Windows 7 Explorer Search Problem: please give me suggestions to solve

Hi all,

I'm new to windows 7, and I've been experiencing some search problem:
I have a folder full of file on which I used to do filename search.
1. In windows 7, I have only "date" and "size" filter option in the search bar, when I open that folder (NTFS under Documents of my HOME):

2. When I type in a partial filename, nothing is returned. See I just typed in the name of the first file:

3. When I open windows explorer in the "Libraries" location, and browse to "Documents", I can successfully locate *1* file which was *renamed* in 10 minutes ago:

4. When I do the same search in the "Libraries" location (not browsing to any subfolder), there are many more results returned which are actually under "Documents":


Windows 7 Explorer Search Problem: research not showing in the exact subfolder but in folder higher up

In general:

Search in the search box of
- Doesn't show anything
- Only "date" and "file size" limits

Search in the search box of
- Shows a bunch of files
- Can have all sorts of filters


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
In the search box, you only have to type letters. In your PDF folder, if you type A, you will get all the files with a in them. If you type Ax you will get those files. The more letters you type, the fewer files will be available from the search.

I am not sure why you are using name:

The search is also affected by the Indexing options.

If you can find a file, as an example, I have on my system, maybe I could demonstrate some additional options. If you open the Help and Support and try entering "Searching in Windows: frequently asked questions" in the search box, it might also help.

The filters that might be available could be dependent on the type of folder, or your view settings.

Last edited:

Thanks for trying to help... I'm afraid my problem is not that simple:
1. When I type 'A' in the search box (when I open the PDF folder), it returns only 2 files - obvious > 500 PDF files (mostly OCRed) should have more than 2 files containing 'A'.
2. I use name: because I want to do a filename search only. The first file in this PDF folder has a name "[Ch]Axelrod_Evolution_1987.PDF" - but when I typed 'A' or name:A in the search box of this PDF folder, no result was returned.
3. I checked folder options:
What to search - file names and contents (and filenames in non-indexed location);
How to search - include subfolders & Find partial matches

For your information: full and normal search (with all kinds of filters to choose from and reasonable results) happens only when I open the "User's file" folder with my username on Desktop - but that searches everything in my user folder.
My user folder is symbolically linked to another drive using MKLINK on D: while the system is on C:


Senior Member
The My Documents folder is really a shortcut to C:\username\documents folder which is considered the library folder. Therefore they should be one and the same.

I would suggest expanding the Documents entry in the Libraries tree and making sure that it is indeed the same one that you are trying to search on an individual basis. Double click on the Documents entry to expand it. Then open file location in the expanded tree.



Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Am I correct in assuming you added the [Ch] to the front of the files or is that related to a link?

MNlink, as far as I can tell is no longer required. You can link from an empty folder to another partition using disk management to set the link.

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