If you find SearchUI.exe is using enough system resources to degrade performance, here’s how to disable it.
SearchUI.exe is part of Cortana – if you don’t use Cortana and it’s chewing through system resources and causing a significant slowdown you might want to disable it.
If you remove Cortana it doesn't appear in search from the Start menu but the underlying process, SearchUI.exe remains, running in the background. You might not notice it running but on some systems its resource use is very high and the system is slow to respond. You can change the SearchUI.exe status in the Services section, but it doesn’t always stay stopped or disabled and you may want to disable it permanently (the process can be reversed if you want to use Cortana again).
SearchUI.exe isn’t the same process that indexes Windows to provide search results, that would be SearchIndexer.exe and it should probably be left alone unless it’s causing problems. Disabling SearchUI.exe lets you search from the Start menu or Run box.
Windows 10 disclaimer: Windows 10 items are tested on two different computers running two different versions of Windows 10 - any programs are installed, tested, then uninstalled. Any system tweaks or changes are applied and reversed.
Given the different versions of Windows 10 and individual system variables, not everything works on all PCs. Please make sure System Restore is enabled, create a Restore Point, and make sure the System Restore point works (there are issues with System Restore and Windows 10 not working) before making any changes. A current disk image/clone is another good option before making any changes.
How to Disable SearchUI.exe
SearchUI.exe can be disabled in two different ways, from an Admin Command prompt or using a batch file.
To use the Command prompt option, open an Admin Command Prompt (Win + X, choose Command Prompt (Admin).
Once the Command prompt window is open, type or copy and paste these commands, one a time. Press enter after each line, and be pretty quick about entering them:
takeown /f SearchUI.exe
icacls SearchUI.exe /grant administrators:F
taskkill /f /im SearchUI.exe
rename SearchUI.exe SearchUI.exe.001
I didn’t have any issues, but if the commands don’t work, repeat them until the process is successful or use the batch file. The commands rename the SearchUI.exe process so it can’t run. The batch file does the same thing without having to open a command prompt window and type or copy and paste. To use the ready made batch file, download it and extract the contents to your preferred folder. Open the folder and right click on kill-search-ui.bat and choose Run as administrator from the menu.
A command prompt screen will flash and SearchUI.exe should stop running.
There are complete directions (including screen shots) to disable SearchUI.exe, a link to the batch file download and the directions to restore SearchUI.exe if you want to start using it again. The site has quite a bit of useful content for Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP as well as Android and other areas. It’s worth a visit. I’ve been using the site for years and it’s helped me out numerous times.
The link to download the batch file is here (right click and run as admin after download) and on the site (Trish Tech) along with plenty of helpful information for Windows and Android users.
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