Windows 7 File Search Indexing Options

Windows 7 File Search Indexing Options

The built-in search feature in Windows 7 is significantly better than the horrible search options in Windows XP. Instead of installing a third-party program like Google Desktop to search for files on inside files on your computer, you can now do it with easily from Windows 7.

For example, let’s say your a programmer or web developer and you want to be able to search your code files like .aspx, .html, .java, .php, etc. With Windows 7, you can configure the search indexer to not only index any file you want, but also to index the file contents.

By default, the Search Indexer in Windows 7 indexes the most common locations where your files would be stored, i.e. all libraries, everything in your User folder, and e-mail. If this is not enough, you can add or remove index location really easily.

That means you can tell Windows 7 to index and return results from files and folder on network drives or external hard drives. To get started , click on Start, then type in search into the search box.

This will bring up the Indexing Options dialog. At the top, you’ll see the total number of items that have currently been indexed on your computer. Below that, you will see a list of all the locations that have been included for indexing.

To add a new location to the index, click on the Modify button. Any network drive or external hard drive will show up in the list of possible locations. You can check off any drive or folder that you would like to include in the index.

Depending on how many files and folders are in a location, it could take some time for search indexer to index everything. If you have noticed that certain files are not being indexed by search indexer even though they are included in the search locations, you may have to add the file type.

You can do this by clicking on the Advanced button on the main Indexing Options screen. Then click on the File Types tab.

If the file extension is not in the list, go ahead and add it at the bottom. Then select it and choose whether you want to index just the properties or the properties and the file contents. If you know the file contains only text, make sure to select the second radio button.

You can also click on Index Settings to modify some of the settings for the Search Indexer.

Here you can choose to index encrypted files and other options like treating similar words with diacritics as different words. If you are having problems with Windows search or something has become corrupted, you can rebuild the index by clicking the Rebuild button.

Lastly, you can completely move the search index to another disk or partition. If you have a faster hard drive that the OS is not running on, it might be a good idea to move it so that it performs faster.

Overall, the new search features in Windows 7 are greatly enhanced and let you customize most of the search options. Enjoy!

Source: Windows 7 File Search Indexing Options


Extraordinary Member
Basically, I think that with the Windows "search" not searching hidden system files, or any other file apart from the ones that you know are there i.e. My Documents, unless you "configure it all first", is the wrong way round. It should search everything unless you tell it not to as default.
Because of this I find the easiest way to search through Windows 7 is to turn off the Windows Search and install Locate32. Far quicker.

What / Where is Locate32.?

What / Where is Locate32.?

Locate32 Web Site - Home

Home Page said:
Locate32 is software which can be used to find files from your harddrives and other locations. It works like updatedb and locate commands in Unix based systems. In other words, it uses databases to store information about directory structures and uses these databases in searches. The use of these databases provides very fast searching speed. The software includes a dialog based application as well as console programs which can be used to both update and access databases. Supported operation systems are Windows 98/ME/NT4/2000/XP/Vista/7.

OK, I did that, added several locations to the search-folders list. Then I clicked on Rebuild. A window came up, said Rebuilding...and after maybe 7 seconds, declared itself finished, having indexed "0 Files." An attempt to search confirmed it. No file can be found. But it is FAST!

So I created a new directory and selected it to place the new index in, and same result.

So I went back in and deleted all locations to be indexed save Documents and Pictures. Same result.

So, what next?



You've got to be kidding that W7 is better than XP. I'll never come back to this blog for advice with that sort of C**P.
I saw this same post elsewhere. Who is paying you?

The indexing system simply doesn't work.
I enclose phrases in quotes and it returns docs without that phrase.

The terms must be case sensitive.

I have to install another program to search pdf files.

It ignores punctuation. That's bad for developers who want to search the Javascript command, "document." and get all files that are a _type document listed.

Why would I want to search a file "type" all the time? I cannot turn off that option to search a file type.

I tried to find an email address by searching "" and it ignored the "@".

If the search term includes a directory/folder name, it returns _all files in that directory that is cumbersome to sort through.

The mail search returns several messages that do _not contain the search word.

And, I have to wait DAYS for the indexer to complete before being able to search something? My PC is NOT a search engine searching the WWW.

Simply stated, the search on Windows 7 is worthless to me. It needs to be put back to something useful, like the XP search.

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