What is SearchFilterHost.exe?

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 SearchFilterHost.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.

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SearchFilterHost.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with SearchFilterHost
SearchFilterHost.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Microsoft Windows Search Filter Host belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System or Windows Search or Microsoft Windows Search Filter Host by Microsoft (

Description: SearchFilterHost.exe is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. SearchFilterHost.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 86,528 bytes (35% of all occurrences), 87,552 bytes and 11 more variants. 
The program has no visible window. The SearchFilterHost.exe file is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. Therefore the technical security rating is 8% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: The software vendor offers the option to uninstall Security Update for Microsoft from your computer using the Control Panel applet Uninstall a Program.

Recommended: Identify SearchFilterHost.exe related errors

If SearchFilterHost.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows, the security rating is 19% dangerous. The file size is 87,552 bytes (90% of all occurrences) or 113,664 bytes. The program has no visible window. SearchFilterHost.exe is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. The file is not a Windows core file.

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as SearchFilterHost.exe, for example PE_VIRUX.S-4 (detected by TrendMicro), and W32.Virut.CF (detected by Symantec). Therefore, you should check the SearchFilterHost.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

Part of Windows Desktop Search
  Alex   (further information)
regarding to vista it appears to be part of their new all singing all dancing search indexer and though it speeds up file searches ultimately slow your entire os
I got it off by uninstalling Windows Desktop Search
The first time I hear abot it was when outlook 2007 ask me about to chek on
  Carlos AB   (further information)
einfach den Dienst deaktivieren
  uncle di  
part of the confusingly named "windows search" which is an add-on app (this is NOT the built-in search function in windows)
Speeds up searches from start menu
uninstalling Windows Search 4.0 will remove this HD & CPU hogger
Its keep trying accessing internet.
  binyo66   (further information)
McAfee does not recognise it as safe
Seems to be part of Windows search indexing. Turning it off will at worst make file searching take longer.
If it is a window indexer (searches file faster in the desktop) then I believe there's no need for "SearchFilterHost" to connect itself to the internet. Might as well disable or block it with a 3rd party firewall.
Used for searching
    (further information)
it took 50% of my cpu usage. in windows 7 you can disable it by going to: control panell indexing optios (then deselect folders)
Thank you MrForce! Uninstalling Windows Search 4.0 solved the problem, and now I'm not bogged down by SearchIndexer locking up my computer. What an annoyance!!!
I had windows indexing turned off for years when I noticed searchfilter was taking up 15%- 45% of my processor time while I was waiting for a new program I wrote to compile in Visual Studio 10. I double checked th search index in control panel and I had no files of folders chosen for indexing. I will try to uninstall Search 4.0 as suggested here on your web page). I will re-post when I am done with the uninstall (I am still compiling in the background).
  Joe Spivey  
On my computer (Windows XP SP3) this file was installed by Microsoft Search v4.0
Error after Adobe Flash Player Up-Grade. Adobe Flash site has fix for Flash Player 11.3 ,268 After install it fixed my mem error
In Windows 7, press Windows key + R simultaneously. In the Run dialog box enter 'services.msc'. Scroll down to 'Windows Search'. Right-click and from the ensuing window first stop, then disable the service. All fixed, no more p.i.t.a, CPU hogging by this annoying service.
its taking to much cpu and hoting my laptop to 90c
Resource Hog!
Part of windows search. Disable if it is causing issues.
I tried the advice from 'thx' to disable 'Windows Search' using 'services.msc', and tested start-menu searching. Turns out the start-menu search will not search through my documents when 'Windows Search' is disabled, so I re-enabled it. I have windows 7.
  Jan Heldal  
My version of SearchFilterHost.exe is 113,664 bytes and is in C:\Windows\System32 not in another sub folder of C:\Windows. The information on this page says it is normally this size when in another sub-folder, not when in System32. My computer is running Windows 7 Home Premium. My start-up anti-virus said that SearchFilterHost.exe wanted to access my data and the data it wanted to access was a small image file in a sub-folder of My Documents. The sub-folder is of images used in a publishing program.
Slows my typing to a crawl. Add/Remove On Windows 7: Go to Add/Remove Programs Turn Windows Features ON or OFF Scroll down to Windows Search Uncheck Windows Search. You will need to reboot.
CPU Usage from 80-90% down to 2% with the advice from "thx". Start "services.msc", scroll down to "Windows Search", rightclick, choose "Preferences". Set "Starttype" to "Disabled" and if u want, "end" the process under "service status". Reboot your PC. That's it!

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of SearchFilterHost.exe: based on 36 votes with 27 user comments. 6 users think SearchFilterHost.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 2 users think it's probably harmless. 25 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 3 users suspect danger. 6 users don't grade SearchFilterHost.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving SearchFilterHost issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with SearchFilterHost. 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 SearchFilterHost.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

SearchFilterHost.exe [all]