Fix: Searchprotocolhost.exe? What is Microsoft Windows Search Protocol Host?

Are you seeing High CPU Usage by Searchprotocolhost.exe in Task Manager?


You don’t know what even is Microsoft Windows Search Protocol Host?

Recently users have reported that when they opened the Task Manager they saw that searchprotocolhost.exe is using almost 90% of the CPU

So, many users did is restarted or tried to disable it which was a bad move to overcome search protocol host high CPU usage.

First of all, you don’t need to worry much because you are not alone in this and many users were trying some wrong fixes for searchprotocolhost exe on Windows 11.


We have compiled a list of the best solutions for you to fix the searchprotocolhost.exe High CPU Usage.

Before going to the fix there will be some important questions regarding the Microsoft Windows Search Protocol Host error that might be in your mind.

What Is SearchProtocolHost.exe? What does SearchProtocolHost exe do?

Searchprotocolhost.exe is an executable file and stands for Microsoft Windows Search Protocol Host and was introduced in Windows XP,7, 8, and can also be found in the latest versions of Windows 10 and 11.

Microsoft Windows Search Protocol Host plays an important role in windows OS and is responsible for search performance on your PC.

It’s a part of the Windows Indexing service and helps index files on your PC.

Searchprotocolhost.exe is allocated in C:/Windows/System32/ folder and the file size is almost 164,352 bytes.

So, whenever search protocol host will try to find files and navigate them to the address it’s obvious it would use high disk/CPU, and disabling it will lead to malfunctioning of other systems related to Windows OS.

Is Searchprotocolhost.exe Virus?

It’s totally safe as search protocol host is a legitimate program digitally signed by Microsoft Corporation and most users have not found it safe.

As it is legitimate so hackers might attack the program to make changes and carry out their illegal activities through searchprotocolhost.exe

Also, we can clear our doubt that the Microsoft Windows Search Protocol Host is a virus or not by checking the file location as it should be located in its default file location when it was originally developed.

But still, to be on the safe side you can check if there’s a virus or not through Task Manager:

  1. Press together Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to open Task Manager.
  2. Go to Details and look for search protocol host
  3. Also on your right side under the description column make sure its name is correct.
  4. Right-click on it and select Open file location.
  5. If it is located at C:\Windows\System32

And if it’s not in the given address then it might be a virus or spyware so my advice is for you to run a full system scan with the help of your anti-virus program installed on your PC.

Solution 1: Run Search and Indexing Troubleshooter

This Search and Indexing will look for errors all-around your PC and will fix them.

Moreover, the corrupted files that will get fixed with it will also solve searchprotocolhost.exe high CPU Usage.

So, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Click on the Search icon
  2. Select Control Panel.Control Panel searchprotocolhost.exe
  3. Now look for TroubleshootingCommad Prompt
  4. In the left pane click on View all.View all
  5. Now double-click on  Search and Indexing

After the troubleshooting is done you need to run your Windows in Safe Mode.

And you do this by following the steps below:

  1. Press Windows Button + R Key
  2. The Run Dialogue Box will appear
  3. Type “msconfig“ and press Enter.
  4. The System Configuration window will open and then click on the Boot tab.
  5. Now checkbox the Safe boot option.Safe boot option searchprotocolhost.exe high CPU usage
  6. Then click on Apply and OK for the system to reboot in safe mode.
  7. After rebooting check if searchprotocolhost.exe high CPU usage is fixed or not.

Solution 2: Changing Indexing Option Search Protocol Host High CPU Usage

Another reason for searchprotocolhost.exe is due to the indexer which cannot find some files in the system.

So it’s better to make some changes to the indexing option.

And here’s what you need to do:

  1. Click on the Search icon and type Indexing Options.Indexing Options searchprotocolhost.exe
  2. Now click on Modify.Indexing option searchprotocolhost.exe
  3. Click on Show all Locations and uncheck local disk C location and other file locations which cause high CPU usage.
  4. Now restart your PC and check if the Microsoft windows search protocol host is fixed or not.

Moving on to solution 3 for searchprotocolhost.exe high CPU usage.

Solution 3: Update Windows 11 to Fix Searchprotocolhost.exe High CPU Usage

Sometimes your outdated PC is the main cause of the Microsoft windows search protocol host in Windows 11

For the best performance of your PC, you need to make sure that your Windows OS is up to date, and with new updates, the bugs or errors like search protocol host will get fixed.

So, here is how you can update your Windows 11 OS:

  1. Click on the Windows iconWindows icon Microsoft windows search protocol host
  2. Click on the settings icon
  3. A new window will pop up
  4. Select Windows Update from the left menu  searchprotocolhost.exe
  5. The new window will pop up
  6. Then click on Check for updates button.Check for updates Microsoft windows search protocol host
  7. If there is any update it will start updating the PCstart updating the PC Microsoft windows search protocol host
  8. It will take some time to update Windows OS and after that, you can restart your PC.

If the above solution didn’t work you can move on to the next one for fixing Windows search protocol host high CPU usage

Solution 4: Perform a System File Check

Sometimes the damaged file can lead to searchprotocolhost.exe high CPU usage on Windows 11 and your program will be unable to run.

So, the Sfc(System file checker) helps you scan the errors and replaces them if searchprotocolhost.exe replicated itself.

Here’s what you need to do to fix the search protocol host exe high CPU usage:

  1. Open Command Prompt as an Administrator, press Windows Key + X searchprotocolhost.exe
  2. Or, search “Command Prompt” in the Startup menu, then choose Run as administrator
  3. Type “sfc /scannow”sfc /scannow”searchprotocolhost.exe
  4. Be careful with the spaces between commands.
  5. This action may take up to 20 minutes so don’t interrupt it.
  6. After that restart your PC and check if searchprotocolhost.exe high CPU usage is solved or not.

Also Read: MMC.exe Error Blocked

Solution 5: Scan System File to Fix Searchprotocolhost.exe high CPU usage

Most errors are caused by corrupted files, so start by checking the system files to fix the searchprotocolhost.exe error

You can do this using the DSIM tool which will replace missing files.

While typing commands be careful at the spaces between ‘/’ and word.

So here’s what you need to do to fix the Microsoft Windows search protocol host:

  1. Search by pressing the Window key and type “Command Prompt“
  2. Right-click “Command Prompt” and select “Run as Administrator“. The option is available in the right pane of the window too.
  3. Type “DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Res and press Enter.
  4. It Might take up to 30 minutes to complete the process
  5. Once the operation is completed successfully, type “sfc /scannow” in the command line and then press the Enter key.
  6. If there were any corrupted files you would see the following message on the command line: “Windows Resource Protection detected corrupted files and successfully restored them.”
  7. If so, type exit and hit enter.
  8. Searchprotocolhost.exe error corrupted files would have been fixed by now.
  9. You can restart your windows and check if the searchprotocolhost.exe high CPU usage error in Windows 7 exists.command prompt searchprotocolhost.exe

If the above solution didn’t fix the search protocol host then move on to the next solution.

Solution 6: Disable Windows Search to Fix Search Protocol Host

Disabling Windows Search will help you get over searchprotocolhost.exe high CPU usage but you should know that Windows search is an important service for Windows and can have drawbacks when you disable it.

But you can disable it when you don’t need it in near future.

So, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open the Run window.image 114 1
  2. Then type services.msc and click OK to enter the service app.
  3. Scroll down and find Windows Search and double-click the Services to open its properties.
  4. In the Startup Type section choose Disabled from the drop-down list.
  5. If the Service status is Running then click on the Stop button.
  6. Click on Apply and then select OK.image 115 1
  7. After restarting your PC check if the searchprotocolhost.exe high CPU usage is fixed or not and you can enable Windows search using the same steps once your error is solved.


So, these are the best fixes we could get for you in fixing searchprotocolhost.exe High CPU Usage in Windows 11 and

Disabling search protocol host from your system is not that much of an easy job and also we don’t recommend it to so that’s why we have provided you with the best possible solutions.

So, you shouldn’t take it lightly and never try to ignore it if the search protocol host exe high CPU usage is acting like malware and it might get your personal data.

It’s best you try all the solutions and if you have any other fix related to searchprotocolhost.exe high disk usage or any type of question then just let us know in the comment section below.



  1. How do I get rid of SearchProtocolHost?


    You can get rid of SearchProtocolHost by following the list below:
    1. Update your Windows.
    2. Disable Windows search feature.
    3. Scan for malware.

  2. What does .exe mean?

    It’s a short form of an executable file and helps Windows run and install the software.

  3. Why does searchprotocolhost.exe crash?

    windows 11

    Searchprotocolhost.exe crashes due to corrupted files or sometimes the data usage it wants to collect is corrupted

  4. Is searchprotocolhost exe safe?

    Searchprotocolhost is not a virus unless it replicates itself or harms your computer so it’s totally safe


Zul is an avid gamer with a passion for RPG and racing games. He enjoys playing games like Need for Speed and Grand Theft Auto 5 and is also skilled at fixing errors and crashes to enhance the gaming experience. Zul stays up-to-date with the latest gaming news and enjoys sharing his knowledge through writing gaming guides and articles.
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