How to Permanently Stop SearchUI.exe from Running in Windows 10

When Microsoft released Windows 10, everyone was excited about the new features – especially about the Siri killer Cortana. But Cortana did not really turn out to be what people expected from all the hype. It uses too much processor power and interferes in everyday user activities. Even when you disable Cortana from the settings, it keeps running “SearchUI.exe” in the background which further eats away some of the RAM available on the system. And they have designed the process to never stop and automatically restart even when you try to kill it using the Windows Task Manager or the Process Explorer.

Windows 10 Disable SearchUI.exe

But there is one way to stop and prevent SearchUI.exe from running in Windows 10. If you do not really need Cortana or its various processes from running on your system all the time, then perhaps you would want to use this method to disable SearchUI.exe too:

  1. Start elevated command prompt. In order to do so, press the Win+X key combination and then choose Command prompt (Admin) from the menu that shows up on your screen.
  2. In the command prompt window type these commands one at a time, pressing Enter after each one of them (and be very quick):
    cd %windir%\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy
    takeown /f SearchUI.exe
    icacls SearchUI.exe /grant administrators:F
    taskkill /f /im SearchUI.exe
    rename SearchUI.exe SearchUI.exe.001
  3. If the commands fail at one time, then repeat them many times until the SearchUI.exe is renamed successfully.

Alternatively, you can download the ready-made batch-script https://trishtech.com/downloads/kill-searchui.zip and extract its contents to a folder on your PC. Then right-click on the kill-searchui.bat and select Run as administrator from the context-menu.

Windows 10 Disable SearchUI.exe

You would see a small command prompt window flash on your screen for a second and then SearchUI.exe will stop running on your PC. Of course, after this, you would not be able to make any good use of Cortana in your Windows PC. But that is all up to you to decide whether you want Cortana or a better performing PC.

How to Restore SearchUI.exe Back?
Many people have asked how can they restore SearchUI.exe back. In order to restore it, you have to rename the SearchUI.exe file back to it’s original name.

  1. Start elevated command prompt. In order to do so, press the Win+X key combination and then choose Command prompt (Admin) from the menu that shows up on your screen.
  2. In the command prompt window type this command and press Enter:
    cd %windir%\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy
    rename SearchUI.exe.001 SearchUI.exe
  3. Restart Windows and SearchUI.exe will begin working again.

18 thoughts on “How to Permanently Stop SearchUI.exe from Running in Windows 10

  1. Beware: It seems that the Search bar in Windows Explorer stops working if you hide SearchUI.exe as this article says. I’m talking about the Search field in the upper right with a magnifying glass that allows you to search for files within the displayed folder.

  2. FUMS: You don’t need to know how to code to run a packet sniffer. There are different levels of tools for such a thing that are appropriate- no need to re-invent the wheel. (Wireshark is great, although if you *do* run it and look at how much data your machine *actually* pushes over to Microsoft and also random servers in Europe (!?) even after a fresh install, it may cause you to switch OSes or become a conspiracy nut. And the disk activity is just completely insane. Files being modified left and right *all the time* – even when you machine has been idle for hours. You can use the Windows Resource Monitoring and Logging system if you trust it. Or you can use 3rd party tools like “Activity Monitor” which is on Github and works great, but will also make you paranoid. Like – why are all your DLL files being modified roughly ever 5 minutes? DLLs are like .EXE files, they contain machine-code. Modifying them directly is a no-no. (I have yet to diff them yet over time; maybe Windows is just touching them. (eg changing the modification date.))

    Are there scripts for fixing many of Windows 10’s strange “features”? Like the task bar that does’t hide itself, Explorer Windows /Folders forget their position, MIME types are forgotten all the time, the mail and calendar client sometimes spin off and eat up all your memory or CPU, etc etc.

    Windows services don’t honor the settings with which you configured them, or obey the rules of the Windows Defender Firewall (although Tinywall seems to work.) What I don’t understand is why their over-controlling set of design philosophies aren’t hurting their market shares, or causing a large amount of paranoia in the software dev and sysadmin world? Are we just so jaded that we don’t care that hey are making huge $$$ selling our privacy to ad campaigns or worse on top of ? Are we

  3. Spyware, straight up spy ware. If you know how to code, write some stuff to monitor what this piece of shit does. You will never want to use a MS product ever again.

  4. Its because as soon as your computer goes to sleep, it turns on your microphone and does god knows what. Kill this shit by fire ASAP.
    Gorkem, just rename it back to what it was. Windows is desperately trying to turn this spyware on at all times at all cost that is why you can not kill it. Its a fucking data miner, keylogger(they admitted this) and flat out spyware taking your webcam data, your keyboard data and microphone data and shipping it over to MS… because you agreed to let it do that when you installed Win10. Read the fineprint next time.

  5. Install Process Explorer and look if this task is doing anything!??
    🙂
    It is really frozen except 32 MB of memory that is constant. No disk activities, no CPU activities…
    and if you rename directory as suggested then read mine previous topic that you will have a flood of Windows alert log messages.

  6. The thing is though, MS should not have forced this upon us in the first place. The internet is full of “workarounds” to all of the rubbish (MS calls them improvements) that MS have loaded onto what used to be the best OS on the market, Windows 7.

    Please MS, just STOP. Okay? Just. Stop.

    We should not all be spending all day looking for ways around the things that you force upon us. I know you are obsessed with “the cloud” and the idea that you should own every breath we take. But PLEASE. Just write some good software and leave us alone!

  7. It seems like that you have to have this running in order for the Windows 10 (Creator’s perhaps) Start Menu to function. Needs more testing.

  8. this way flood event Viewer with errors:
    Unable to start a DCOM Server: CortanaUI as Unavailable/Unavailable. The error:
    “267”
    Happened while starting this command:
    “C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy\SearchUI.exe” -ServerName:CortanaUI.AppXa50dqqa5gqv4a428c9y1jjw7m3btvepj.mca

    How to prevent this error logged?
    DCOM, but how?

    1. Just rename it back to its original name on the folder (C:WindowsSystemAppsMicrosoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy) and it will load again

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