidentally deleted the index data folder, you might be experiencing Windows Search Indexing high CPU usage as a result. The first thing you should do in such a case is run a full virus scan on your PC. If that doesn’t eliminate the issue, you may have to restart the search service again, run the Search and Indexing troubleshooter, rebuild the index or run an SFC scan, among other things (as shown above).

If your woes continue to persist, we have a few more tips that will hopefully help you reduce your PC’s high CPU usage.

Can Windows Indexing slow down my computer?

Even if your system runs on an SSD, turning off Windows Indexing can improve your device’s speed and power consumption. However, disabling this feature increases the time it takes for Windows and other apps to return search results. You shouldn’t disable it unless Windows Indexing is causing severe issues.

Why does Indexing automatically run on my PC at all times?

Windows constantly tracks the changes you make to your files and updates the indexing data. This way Windows doesn’t have to search through all the files every time you search for something but keeps the service running in the background at all times.

Image credit: Pexels. All screenshots by Farhad Pashaei.

Farhad Pashaei
Farhad Pashaei

As a technophile, Farhad has spent the last decade getting hands-on experience with a variety of electronic devices, including smartphones, laptops, accessories, wearables, printers, and so on. When he isn’t writing, you can bet he’s devouring information on products making their market foray, demonstrating his unquenchable thirst for technology.

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