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How to index the search in Windows 10

Hello! Windows 10 incorporates an advanced index system. Indeed, it significantly improves the searches. In addition, it works as a database that stores the most common files. Consequently, we avoid wasting time searching for unnecessary files or folders. Indexing is a process that allows the search of files and data on the computer. It also allows you to set filters to find files innately. The first indexing may take a few hours to complete. However, it allows for more customized searches. Therefore, it saves time and effort. In addition, a well configured indexing ensures more accurate and precise results. So, let’s see how to index the search in Windows 10.

What is index search in Windows 10?

This is the process of searching the contents of the computer’s hard drives and e-mails. To do so, it makes use of the information they contain as text or metadata. After performing indexing on a location, it will improve search results. Therefore, when you perform a specific search, it will offer a result of everything it contains. By default, file properties, names, paths, and text content for documents will be indexed. Information about applications is also integrated. So, by having a digital index with file indexing, it will be easier to find what we are looking for.

Which files are indexed

Windows does not include all files in the search index. Let’s see what they are:

  • Files included in the Library (Documents, images, etc.)
  • Offline files
  • E-mails

Files out of the indexing list:

  • Program files
  • System files
  • Other new folders

How to index Windows 10 files

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Let’s see how to activate this function. With this in mind, press the Win+Q combination to go to the search. Once there, enter the word indexing. Please click on Indexing Options.

Opening indexing options in Windows 10
Opening indexing options in Windows 10

Then the indexing options control box opens. As you can see, not many folders are added. So, to add a new element, please click on the Modify button.

Modifying the indexing options
Modifying the indexing options

Immediately, the list of files and folders to add appears. Consequently, you only have to check them. This time, we will add the test and link folders on the C drive. You can see how folders are added to the list. Please press OK to start the process.

Adding new folders to the index.
Adding new folders to the index.

As you can see, the number of indexed files is increasing. This means that the indexing process has started. In addition, the system warns that the user’s activity has slowed down the indexing speed. It is also possible to pause the process and enter the advanced options.

Indexing options
Indexing options

As mentioned, we can enter the advanced options. There, several options related to the search index are shown. In fact, we will be able to modify the path where the indexes will be located. In the tab File types we can define which extensions will be indexed.

The search settings are saved in an .edb file. This file has a default location. Let’s see what it is:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows

Simply paste this address in the file explorer. As a result, we will see the file.

.edb file location
.edb file location

How to disable indexing Windows 10

It is possible that at some point you may wish to disable search indexing. Let’s see how to do it. The first thing you need to do is to log in to Windows Services. With this intention, press the Win+Q combination. Now in the search box, please type Services and click on the corresponding option.

Opening Windows services
Opening Windows services

Consequently, the services running on Windows 10 will be displayed. Please scroll down until you find the service called Windows Search. Next we will enter the options for this service. To do so, just double-click on it. Or right click and then select Properties.

Opening the Windows Search service properties
Opening the Windows Search service properties

In the Startup type option you have to choose Disabled so that Windows Search does not index any more items. It is also possible to stop the service by clicking Stop.

Stopping search indexing in Windows 10
Stopping search indexing in Windows 10

Please note the types of files you add to be indexed. Indeed, this can have a negative impact on the search process. If, for example, you add program files, then the search will be too slow. So, it is counterproductive, since the purpose is to speed up the search, not to slow it down.

How to index network folders in Windows 10

It is also possible to add network folders to the Windows 10 search index. We probably have shared folders within the local network. Therefore, at some point we will need to access them. To add shared folders to the search index, we will do the following:

  • Network folder sharing
  • Map the network drive

Next, open the file explorer. With this in mind, press the Win+E combination. Next, click on the Network section. As a result, we will see the shared folder. Finally, right-click to go to the properties. Finally, click on Map network drive:

Mapping network drive.
Mapping network drive.

In the next window, configure the following items:

  • Select the assigned letter.
  • Activate the automatic login: Reconnect at login.
  • Activate Connect with other credentials.
Setting network drive mapping options
Setting network drive mapping options

When you press finish, you will see the unit available at the network location. Please right-click on the mouse to enter the properties.

Shared drive at the network location.
Shared drive at the network location.

Please check the box corresponding to allow the files on the drive to have their contents indexed.

Indexing the contents of the shared folder.
Indexing the contents of the shared folder.

Now, when you perform a search, you can see that the network folder has been included in the Windows 10 indexing.

Shared folder appearing in indexing results
Shared folder appearing in indexing results

How to rebuild the search index of Windows 10

Occasionally, the search returns an error or problem. As a result, it can be frustrating. Don’t worry, it can be solved. Just rebuild the search index. With this intention, we have to enter again the advanced indexing options. Please refer to the previous sections to verify the steps. Once there, just click on the Rebuild option.

Rebuilding the search index.
Rebuilding the search index.

The system will then warn you that the process may take some time. However, it is worth the wait. Therefore, press OK to start the process.

Ultimately, we have seen how to index the search in Windows 10. An effective measure to speed up searches in the system. See you soon!

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