What is SearchApp.exe and can it be disabled or removed?

You may see SearchApp.exe among other processes in Task Manager in Windows 10 (sometimes in Windows 11 as well). In most cases, the process does not load the system, but there are exceptions: both high load and crashes of this process.

This article details the purpose of the SearchApp.exe process, how to make sure it's not a virus or malware, what to do if it causes crashes or loads your CPU, and how to disable it if necessary.

Assignment of the SearchApp.exe process, how to determine if it is a genuine Windows process

As its name should make clear, the SearchApp.exe process is one of the processes used to run Windows Search. Not only on the taskbar, but also, for example, in the browser's search box.

Determining that this process is not a virus is relatively easy:

  1. The original file of the running SearchApp.exe process must be located in the folder
    %windir%\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Search_cw5n1h2txyewy

    You can view the location by right-clicking on the process in Explorer and selecting "Open file location."

  2. In the file properties, on the Digital Signatures tab, you can ensure that the file is signed with a Microsoft Windows digital signature. Once you have selected a signature, you can view its details using the corresponding button.

What to do if SearchApp.exe loads the CPU or causes crashes

During normal operation, SearchApp.exe should not cause any significant load on the system and is in a suspended state most of the time. If this is not the case, I recommend that you try the following simple steps:

  1. Select the process in Task Manager and click the "Delete Task" button.
  2. It will then reboot and you can see if the upload is still there.
  3. If the problem temporarily disappears but then reappears, check for a pattern: SearchApp.exe loads the system after you turn your computer or laptop off and on, but works fine after a reboot (shutdown followed by power on and reboot works fine). very differently in recent versions of Windows). If this pattern is present, try disabling fast startup and see if the problem persists in the future.

If SearchApp.exe crashes, I also recommend trying the third point above. If that doesn't help, it might make sense to use system restore points to a date when the errors didn't appear and check the integrity of the Windows system files.

How to disable (uninstall) SearchApp.exe

If you decide to stop the SearchApp.exe process from running, you can do so by renaming the executable file – in this case it will no longer be able to run, but in turn you will not be able to use the Windows search functions. I don't recommend doing this, but if you do, the steps are as follows

  1. Run the command line as an administrator.
  2. Enter the following commands in order, pressing Enter after each one
    takeown /f %windir%\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Search_cw5n1h2txyewy /r /dy icacls %windir%\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Search_cw5n1h2txyewy /grant Администраторы:F /t ren %windir%\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Search_cw5ewn1h2txyewy searchapp.exe searchapp.old.exe
  3. Close the command prompt and kill the SearchApp.exe process task in Task Manager.
  4. You should then be able to delete this file as well, but I wouldn't recommend doing this in case you need to search for it.

As a result, the process cannot be restarted and the search will stop working. You'll need to rename searchapp.old.exe to searchapp.exe for search to work again in the future.