Geeks in Phoenix

Geek Blog


Search for files and folders faster in Windows 8 with Indexing Options

Being in computer repair, I have to keep track of a lot of client files and folders. The Search charm in Windows 8 works great, but sometimes the files or folders I'm looking for are not in any of the default (libraries, off-line files and e-mail) index locations (program and system files are excluded, as most people rarely need to search them). Adding files and folders to the Indexing Options is easy. Here's how to modify the Indexing Options inside of Windows 8.

How to access the Indexing Options in Windows 8

Main screen for Indexing Options inside of Windows 8
Main screen for Indexing Options inside of Windows 8

  1. Swipe in from the right-side of the screen or press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + C to bring up the Charm bar. Left-click on Search button in Charm Bar, then Left-click on Settings in the Search charm.
    or
    Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + W to bring up Settings in the Search charm.
  2. Type Indexing Options in the Search field on the Search pane.
  3. In the results on the left hand side, left-click on Indexing Options.

How to add a file type to the index in Windows 8

If you use an unusual file type that's not currently recognized by the index, you can add it to the index so you can search in Windows 8 by that file type.

Advanced Indexing Options File Types tab inside of Windows 8
Advanced Indexing Options File Types tab inside of Windows 8

  1. Open Indexing Options (see above).
  2. Let-click on Advanced. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. In the Advanced Options dialog box, left-click the File Types tab.
  4. In the Add new extension to list box, type the file name extension (for example, "txt"), and then left-click Add.
  5. Left-click Index Properties Only or Index Properties and File Contents, and then left-click OK.

How to add a folder to the index in Windows 8

Indexed Locations screen for Indexing Options inside of Windows 8
Indexed Locations screen for Indexing Options inside of Windows 8

  1. Open Indexing Options (see above).
  2. Left-click on Modify.
  • To add or remove a location, select or clear its check box in the Change selected locations list, and then left-click on OK.
  • If you don't see all locations on your PC in the list, choose Show all locations. Administrator permission required You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice. (If all locations are already listed, Show all locations won't be available.)
  • If you want to include a folder but not all of its subfolders, select the folder, expand the folder, and then clear the check box next to any subfolder you don't want to be included in the index. These folders will appear in the Exclude column of the Summary of selected locations list.
  • Indexing all of the files / folders on your system is not recommended. It is recommend that you index only your frequently used files and folders for best performance.

How to rebuild the Index inside of Windows 8

The index requires almost no maintenance. However, if the index can't find a file that you know exists in an indexed location, you might need to rebuild the index. Rebuilding the index can take several hours, and searches might be incomplete until the index is fully rebuilt.

  1. Open Indexing Options (see above).
  2. Left-click on Advanced. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. In the Advanced Options dialog box, left-click the Index Settings tab, and then left-click on Rebuild. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

How to index encrypted files in Windows 8

Before you add encrypted files to the index, we recommend that you have Windows BitLocker (Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise only) or a non-Microsoft encryption program enabled on your system drive (the drive that Windows is installed on). The index will automatically rebuild each time this setting is changed. This can take a long time, and might cause searches to be incomplete until the process is complete.

  1. Open Indexing Options (see above).
  2. Left-click on Advanced. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. In the Advanced Options dialog box, left-click the Index Settings tab,
  4. Left-click the Index encrypted files check box to select it and then left-click OK. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    Notes:
  • Although you can use a non-Microsoft program to encrypt your system drive, non-Microsoft file encryption programs are not supported. Windows only supports files encrypted using Encrypting File System (EFS).
  • If you add encrypted files to the index and you're not using full-volume encryption for the location of the index, encrypted data from your files for example, text from an encrypted Microsoft Word document will be added to the index. The index is obscured so that it's not easily readable if someone tries to open the index files, but it doesn't have strong data encryption. If someone were to gain access to your computer, they could extract your data from the index. Therefore, the location of the index should also be encrypted to help protect your indexed data.

How to index words with and without diacritics as different words in Windows 8

If you commonly use diacritics (small signs added to letters to change the pronunciation of words) in your file and folder names, you can configure the index to recognize words with diacritics differently. By default, Windows recognizes diacritics according to the language version you are using. If you change this setting, all diacritics will be recognized. The index will automatically be rebuilt each time this setting is changed. This can take a long time and might cause searches to be incomplete until the process is complete.

  1. Open Indexing Options (see above).
  2. Left-click on Advanced. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. In the Advanced Options dialog box, left-click the Index Settings tab.
  4. Left-click the Treat similar words with diacritics as different words check box to select it, then left-click OK.

How to change the location where the index is stored in Windows 8

If you need to free up space on a hard disk, you can change the location of the index. If you change this location, the Windows Search service will automatically be restarted, and the change will not go into effect until the restart is complete.

  1. Open Indexing Options (see above).
  2. Left-click on Advanced. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. In the Advanced Options dialog box, left-click the Index Settings tab.
  4. Under Index location, left-click on Select new, browse to and left-click the new location, then left-click on OK.
    Note:
  • When you change the index location, you should choose a location on a non-removable hard disk that is formatted using the NTFS file system.

Search and find a file or folder in Windows 7

Windows 7 provides several ways to find files and folders. There isn't one best way to search—you can use different methods for different situations.

Use the search box on the Start menu

You can use the search box on the Start menu to find files, folders, programs, and e-mail messages stored on your computer.


The Search Box on the Start menu

To find an item using the Start menu:

  • Click the Start button, and then type a word or part of a word in the search box.
  • Search results appear as soon as you start typing in the search box.

    As you type, items that match your text will appear on the Start menu. The search results are based on text in the file name, text in the file, tags, and other file properties.

    Note:
    When searching from the Start menu, only files that have been indexed will appear in search results. Most files on your computer are indexed automatically. For example, anything you include in a library is automatically indexed. Click here for more information about performing faster searches using indexing options in Windows 7

    Use the search box in a folder or library

    You're often likely to be looking for a file that you know is in a particular folder or library, such as Documents or Pictures. Browsing for the file might mean looking through hundreds of files and subfolders. To save time and effort, use the search box at the top of Windows Explorer.

    To open Windows Explorer:

    Press To
    +E Open My Computer.
    +F Search for a file or folder.


    The search box in a folder or library

    The search box filters the current view based on text that you type. The search looks for text in the file name and contents; and in the file properties, such as in tags. In a library, the search includes all folders included in the library as well as subfolders within those folders.

    To search for a file or folder by using the search box:

  • Type a word or part of a word in the search box.
    As you type, the contents of the folder or library are filtered to reflect each successive character you type. When you see the file that you want, stop typing.
  • You can also use other techniques in the search box to quickly narrow down a search. For example, if you're searching for a file based on one or more if its properties (such as a tag or the date the file was last modified), you can use search filters to specify the property in your search. Or, you can type keywords in the search box to narrow down your results even further. Click here to learn how to use search filters and keywords in Windows 7.

    Expand a search beyond a specific library or folder

    If you can't find what you're looking for in a specific library or folder, you can expand the search to include different locations.

    1. Type a word in the search box.
    2. Scroll to the bottom of the list of search results. Under Search again in, do one of the following:
      • Click Libraries to search across every library.
      • Click Computer to search across your entire computer. This is the way to search for files that aren't indexed (such as system or program files). However, be aware that the search will be slower.
      • Click Custom to search specific locations.
      • Click Internet to search online, using your default web browser and your default search provider.

    Using search filters and keywords when searching in Windows 7

    Searching in Windows 7 can be as simple as typing a few letters in the search box, but there are also advanced searching techniques that you can use. You don't have to know these techniques to search for your files, but they can be helpful depending on where your searching and what you're searching for.

    Adding search filters

    Search filters are a new feature in Windows 7 that make searching for files by their properties (such as by author or by file size) much easier.

    To add a search filter to your search


    The search box in a folder or library

    1. Open the folder, library, or drive that you want to search.
    2. Click in the search box, and then click a search filter (for example, Date taken: in the Pictures library).
    3. Click one of the available options. (For example, if you clicked Date taken:, choose a date or a date range.)

    When you add a search filter, you'll notice that special keywords are automatically added to the search box. These keywords can help you refine your search by narrowing possibilities.

    You can add multiple search filters to a search, or even mix search filters with regular search terms to further refine your search.

    You can use two search filters to search for a picture tagged with "family" that was taken a long time ago.

    Depending on where you're searching, only certain search filters are available. For example, if you're searching the Documents library, you'll see different search filters than you would in the Pictures library. You can't specify which search filters you'll see, but you can change the type of file that a library is optimized for. This will, in turn, change which search filters are available when searching that library.

    Using keywords to refine a search

    When searching for a specific file, most people just type the name of the file in the search box. But you can also search for a file based on its contents or properties. Type "summer," for example, and it will find files named "sunset in summer.jpg," files tagged with "summer," and files with the word "summer" in the content. This broad approach to search usually helps you find your file quickly.

    You can search by any file property. For example, if you know a file's type, you can just enter the file extension ("JPG" for example) in the search box. Or, if you don't know the extension, you can type "document," "picture," or "music" to search for files of a specific kind.

    If you want to search more selectively, you can type certain keywords (such as "Name:" or "Tag:") in the search box to specify which file property to search. This typically involves typing a property name followed by a colon, and then typing a value. Here are some examples of search terms:

    Example search term

    Use this to

    Name:Sunset

    Find only files that have the word sunset in the file name.

    Tag:Sunset

    Find only files that are tagged with the word sunset.

    Modified:05/25/2006

    Find only files that were modified on that date. You can also type Modified:2006 to find files changed at any time during that year.

    Another way to refine a search is to use Boolean filters to combine search words using simple logic. When you type Boolean filters such as AND or OR, you need to use all capital letters.

    Boolean filter

    Example search term

    Use this to

    AND

    tropical AND island

    Find files that contain both words "tropical" and "island" (even if those words are in different places within the file).

    NOT

    tropical NOT island

    Find files that contain the word "tropical," but not "island."

    OR

    tropical OR island

    Find files that contain either of the words "tropical" or "island."

    Quotes

    "tropical island"

    Find files that contain the exact phrase "tropical island."

    Parentheses

    (tropical island)

    Find files that contain both words "tropical" and "island," in any order.

    >

    date: > 01/05/06

    Find files that have an attribute more than or later than a certain value, such as after 01/05/06.

    <

    size: < 4 MB

    Find files that have an attribute less than or earlier than a certain value, such as fewer than 4 MB. (You can also specify other sizes, such as KB and GB.)

    You can even combine Boolean filters with other search terms. The following table shows how you can get very different results using the same search words but different Boolean filters. (Note how the use of parentheses can change the effect of a search term.)

    Example search term

    Use this to

    author: Charlie AND Herb

    Find files that are authored by Charlie as well as any files that include Herb in the file name or in any file property.

    author: (Charlie AND Herb)

    Find only files that are authored by both names.

    author: "Charlie Herb"

    Finds only files that are authored by someone with exactly this name.

    Using natural language search

    You can turn on Natural language search to perform searches in a simpler way, without using colons and without the need to enter AND and OR in capital letters. For example, compare these two searches:

    Without natural language

    With natural language

    kind: music artist: (Beethoven OR Mozart)

    music Beethoven or Mozart

    kind: document author: (Charlie AND Herb)

    documents Charlie and Herb

    To turn on natural language search


    The Search tab under Folder Options

    1. Click on the Start menu, then Control Panel, then Appearance and Personalization, then Folder Options.
    2. Click the Search tab.
    3. Select the Use natural language search check box.

    Even with natural language search turned on, you can continue to use the search box in exactly the same way. If you want to use Boolean filters or search keywords, you can. The difference is that you can also enter searches using a less formal method. Here are some examples:

    • e-mail today
    • documents 2006
    • author Susan
    • pictures vacation

    Note:
    When you turn on natural language search, some searches might give more results than you expect. For example, if you search for "e-mail today" you will see all messages sent today as well as any messages with the word "today" in the contents.

    Perform faster searches using indexing options in Windows 7

    Windows 7 uses the index to perform very fast searches on your computer. Here are some advanced indexing settings you can change.

    To add a file type to the index

    If you use an unusual file type that's not currently recognized by the index, you can add it to the index so you can search in Windows by that file type.

    1. Click the Start menu.
    2. In the Search box type 'Indexing Options' and select it when it appears.
    3. Click Advanced. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    4. In the Advanced Options dialog box, click the File Types tab.
    5. In the Add new extension to list box, type the file name extension (for example, "txt"), and then click Add.
    6. Click Index Properties Only or Index Properties and File Contents, and then click OK.

    To rebuild the index

    The index requires almost no maintenance. However, if the index can't find a file that you know exists in an indexed location, you might need to rebuild the index. Rebuilding the index can take several hours, and searches might be incomplete until the index is fully rebuilt.

    1. Click the Start menu.
    2. In the Search box type 'Indexing Options' and select it when it appears.
    3. Click Advanced. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    4. In the Advanced Options dialog box, click the Index Settings tab, and then click Rebuild. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

    To index encrypted files

    Before you add encrypted files to the index, we recommend that you have Windows BitLocker (or a non-Microsoft encryption program) enabled on your system drive (the drive that Windows is installed on).

    Note:
    Windows BitLocker is only included in Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate.

    Note that the index will automatically rebuild each time this setting is changed. This can take a long time, and might cause searches to be incomplete until the process is complete.

    1. Click the Start menu.
    2. In the Search box type 'Indexing Options' and select it when it appears.
    3. Click Advanced. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    4. In the Advanced Options dialog box, click the Index Settings tab, select the Index encrypted files check box, and then click OK. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

    Notes

    • Although you can use a non-Microsoft program to encrypt your system drive, non-Microsoft file encryption programs are not supported. Windows only supports files encrypted using Encrypting File System (EFS).
    • EFS is only included in Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 7 Professional, and Windows 7 Ultimate.
    • If you add encrypted files to the index and you're not using full-volume encryption for the location of the index, encrypted data from your files for example, text from an encrypted Microsoft Word document will be added to the index. The index is obscured so that it's not easily readable if someone tries to open the index files, but it doesn't have strong data encryption. If someone were to gain access to your computer, they could extract your data from the index. Therefore, the location of the index should also be encrypted to help protect your indexed data.

    To index words with and without diacritics as different words

    If you commonly use diacritics (small signs added to letters to change the pronunciation of words) in your file and folder names, you can configure the index to recognize words with diacritics differently. By default, Windows recognizes diacritics according to the language version you are using. If you change this setting, all diacritics will be recognized.

    The index will automatically be rebuilt each time this setting is changed. This can take a long time and might cause searches to be incomplete until the process is complete.

    1. Click the Start menu.
    2. In the Search box type 'Indexing Options' and select it when it appears.
    3. Click Advanced. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    4. In the Advanced Options dialog box, click the Index Settings tab.
    5. Under File Settings, select the Treat similar words with diacritics as different words check box, click OK, and then click OK again.

    To change the location where the index is stored

    If you need to free up space on a hard disk, you can change the location of the index. If you change this location, the Windows Search service will automatically be restarted, and the change will not go into effect until the restart is complete.

    1. Click the Start menu.
    2. In the Search box type 'Indexing Options' and select it when it appears.
    3. Click Advanced. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    4. In the Advanced Options dialog box, click the Index Settings tab.
    5. Under Index location, click Select new, click a new location, click OK, and then click OK again.

    Note:
    When you change the index location, you should choose a location on a non-removable hard disk that is formatted using the NTFS file system.

    Customer service is #1

    Here at Geeks in Phoenix, we take pride in providing excellent customer service. From computer repair, virus removal and data recovery, we aim to give the highest quality of service.

    Bring your computer to us and save

    Our in-shop computer repair service  is based on the time we work on your computer, not the time it takes your computer to work!

    Contact us

    Geeks in Phoenix
    4722 East Monte Vista Road
    Phoenix, Arizona 85008
    (602) 795-1111

    Like Geeks in Phoenix on Facebook

    Follow Geeks in Phoenix on Twitter

    Watch Geeks in Phoenix on YouTube

    Geeks in Phoenix is an IT consulting company specializing in all aspects of Computer Repair / PC Repair / Laptop Repair. Since 2008, our expert computer repair technicians have been providing outstanding Computer Repair, Virus Removal, Data Recovery, Photo Manipulation and Website Support.

    Geeks in Phoenix have the best computer repair technicians providing computer repair and service in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe Arizona. We offer In-Shop, On-Site and Remote (with stable Internet connection) computer repair service.

    Copyright © 2016 Geeks in Phoenix LLC