Possible computer performance issue with DisableBackoff=1 in the registry


Under some configurations and situations, you may experience random computer performance problems when you have modified the DisableBackoff value in the registry.


This problem can occur if the following registry data is configured on your computer:

Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\Gathering Manager
DWORD: DisableBackOff
Value: 1


If the DisableBackOff value = 1 in the registry and you are experiencing general computer performance issues, please change the value of DisableBackOff to 0 (default behavior) to see if there is an improvement in performance.

Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall the operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.
  1. Start Registry Editor.
    • Windows 8

      Press the Windows key + R
    • Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP

      On the Start menu click Run.
  2. Type Regedit.exe and click OK.
  3. Locate the following key in the registry:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\Gathering Manager
  4. Right-click DisableBackOffand then click Modify.
  5. Change the Value data to 0 and then click OK.
  6. Close Registry Editor.
  7. Restart the Windows Search service.
    1. Open the Run box.
      • Windows 8

        Press the Windows key + R
      • Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP

        On the Start menu click Run.
    2. Type Services.msc and click OK.
    3. Right-click the Windows Search service and then click Stop.
    4. Right-click the Windows Search service and then click Start.

More Information

The DisableBackOff registry value can be configured to use either of the following two data values:

0 = (Default behavior) The search indexer back-off logic will be used to throttle back indexing activity when system activity is high.

1 = The search indexer back-off feature will be disabled. Indexing will continue at full speed even when system activity is high.

It is not recommended that you change the value from the default unless you are provided this guidance from a Microsoft Support Engineer.

There is a different registry value, UseLowPriorityConfiguration, that also controls the way Windows Search indexes items. It too can cause random performance issues if changed from its default value. For additional information on the UseLowPriorityConfiguration registry value, please see the following article.

Possible computer performance issue if UseLowPriorityConfiguration = 0 in the registry