Windows 10: How to manage search indexing on Windows 11

Discus and support How to manage search indexing on Windows 11 in Windows 10 News to solve the problem; Search on Windows 11 has not changed all that much when compared to Windows 10. That's not really a reason to rejoice, considering that Windows 11... Discussion in 'Windows 10 News' started by GHacks, Oct 26, 2021.

  1. GHacks
    GHacks New Member

    How to manage search indexing on Windows 11

    Search on Windows 11 has not changed all that much when compared to Windows 10. That's not really a reason to rejoice, considering that Windows 11 users may run into the same search related issues as their Windows 10 counterparts.

    What those are? Apart from quality issues that may result in the wrong files being returned when you search, it is also quite common to run into performance related issues. Search indexing is on by default, and the search indexer runs regularly to index new or changed files.

    Search indexing scans all folders that are set for indexation by Windows. It records all new files, changed files and removed files, and updates the index accordingly. The index is used to return files based on their names, content and other parameters.

    This guide walks you through the steps of configuring search indexing on Windows 11. You may use it to troubleshoot issues that you have, for instance by making sure that certain folders do get indexed, or by removing folders from indexing, or turning off indexing altogether.

    Manage Windows 11 Search Indexing

    The following options are available when it comes to managing search indexing on Windows 11:

    • Add or remove folders from being indexed
    • Disable content indexing
    • Disable Windows Search indexing entirely.
    Add or remove folders from being indexed

    How to manage search indexing on Windows 11 searching-windows-11.png

    Microsoft moved the search preferences in Windows 11. Windows 10 users won't find the root Search option anymore in the Settings application, as it was moved.

    Here is how you access the options on Windows 11 devices:

    1. Select Start and then Settings to open the Settings application.
    2. Navigate to Privacy & security > Searching Windows > Advanced indexing options.

    How to manage search indexing on Windows 11 windows-11-search-indexing.png

    The Indexing Options window has not changed. It displays the locations that do get indexed and excluded subfolders.

    Activate the "modify" button to get started. Doing so opens another window, Indexed Locations, that displays two panes. The top pane displays all available locations, the lower pane the selected locations.

    How to manage search indexing on Windows 11 indexed-locations.png

    You may select "show all locations" at the bottom to include all locations. Expand a drives listing to display its folders.

    Tip: select a folder in the lower pane to open its tree structure in the top pane.

    Boxes that are checked are included in the indexing, those that are unchecked are not.

    • To remove indexing locations, simply remove the checkmark from the folder.
    • To add indexing locations, simply check the box in front of the folder.
    • To add subfolders to the list of exclusions, uncheck it while the root folder is still selected.

    Note: adding more locations may result in longer indexing runs and more of an impact on performance while the indexer is running.

    Once you are done, select OK.

    Advanced Windows Search Options

    Select the Advanced button in the Indexing Options window to open advanced search indexing preferences. Note that this requires access to an elevated account.

    How to manage search indexing on Windows 11 advanced-indexing-options.png

    The first screen - Index Settings -- offers the following options:

    • Index encrypted files -- whether Windows Search should include encrypted files in the index.
    • Treat similar words with diacritics as different words.
    • Delete and rebuild the index.
    • Change the index location, default location is c:\ProgramData\Microsoft.

    File Types, the second tab, displays file types that Windows Search indexes, and whether only the file properties or file properties and contents are indexed.

    How to manage search indexing on Windows 11 file-types.png

    You may also add new extensions to the list by typing the file extension name, e.g. rar and selecting add.

    Disable Content Indexing on Windows 11

    How to manage search indexing on Windows 11 disable-content-indexing-windows-11.png

    The method is still the same as on Windows 10 and previous versions of the Windows operating system.

    1. Open File Explorer and expand the drive listing, e.g. by expanding This PC.
    2. Right-click on the drive that you want to disable content indexing for and select Properties.
    3. Remove the checkmark from "Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties".
    4. Select Apply and then Ok.

    The option removes file content indexing for all locations and supported file locations on the drive. Repeat the process for all other drives that you want to disable content indexing for. Note that the process may take a while to complete as the index will get updated.

    Windows may throw "access denied" errors. Select "ignore all" if you don't want to make a choice for each error separately.

    Disable Windows Search Indexing completely

    How to manage search indexing on Windows 11 stop-windows-search.png

    Windows 11 users who use different search applications, e.g. the excellent Everything Search or other desktop search programs for Windows, may want to disable indexing entirely.

    Here is how that is done:

    1. Open the Start interface.
    2. Type services.msc and select "run as administrator" to open an elevated Services instance.
    3. Scroll down to the Windows Search service; the listing is sorted alphabetically.
    4. Right-click on the Windows Search service, and select Properties.
    5. Switch the Startup type to Disabled.
    6. Select Stop to stop the Service from running during this session.

    That is all there is to it. Searches are still possible on Windows, but indexed content won't be used by Windows Search.

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post How to manage search indexing on Windows 11 appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    GHacks, Oct 26, 2021
  2. Jan Del Win User

    Windows 10 indexing / search

    Hi Erik,

    System conflict is one of the possible reasons why the index built will not function properly. We suggest running the Search and Indexing troubleshooter by following these steps to resolve your issue:

    • Open Control Panel.
    • In the search box, type troubleshooting.
    • Click on Troubleshooting.
    • Click on View all.
    • Select Search and Indexing and select the proper scenario that you are experiencing on indexing and click
      Next for the troubleshooting to begin.
    Update us with the outcome so we can provide you further assistance.
    Jan Del, Oct 26, 2021
  3. Arun B J Win User
    Windows 10 Windows Search / Indexing Stops Completing


    Thank you for posting your query in Microsoft Community.

    I understand your concern and will assist you to resolve this issue.

    I suggest you to follow the steps below and check if it helps

    • Press Windows key + R.
    • Type Services.msc In the search box.
    • Select Windows Search
    • Restart the services and set the service as Automatic
    If the issue persist try performing Rebuilding Index again.

    To rebuild the index follow the steps below:

    • Open the Control Panel from the Start menu.
    • Open Indexing Options in the Control Panel.
    • Select the Advanced button in the Indexing Options window.
    • Select Rebuild in the Troubleshooting section of the Advanced Options window.
    • Select OK when it asks if you’re sure you want to re-build the search index.

    Hope this helps. If the issue remains unresolved, please get back to us and we would be happy to help
    Arun B J, Oct 26, 2021
  4. Arul_D Win User

    How to manage search indexing on Windows 11

    Windows 10 search not indexing Outlook 2013, no search results


    Thank you for your interest in using Windows 10.

    Let's diagnose the issue by referring to the following suggestion and check if that helps you.

    First of all, I would suggest you to check if the
    Windows Search
    Service is running in Automatic mode under the list of Windows services. You can follow the steps to check and start the
    Windows Search again:

    • Press Windows+R keys to open Run. Type “servces.msc” without quotes and hit
    • From the list of services, locate the Windows Search Support Service
      and Windows Search Service.
    • Right click on the Windows Search Service
      and then click on Properties.
    • Check if the service is running. If not, start the service and change the
      Startup type to Automatic.
    • Follow the same steps to start the Bluetooth service
      and change the startup type to Automatic.
    You can also try the following suggestion.

    Run the Search and Indexing troubleshooter. Follow the steps mentioned below.

    • Press “Windows key + W”.
    • Type “Troubleshooting” without quotes in the Search box and hit enter.
    • Select “View all” option from the left panel.
    • Select “Search and Indexing”.
    • Follow the on-screen instructions to run the troubleshooter.
    Hope this information helps you. Please do let us know if you need further assistance.
    Arul_D, Oct 26, 2021

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