What is cisvc.exe?

The genuine cisvc.exe file is a software component of Microsoft Windows Operating System by Microsoft.
The indexing service built into Microsoft Windows, this application runs in the background and indexes search content through your machine. As you search your hard driver or external media, this process performs the indexing on the location and content, enabling your search to be performed faster and more efficiently. Founded in 1975, Microsoft's flagship product is the Windows operating system, which is installed on over 90% of workstations worldwide.

CIsvc stands for Content Index service

The .exe extension on a filename indicates an executable file. Executable files may, in some cases, harm your computer. Therefore, please read below to decide for yourself whether the cisvc.exe on your computer is a Trojan that you should remove, or whether it is a file belonging to the Windows operating system or to a trusted application.

Click to Run a Free Scan for cisvc.exe related errors

Cisvc.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with cisvc
Cisvc.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Content Index service belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System by Microsoft (

Description: The original cisvc.exe from Microsoft is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. Cisvc.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 5,632 bytes (90% of all occurrences), 6,656 bytes and 5 more variants. 
The cisvc.exe file is a Windows system file. The program has no visible window. It is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. Therefore the technical security rating is 4% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify cisvc.exe related errors

Viruses with the same file name

Is cisvc.exe a virus? No, it is not. The true cisvc.exe file is a safe Microsoft Windows system process, called "Content Index service". However, writers of malware programs, such as viruses, worms, and Trojans deliberately give their processes the same file name to escape detection. Viruses with the same file name are such as TROJ_SPNR.08CO15 or TROJ_HORST.SMPE (detected by TrendMicro), and Win64:Dropper-gen [Drp] or Win32:Rodecap (detected by Avast).
To ensure that no rogue cisvc.exe is running on your PC, click here to run a Free Malware Scan.

How to recognize suspicious variants?

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware disguises itself as cisvc.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the cisvc.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.


User Comments

on windows 8 use a lot of ram and cpu , often heat up both
I agree with John & MaryLou. I could have fried an egg on my laptop until I set indexing services to manual startup. I was afraid my paperwork by the exhaust port was going to catch on fire. And hearing the fan running constantly was annoying, along with the fear of possible hardware damage, and wasted electricity.
I disabled Indexing Service and the process cisvc.exe, the file was deleted from system32 but any time when I start my pc something recover the file from somewhere and run it. The only solution I have so far is to remove this file and create a file with the same name on the same place (read only, like calc.exe). This will stop recreating the original cisvc.exe. Still looking for solution!
dangerous to XP system operation since it hogs system brutally which can heat up processor as indicated by another reporter. Had to turn off search indexing. Microsoft needs to fix this!!!
Couldn't find any reason to let cisvc.exe live. It's a constant pain, filling the security log of some of my Win XP boxes. My suggestion is to set it to "disabled" in services.msc.
Found this in Program Files (x86)\RapidBIT and flagged it as a Trojan Dropper. Even after completely denying access through Comodo Firewall I still couldn't delete it. A reboot into safemode was required to remove the file.
For me the cisvc.exe uses CPU (30-40% constantly) only when my laptop (Lenovo T60) is connected to the docking station. The strange thing is that, if I open the CD-drawer when it contains a CD/DVD (blank or non-blank) it stops consuming CPU. If the drawer is empty, I need to put a CD in the drawer, close it and open it. Then its ok.
this file is the microsoft indexing edition but can be trojan horse or keylogger...
  Matan   (further information)
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Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of cisvc.exe: based on 63 votes with 9 reviews. 18 users think cisvc.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 6 users think it's probably harmless. 19 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 12 users suspect danger. 8 users think cisvc.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 9 users don't grade cisvc.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving cisvc issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with cisvc. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using 1cleanmgr and 2sfc /scannow, 3uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using 4msconfig) and enabling Windows' 5Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.

Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the 6resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, executing the 7DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the cisvc.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: ASecurity Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. BMalwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

cisvc.exe [all]