iTunes Dragging Your Windows 8 PC Down? Here’s a Fix (Hint: It’s Not iTunes’ Fault)

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As I said in my — *ahem* — “review” of Windows 8, for all its quirks and unnecessary changes, I absolutely adore the OS for its incredible performances advantages. That rule hasn’t held true when I’ve opened iTunes in the past couple of weeks, though. Open Apple’s music management software, and all of the sudden my system would crawl to a halt, murdering my hard drive and chewing up RAM like a kid on a post-Halloween binge.

Apparently this is a problem that plagues some Vista and Win7 users, as well, but it never struck me until I installed Win8, for some reason. A bit of searching in the Task Manager, though, quickly indicated to me that iTunes wasn’t entirely at fault, because the real resource hog turned out to be Microsoft Windows Search Indexer, which was slamming me on memory usage and pushing disk usage to 100%.

It turns out, the problem is that Windows Search Indexer was indexing .xml files, which is the format that iTunes uses to share library data with other applications (whether it was under Win7 is a mystery to me, but as I said, I don’t recall ever having this problem before).

The fix is incredibly simple, although if you haven’t gotten used to navigating Windows 8 yet, it might take a little stumbling to find your way into the Control Panel. Just right-click at the bottom left corner of the screen, select Control Panel, and navigate to the Indexing Options icon.

From there, select Advanced, click on the File Types tab, and uncheck the box next to .xml (not .xlm, not .xm — just .xml).

With that one itty bitty checkmark removed, I’m now running iTunes in the background (along with Paint Shop Pro, email, Internet Explorer, and more Chrome tabs that I care to admit), with only 20% disk usage and 55% memory usage.


PS: This fix should totally work under older operating systems; getting to the Control Panel will just be a little easier.

Downsides to doing this? Absolutely none, as far as I can figure, unless you tend to work with a lot of XML files in different folders, and use Windows Search to locate them quickly.

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  • Robot lawnmower

    Pressing win+x will get you to that control panel quick smart.

  • Memory Sucker

    Wow this totally worked!! My memory went from over 1 gig and constantly climbing to now just 77K and steady! Thanks so much!! For reference, today is Oct. 26, 2014 and I’m using Windows 7-64 bit.

  • Irakli Geleishvili

    Did and and did “netsh winsock reset” too, but nothing helped…