I have been put in charge of a Windows Server 2012 AWS instance and have no experience dealing with this operating system.

I get a warning when attempting to search using the file explorer which states "Your search might be slow because the index is not running."

I would like to enable search indexing but every tutorial I find using Google is for older versions of Windows Server and have not produced a solution.

  • Why exactly do you want to turn the indexing service on? This is fine if you have data that you actually want to index... otherwise it's just a waste of resources to turn it on just to get rid of a UI warning. – Massimo Jun 3 '15 at 17:52

On Windows Server 2012 according to https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/

  1. Start Server Manager.
  2. Click Manage, and then click Add Roles and Features
  3. On the Before You Begin page, click
  4. On the Installation Type page, select Role-based or Feature-based Installation, and then click
  5. On the Server Selection page, select the server or virtual hard disk on which to install Windows Search
  6. On the Features page, select Windows Search Service, and then click
  7. On the Confirmation page, verify that Windows Search Service is listed, and then click Install.
  • 1
    What if Windows Search Service is not listed on the Features page (#6)? – jarkub Jun 3 '15 at 18:12
  • 2
    Click on the Features menu on the left side, then you will see Windows Search Service – altumano Mar 17 '16 at 9:50
  • 1
    There are clearly words missing at the end of your sentences for points 2, 3, 4, and 6. – levininja Sep 6 '17 at 15:18
  • Thanks, That was a good 7 steps of instructions. Just assumed but it will be nice to add an extra step between steps 5 and 6. On the Server Role page click next leaving selections unchanged. ie Do not check any Server Roles and move to Step 6. Thanks again very helpful!! – user465773 Apr 17 '18 at 17:09
  • Thank you for the pointer on this one, saved me a bunch of time in trying to determine why one server was returning index search results, and the other was chugging. Users are happy now. – mwarren Jul 15 '19 at 14:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.