If your system suddenly slows dramatically or stalls altogether, with a spike in processor usage from the task “searchprotocolhost.exe,” you may want to try disabling the Windows Search service. Follow these steps:
- Click the Start button. In Windows Vista, type services.mscin the search box and press enter. In Windows XP, select “Run” then type services.msc and press enter
- Right-click Windows Search and select “Properties”
- Change the startup type in the menu to Disabled
Note that this will disable some search services, but for most users, the sometimes dramatic speed increase is worth it.