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What is cidaemon?


That’s the “Content Indexing Daemon”; a background process that builds a fast search index of the files on your computer. Chances are you don’t need it, and can disable the indexing service. “Black Viper” has a good overview of XP Services.

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Posted: June 14, 2004 in:
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Leo Who?

I'm Leo Notenboom and I've been playing with computers since I took a required programming class in 1976. I spent over 18 years as a software engineer at Microsoft, and "retired" in 2001. I started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place to help you find answers and become more confident using all this amazing technology at our fingertips. More about Leo.

76 comments on “cidaemon”

  1. Why does cidaemon keep coming back on and consuming such large amounts of resources after I have disabled the indexing on my hard drive? I find it running on my task manager consuming up to one gig of virtual memory. I have also tried renaming the cidaemon.exe file only to find a new one there to replace it.

  2. Have you actually turned off the indexing service? Right click My Computer, select Manage, expand Services and Applications, click on Services, double click on Indexing Service. Press Stop, if it’s running. Make sure that startup type is set to Disabled, and press OK.

  3. I have got the same cidaemon in my PC. But one Q how to know that the startup type is disabled or not. where and how to look for that.
    Without that i tried stopping indexing services but it got stuck. I ran for sometime then stopped responding.

  4. Right click on “My Computer” on your desktop, click on “Manage”, expand “Services and Applications”, click on “Services”, right click on “Indexing Service” and select “Properties”. There you can set the start-up type, as well as stop the service immediately.

  5. I’m receiving the following message under cidaemon.exe – applications error
    The instruction at “0x7c911fbc” referrenced memory at “0x00000000”. The memory could not be “read”. Click OK to terminate the program.

    The memory locations vary and the error indicates that the the memory could not “read” and in some cases “write”. What’s up and how do I fix it. Running on Windows XP.

  6. I’d just turn off the content indexing service, if you don’t need it (if you don’t know, you probably don’t). See the article you just commented on.

  7. cidaemon is actually and indexing service which enables windows to search your hardrive faster and more efficiantly. if you do not know it just turn it off it has most probably no affect on XP, directly.

  8. I had the same problem…cidaemon consumes all my processing and memory.

    I’m glad I found Ask Leo!

    I managed to stop the indexing-service. But every time I start my comp …there it is again,
    I have to stop ciaemon.exe manualy.

    Where, of how can I stop the start-up of this exe-file ?

  9. I Also have the very same problem as the previous posts! Memory error messages. CPU Time being eaten up by cidaemon.exe. It seems to happen the most When i use the Right Mouse menu and scroll down to selev Delete, Except it always Stops on Send to & Thats when my Athlon XP 3200+ Almost grinds to a halt! Could it be a Problem with my Memory? I have 1.5Gig Samsung PC3200 DDR400.

  10. for some reason all these people had the same problem as did I but did they not read the content of others advice and you Leo must have a hard time reading and repeating answers
    good luck and thanks for the info

  11. The 4th toe on my left foot has really been bothering me lately, so I went to the doctor and his advice was to cut it off.

    I’m not sure I want to cut it off if there are other alternatives. Does anybody know if there are alternatives to cutting my toe off?



    The CIDAEMON.EXE process is supposed to do it’s work at a very low processing priority level (primarily idle processor time). And it’s supposed to stop it’s work when something with a higher priority is loaded into the processor.

    I’m having the same problem as everyone else here. I COULD just turn indexing off and do without it…but the reason I turned it on in the first place is that the faster searching it provides is really handy when I need to find something.

    Up until last week, CIDAEMON.EXE behaved exactly like it was supposed to. It never used any processor time unless my computer was idle. Something changed last week that now causes it to interfere with almost EVERYTHING I do.

    So the question should be, does anyone know what might have changed? Or where the settings are in the registry for this process’s priority level?

    Is there a new virus or spyware program that hides behind the CIDAEMON name?

  12. cidaemon started stealing 100% of my C.P.U. about 3 weeks ago. Never had any problems with it before. I have not been on the Internet since, cause I thought it to be a Virus and did not want infect everyone I knew with it. When Cidaemon starts using all my CPU, I go to task master, and delete it from the processes, but it comes right back. The problem seems to migrate to EXPLORER.EXE and then I have to restart to rid my PC of it. A for real pain in the rear. Any body got any Ideas, if it is really cidaemon, or another hidden program?

  13. I have had the same problems with CIDEAMON.EXE and as someone previously stated, it kicks in when processes are low or dormant (this happens mostly when i am using textpad).
    Naturally when the processor goes crazy like this, we shut down any unwanted programs to no avail. i load realplayer as i am working on low cpu usage programs and this does the trick and shuts CIDAEMON up!!! try it

  14. To easily shut down cidaemon.exe, wich is part of the microsoft indexing service, go to Start > Run, type and start services.msc, doubble-click on indexing-service in the list, and turn Starttype to off, so it will not start anymore when you start up windows.

  15. I seem to have a problem related to CIDAEMON. When I dial my internet ISP, After connection occurs, The ‘SYSTEM’ cotinually uploads data ( what, and to where I don’t know) and this drops the internet access to ‘zero’. After running for 3 hours like this, I noticed the CIDAEMON process had the most activity… Any idea what is happening? I am running Windows 2000 Professional.
    This just started happening 3 days ago…

  16. it drove me nuts. it was not running on my friends system but it was running on my syatem. ideleted the file from system32 still iy kept running. now i’ll get rid of it

  17. I’ve done what the article said to do, and turned it off sometime last week…my computer was working fine! Then just yesterday, I saw it again on my task manager…could it be a virus? How do I get rid of it? I’ve just downloaded win updates as well..does this have anything to do with cidaemon.exe reappearing?

  18. Hola folks.

    This is nothing as compare to the prob i am facing.
    My Cidaemon starts acting up after some time, leaving the comp idle.

    It creates acr*.tmp files in my C:WINDOWS\TEMP| folder. Takes up 50% of my processor resources.
    ANd stops any kind of Windows update.


    For time being none of the virus scanners/anti-spywares detect it. So I have made a script that cleans the TEMP directory and kills the cidaemon process every 5 minutes.

    One more unusual thing is that, usually the cidaemon runs very low, but in my case, it gets “supercharged” after some time. Invokes many dlls and changes the PID every 5/10 seconds.

    Very strange behavior.

    guess the acr*.tmp is being made because it calls some buggy Acrobat dll and makes it crash/dump.

    Any one faced similar thing?

  19. Actually, I DO recall how cidaemon.exe began running on my computer. I installed WinXP Pro and then decided I wanted to host my own webpages (which I’d done before in Linux/Apache). I installed IIS from the Add/Remove Programs Windows components. After installing, the default webpage at c:\inetpub\wwwroot had some Help links. When I clicked it, it said I needed to enable something about an indexing service to have it search the IIS help files. I followed the instructions (which I can no longer recall or find) and enabled the indexing service. It then warned me that the index would have to run for a while to index/catalog the help information. So, I figure that’s what it’s still doing. (Plus, my machine’s an old spare Pentium II, so I figure it would eat a lot of CPU cycles.) But like the prior posts, it’s set to LOW priority and does drop down in CPU usage when I start up other programs. I just hope my CPU doesn’t overheat and die by being at 100% CPU utilization all the time when I’m not working on the PC.

  20. I got the same problem. Every 3 minutes, cidaemon creates an Acr*.tmp file of 3.9 Mb size, just after few minutes of PC inactivity. The process takes almost 100% of CPU utilization, so I’m concerned because overheat and die.
    What about your script ssslayer?
    Thanks in advance

  21. I got the same problem. The cidaemon flooded my TEMP folder with arc*.tmp files every few times. I finally remove the acrobat reader and reinstall it. Looks like problem have gone.

  22. What about your program sslayer? I’d love to use it – CIDAEMON keeps taking up 99% of my CPU – even without PC inactivity after about 20 mins – and it’s really getting on my nerves!!!

  23. I got the same problem, and will try the last suggestion, but I’m concerning about the need for the program in indexing. Could it be that the problem was accidentally or purposely caused by MS? I ask this because the problem first seemed to occur when I started getting a warning that my XP wasn’t genuine. IT IS! I have the license to prove it, and it’s not a fake! Anyway, thinking I should check for updates, MS updates updated me with a program that has something to do with genuine verification, and then things got much worse. cidaemon.exe is now on steroids! HELP

  24. I read the post by pleschi on May 22, 2006. After reading the comments & suggestions posted here about the cidaemon indexing service, I decided to verify the troublemaker myself. I installed TaskInfo v6.2.2 from (one of the most sophisticated task manager replacements available.)
    One of the features of TaskInfo is that it allows you to monitor all files opened, and the processes or programs that open or create these files.
    I used Directory Opus (the most sophisticated file manager available) and opened the C:\WINDOWS\TEMP folder… then I decided to wait about three minutes. ONE minute later WHAM!!!!
    there is was… cidaemon.exe creating the ACRFFFF.tmp file, caught infraganty.

    I followed the solution that pleschi and the others suggested about opening “ADD REMOVE PROGRAMS” then “ADD REMOVE WINDOWS COMPONENTS” and then deactiving “INDEXING SERVICES”, my problem is that after I did this, the “ACR*.tmp” files continue to appear.

    WHAT THE F&^%K!! I said when I saw the whole thing going on again. CIDAEMON.EXE was running, I went back again to “ADD REMOVE PROGRAMS”–>”ADD REMOVE WINDOWS COMPONENTS” —> and THERE IT WAS.. the check mark next to INDEXING SERVICES was back!!
    I tried again and again, I rebooted, and nothing, it’s still there!

    Does anyone has any idea of how to take CIDAEMON.EXE out, turn it off, remove it, etc.???

    At about

  25. WARNING!!!!!!!!!

    Cidaemon.exe is a virus set up by the indexing service…
    It disables task manager (you can enable it again by opening “REGEDIT” from run on the start menue and reset the value of distskmngr, i think thats the name to “0”) so you cannot shut it down.

    Let me explain: I caught a virus which made a popup appear in the toolbar saying: windows security center has detected a virus!
    it is recomended that you install the latest virus protection to remove the spyware/addware!
    click this baloon to install.
    It brings you to the indexing service (desigused as windows security center!!!) and tries to sell you programs to fix it, when it is it (Cidaemon.exe ‘a.k.a’ indexing service) that is causing the problem.
    It also creates unlimited messages in outlook express telling you to sign up, mine has reached 450!!! unread messages from them!

    If you find a way (apart from opening add/remove windows components, it does not work even if the box is unchecked!) please e-mail me to my e-mail thanks! and good luck to all trying to get rid of it!!!

  26. Oh and by the way when you get task manager opend and close cidaemon.exe: when you turn back on your pc it sprouts up again in the task manager and the toolbar under a diferent name it also stops any anti-virus software that it can manage EG: e’ scan, AVG virus scanner, AVG virus cleanup, early northern anti-virus programs, and also does not show up on the windows security center’s virus scanner!

  27. This is the solution to stopping that annoying Cidaemon.exe:

    Go into My computer, go into local disk, windows, then go into system32 and it will be there under ‘c’. Delete it! it’s that easy. (Note this may not work depending on your operating system and computer) I have a fujitsu siemens and run on windows XP service pack 1.

  28. Wow…that’s it, I came down with this yesterday and considering that I run Trend’s AntiSpyware, Nortons AntiSpyware, ZoneAlarm’s AntiSpyware, Zone Alarm’s Firewall, Norton’s Firewall and Norton’s Antivirus all of which were installed on this computer before being connected to any network and kept up too date…and that spells:

    B I G T R O U B L E I N L I T T L E C H I N A

    to me boys and girls…i’ll keep lookin but if youy know the answer, SPEAK UP…

  29. The simplest way in Windows XP to disable ‘cidaemon.exe’ is as follow:
    1. Open ‘My Document’ window.
    2. Click on ‘Search’ button.
    3. On the left menu, click ‘Change preferences’ option, then ‘Without Indexing Service …’ option.
    4. Make sure to select ‘No, do not enable Indexing Service’ radio button.

    And another comment on deleting ‘cidaemon.exe’ from ‘\windows\system32’ folder:
    Generally, Windows has a backup folder of all of its system files including ‘cidaemon.exe’. When you delete a system file from ‘\windows\system32’ folder, Windows automatically replaces it from its backup folder. This backup folder is a hidden system folder inside ‘\windows\system32’ folder called ‘dllcache’.
    In order to preventing ‘cidaemon.exe’ or any other system files from reappearing, you need to first delete its relating backup file from this folder (‘\windows\system32\dllcache’) and then to attempt to delete it from ‘\windows\system32’ folder.

  30. cidaemon.exe is NOT a virus. Proof: Install sysinternals Process Explorer. Next time cidaemon takes up 99% of your processor’s time, follow the steps in Mohammad’s post above. You will see utilization drop back down. Also cidaemon will disappear from the process list.

  31. hey guys,

    ok as soon as someone aboved mentioned fast searching, it rang a bell. cidaemon.exe was in my task manager but wasnt slowing anything down. I decided to test what i suspected to be the process.

    here is the solution that worked for me. I think someone else said the same thing.

    click: start
    click: search
    click: change preferances.
    click: with indexing service (for faster local searches)
    click: no do not enable indexing.
    click: ok

    After doing this i went back to task manager and it was gone. I’m guessing it could be exploited as a security threat considering it is keeping a list of files on your pc, but some good internet security and a little caution when downloading junk should keep you pretty safe ;)

    Hope this helps

  32. I tried all of the above and none of it worked. So when searching the net I found a solution that involves turning off the following:

    >>My Computer > Right-CLick and select Properties > Un-check the box for ‘Allow Indexing service to index this disk’

    tada there ya go…..

  33. Windows XP

    To disable cidaemon.exe, all you need to do is this….

    1st make sure you have system administrator tools visible on your start menu. You can do this by right clicking on the start menu and selecting properties/advanced.

    Next open up the services window. This will list all active and inactive services on windows XP.

    Find “Indexing Service” and set it to manual or disable it, then stop the service.


  34. Deleted citaemon.exe, and turned off all possible index / search functions in windows, the annoying citaemon.exe have finally disappeared, thanks

  35. Temporarily disabling cidaemon.exe is elementary and simple (”end process” in Taskmanager), BUT, has anyone completely, effectively, no shadow-of-a-doubt and permenantly removed cidaemon.exe from their XP system?? If so, please give the step-by-step method. Tx, Pete

  36. I have been having problems. When that occurs Cidaemon appears in taskmgr. I was told to uninstall desktop google. Then I read this thread. I promptlydid the following as recommended by Leo.

    “Right click My Computer, select Manage, expand Services and Applications, click on Services, double click on Indexing Service. Press Stop, if it’s running. Make sure that startup type is set to Disabled, and press OK.

    Posted by: Leo at July 19, 2004 02:28 PM

    Can I now reinstall desktop Google?

  37. Is this process actually negatively affecting anyone? It’s process priority is set to low, so even if it is takin 99% of your CPU if some other process needs to work it will just cut in line so to speak. I can understand if your using a laptop you may want to disable it, but on anything not running on batteries it should not be a big deal.

  38. I installed daemon tools and now my computer is screwed. I deinstalled it and now nothing works and everything has a run 32dll error (my computer not responding, control panel not responding, system restore not working, internet etc etc.
    Can anyone help or just shout at me for being stupid!

  39. “Is this process actually negatively affecting anyone?”

    Oh yes it is. About every 10 seconds, its CPU utilization jumps up to 20%. My kids think that every DVD I play through Windows Media PLayer is scratched, because it skips every 10 seconds or so. Then there’s the issue with Word. As I’m typing along, the cursor stops moving for a few seconds, and then catches up. Wicked annoying! And last but not least – for some bizarre reason, it affects the spell checker in Outlook Express 6. When I send an email, if I have any misspelled words, the spell checker has a hard time recommending alternatives. It’s horrible. Thank you so much for the advice!


  40. So I just did the right click, select management, disable indexing services and now my computer is running full throttle ahead. Thank you so much!

  41. This is the solution!!!
    ====>Control Panel
    ====>Administrative Tools
    ====>Indexing Service, Open
    ====>Startup type ====> Manual
    Enjoy ;)

  42. I have been experiencing this problem for a while.

    Did not want to disable indexing because it is a valuable service and thought that there must be something else to it other than just some buggy s/ware from MS.

    The problems are directly linked to a very malicious set of spyware products which constantly changes their name/s. A previous post in this forum has alluded to this and also mentioned that there are irritating pop-ups of programs that warn of a compromised system and offers to repair it for you. It is a rogue antivirus producer that infects your machine and then offers to disinfect at a price while masquerading as the “good guy”.

    The names associated so far are “WinAntiVirus”, “SmitFraud”, “SystemDoctor” and several others. I have been trying for 2 days straight to remove all of them to no avail.

    The trojan seems to hijack the cidaemon process and it then generates the .tmp files being discussed. Spybot SD finds the problems, removes their references from the registry, but they return as soon as the machine is restarted or after some time.

    I am still trying to resolve this.

    I hope somebody else has dug deeper than merely recommending switching the indexing off, because this seems to be one of the nastiest trojans I have encountered yet.

    Please tell me if anyone recognises this as a more accurate picture of this problem or am I experiencing something completely different to all of you.

    Interestingly, the first reports of the WinAntivirus problem seems to have surfaced in discussions in multiple forums around May 2006 when the first set of posts happened in this forum. Solutions to some of the discussions traced in Google takes you to a new set of solutions by equally insidious rogue antivirus producers.

    Looking forward to the responses.


  43. I use Microsoft Flight Simulator and have recently upgraded from fs2004 to FSX. I have been having terrible trouble with the programme hesitating and stuttering along, I have stopped certain actions using the task manager and the one programme to make an immediate difference was cidaemon.exe. When I removed it everything ran smoothly but it came back within minutes. I knew when it came back because it started stuttering again.I am going to try and disable it using some of the info I have gleaned I will let you know whether it works and thanks 4 the help Neil Birch

  44. I use Microsoft Flight Simulator and have recently upgraded from fs2004 to FSX. I have been having terrible trouble with the programme hesitating and stuttering along, I have stopped certain actions using the task manager and the one programme to make an immediate difference was cidaemon.exe. When I removed it everything ran smoothly but it came back within minutes. I knew when it came back because it started stuttering again.I am going to try and disable it using some of the info I have gleaned I will let you know whether it works and thanks 4 the help Neil Birch

  45. Yes it does make a difference because the flight simulator started jerking again, looked in task manage daemon was back again.Disabled it and everything ran smoothly again.Neilb

  46. This is the solution!!!
    ====>Control Panel
    ====>Administrative Tools
    ====>Indexing Service, Open
    ====>Startup type ====> Manual
    Enjoy ;)

    im going thru this solution.

    but where did the cidaemon go?

  47. How in the heck do I disable cidaemon? I see all kinds of comments about it but nothing I see tells me what to do about it.

  48. I realize cidaemon.exe is a Windows indexing service but if I sort the process list by name there are 2 of them. One of them takes a non-trivial amount of CPU time when I leave the computer alone for a while (expected), but quickly goes to zero when I touch my mouse.
    Is it normal to have two of them on the process list? I double checked the spelling and they are in fact two separate processes running ( like multiple svchosts).


  49. In my case, the hint about acr*.tmp files in the windows\temp folder was a good lead. Inside that folder I had over 20,000 files, and I think most were acr* files. Too many files made Explorer crash, so from command prompt I was able to delete all files in the temp folder, and the indexing service recovered to normal cpu usage.

  50. I had a problem where CIDaemon started using a lot of CPU as well. It happened after I installed Nero. Here was the solution for me…

    Turns out nero uses an RTF file extension for files that aren’t really RTF and these cause CIDaemon to thrash because it thinks they are actual RTF files and use tons of CPU. Rename the files in the nero directory with RTF extensions and the problem goes away! They are only used for VCD’s so you probably don’t need them anyway.

  51. cidaemon.exe, along with Indexing Services make the difference in Windows 2000 on minimalist hardware between just able to run Windows and having and enjoyable computing experience. It’s never advisable to simple turn off anything Windows developers include with your system without first finding out why the problem exists and how to repair it. There is a “hotfix” available for this issue from Microsoft support. My advice is to download it and continue to use Indexing. If maintaining Windows takes too much of your time or unduly frustrates you how about trying Linux? Ubuntu now endorsed by IBM INVENTOR of the Personal Computer!

  52. All hail Leo! I’ve been looking for a solution to cideamon.exe running all the time for weeks. Why couldn’t I just have found Leo the first search??? Good to have my puter back on track. Thanks loads.

  53. Great! This stopped cidaemon.exe from running automatically. I think there was a conflict between it and Google Desktop that was slowing my machine down significantly. Processing faster now though.

  54. OK, all, here is what worked for me:

    My Computer
    Right click
    Computer Management
    Services and Applications
    Indexing Service

  55. What a sneaky memory hog :P World of Warcraft takes up so memory having this running was causing my comp to lock up. Glad to have that gone. this is a borowed comp actually so it aslo had wondos login thing for windows messenger that wasking up a large chunk to. ugg. I got rid of that.

    Don’t forget to use search > regedit. and search for these programs in there too.


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