How to fix Windows.edb problems on Windows 10 and 11

You are experiencing problems with Windows.edb but you absolutely do not know what it is, where it is and what it is for? Don’t worry, in this guide you will find exactly the information you are looking for. We recommend that you take a few minutes to carefully read the following paragraphs, so that you know what type of operation you will perform on your Windows 10 computer to solve problems with Windows.edb, especially if you are not sure if this database is the cause of your problem.

Windows.edb what it is and what it does

On Windows 11 and earlier versions, the Windows.edb file is a database that stores the index of contents for Windows Search to return results faster. The database is used both when we search for something using the bottom left bar, and when we use Cortana – and if you usually use Cortana you absolutely must tell us your experience with Microsoft’s digital assistant, just write below in the comments box.

The Windows.edb file is a system file located in the path % ProgramData% Microsoft Search Data Applications Windows and usually it is not very large: the average size reaches a few hundred megabytes, in the worst cases when you have hundreds of thousands of files it can weigh a few gigabytes. However, there is a scenario in which Windows.edb grows out of all proportion, occupying several hundred gigabytes of memory space, taking it away from applications, documents and games.

The problem with Windows.edb often occurs when using the email management client massively Microsoft Outlook in conjunction with a Microsoft Exchange account. Exchange-type accounts are usually reserved for business or school personnel, including students and faculty, who rely on the services of the Redmond company.

Well, in some cases the use perpetrated over time of Microsoft Outlook with active indexing of .PST files can lead to inflating the size of Windows.edb up to hundreds of gigabytes. Many notice the abnormal size of this indexed database when they get a warning on their Windows 11 computer about the low memory space available. Checking the files on a PC with a larger size, Windows.edb immediately catches the eye for its considerable size. Fortunately, there are methods to overcome the problem, which we will discuss in detail in the next paragraphs.

Defragment Windows.edb to reduce the size

The easiest way to fix this is to defragment the search index, deleting Windows.edb and forcing Windows Search to initialize a new database. The operation would be very simple if it were possible to delete the file directly, which in standard installations is located in the path C: ProgramData Microsoft Search Data Applications Windows. In order to view the C: ProgramData folder remember to enable the display of hidden files and folders in File Explorer.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to delete the Windows.edb file directly because it is actively used by Windows Search. To stop the process we must:

  • right click on the icon Windows lower left;
  • going up Activity management;
  • open the tab Details;
  • to find Searchindexer.exe, right click on it and select the option End activity.

Now we need to block the Windows Search service:

  • we keep the key pressed Windows + R to open the window Run and type “services.msc”, then click on OK;
  • in the window Services scroll down the list until you find Windows Search and click on it twice with the left mouse button;
  • now in the box startup type we select Disabled, click on Apply to block the service and then on OK to exit.

The last step is to defragment the index file:

  • press the Windows key or click on the Windows icon at the bottom left;
  • we write CMD and then click on Run as administrator.

Now let’s type the following commands:

cd /d %ProgramData%MicrosoftSearchDataApplicationsWindows
esentutl.exe /d Windows.edb
esentutl.exe /r Windows.edb (solo nel caso il comando precedente restituisca un messaggio di errore)

Once the operation is finished, we will have successfully defragmented the Windows.edb file. By following the steps described above, all that remains is to activate the Windows Search service from Services again, taking care to choose the type of startup marked with the wording Automatic.

Delete and rebuild Windows.edb

If the size of Windows.edb continues to be very large even after trying to defragment the database we can try to delete the index and rebuild it by proceeding as follows:

  • click with the right mouse button on the icon Windows lower left;
  • let’s go up Activity management;
  • we open the tab Details;
  • let’s position ourselves on Searchindexer.exe, click with the right mouse button and select End activity.

Now it’s the turn of blocking the Windows Search service, a necessary step to prevent the operating system from blocking our attempt to delete the Windows.edb file:

  • we press the key combination Windows + R to open the window Run and in the appropriate field we type “services.msc”, then clicking on OK;
  • It will open a new window Services: let’s go to the bottom of the list above Windows Search and click on it twice;
  • in tab General we locate the box startup type selecting the option Disabled, then we click Apply and then on OK.

Let’s open File Explorer and navigate to the folder C: ProgramData Microsoft Search Data Applications Windows and inside we will find the file Windows.edb: click with the right mouse button and select Delete.

Windows.edb problems how to fix delete file

The next step is to re-enable the Windows Search service and instruct the operating system to rebuild the search indexing database:

  • with the key combination Windows + R let’s open the window Run and type “services.msc”, then click on OK;
  • in Services let’s scroll down until we find Windows Search, then click on it twice with the left mouse button;
  • in the box startup type the option should be selected Disabled, now instead we move the selection Automatic (delayed start) and click on Apply, then we press OK and we go out the window;
  • with the key combination Windows + S we open the search and type “indexing”, then click on Indexing options;
  • click on Advanced;
  • we press the button New index to drop and re-create the index.

Wait for the operating system to rebuild the database index and that’s it.

Change the destination of Windows.edb

In the event that even deleting the database and rebuilding it the size of the Windows.edb file is still very large, you have the possibility to choose another destination on disk. This option is useful for those who have two hard disks or more disk partitions: by doing this you can change the index destination to a larger memory space, leaving the disk with the operating system with more storage available for documents and programs.

To change the destination of Windows.edb we have to:

  • activate the search by pressing the buttons Windows + S and typing “indexing” in the appropriate bar, clicking on Indexing options;
  • in the new window click on Advanced;
  • in the field Index path click on the button Select new;
  • a selection window will open where we can specify the path in which to create the new Windows.edb file;
  • (optional) create a new folder in the desired position using the appropriate button at the bottom left;
  • to press OK.

Give the operating system some time to move the search index to the new folder you designate, it may take a few seconds or minutes depending on its size. Now you know all the ways to fix Windows.edb file problem.

It might interest you: Optimizing Windows 10 and Windows 11 – The Best Ways to Do It

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