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Windows 7/8/10 file search indexing options

Significantly better search functionality built into Windows 7/8/10 than the horrible search options in Windows Vista and XP. Instead of installing a third party program to search for files within files on your computer, you can now do this easily from Windows 7/8/10.

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

By default, the Search Indexer in Windows 7/8/10 indexes the most common locations where files will be stored, i.e. all libraries, all in the User and e-mail folder. If that's not enough, you can easily add or remove index positions.

However, to be clear, there are some excellent third-party programs that will allow you to do faster and more advanced searches for text files than Windows.

Configure indexing options in Windows

This means you can tell Windows 7/8/10 to index and return results from files and folders on network drives or external hard drives. To get started, click Start, then type in Research in the search box.

This bring up the window of dialogue Indexing options . In Windows 10, click Change the Windows search mode . At the top, you will see the total number of items that have been currently indexed on your computer. Below is a list of all the positions that have been included for indexing.

To add a new position to the index, click on the button Edit . Any network drive or external hard drive will be displayed in the list of possible locations. You can tick any drive or folder you wish to include in the index.

Depending on the number of files and folders in a location, it may take some time for the search indexer to index everything. If you noticed that some files are not indexed by the search indexer even if they are included in the search positions, you may need to add the file type.

You can do this by clicking on the button advanced in the main screen of Indexing options . Then click on the tab Types of files .

If the file extension is not in the list, go ahead and add it to the bottom. Then select it and choose if you want to index only the properties or the properties and content of the file. If you know the file contains only text, be sure to select the second option button.

You can also click on Index settings to change some of the search indexer settings.

Here you can choose to index encrypted files and other options such as treating similar words with diacritical marks as different words. If you experience problems with Windows search or something damaged, you can rebuild the index by clicking the button Rebuild .

Finally, you can completely move the search index to another disk or partition. If you have a faster hard drive on which the operating system is not running, it might be a good idea to move it to run faster. Similar to how moving the paging file to another disk makes things faster.

Overall, the new search features in Windows 7/8/10 have been significantly improved and allow you to customize most of the search options. To enjoy!