How to Troubleshoot SearchProtocolHost.exe High CPU Usage Issue in Windows Computers

If you are reading this article, you may have already encountered the problem of the “SearchProtocolHost.exe” process that consumes a lot of CPU on your computer. What is this process? SearchProtocolHost is part of the Windows search engine and is related to indexing on your computer.

Windows Search Indexer is a service that maintains an index of most files on your computer to improve search performance on your computer. It updates indexes automatically, without the need for user intervention. This index is similar to the one found in some books. The computer keeps an index of all the files on different disks.

What causes SearchProtocolHost.exe’s high CPU usage?

High CPU usage of SearchProtocolHost.exe is caused by the fact that the indexer can’t find certain files in the system. Therefore, the process is heavily loaded, which consumes a lot of system resources.

How to fix SearchProtocolHost.exe high CPU usage?

Launch the SFC tool

  1. Type cmd in the search bar, then right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
  2. In the window that appears, type DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth and press Enter to start.
  3. Wait for the process to finish. Then type sfc /scannow in the window and press Enter to run the SFC scan.
  4. Restart your computer and see if SearchProtocolHost.exe consumes the same amount of CPU.

Disabling the Windows Search Service

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run field.
  2. Type services.MSC in the box, then click OK to open the services.
  3. Find Windows Search in the list, right-click it, and select Properties.
  4. Set the startup type to Disabled, then click Stop. Click Apply and OK to save your changes.
  5. Restart your computer to make sure the error is resolved.

Changing the indexing settings

  1. Enter the indexing options in the search bar, then click Indexing Options to open the window.
  2. In the window that opens, click Edit at the bottom to open the Indexed Locations.
  3. Click Show all locations, then disable large locations (in this case, disable the local C: drive) and other file locations that might cause the search process to restart each time.
  4. Click OK to save your changes.
  5. Reboot the system to make sure that SearchProtocolHost.exe still uses a lot of CPU.

Frequently Asked Questions

SearchProtocolHost.exe is part of the Windows Indexing Service, an application that indexes files on the local disk to make them easier to find. It is an important part of the Windows operating system and must not be disabled or removed.

  1. Right-click on the Start button and select Control Panel.
  2. Open Mail.
  3. Select the old mail profile for the account specified in the credentials window for Microsoft Windows Search Protocol Host and click Delete.

  1. Reboot the system.
  2. Stop or restart processes.
  3. Update the drivers.
  4. Scan for malware.
  5. Power options.
  6. Find specific instructions online.
  7. Reinstall Windows.

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Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.