Windows 7 does not have the best desktop search built in. This is something Windows 7 users have struggled with. You type something in, and your search results don’t always match what you are looking for, or it doesn’t actually work at all. Still, desktop search is one of the most important tools in the Windows arsenal, so you will want to learn how to avoid indexing issues. There are a couple of things you can do to try to improve the desktop search in Windows 7.
Start Menu & Windows 7 Desktop Search
The instinct here is to go to Windows Explorer and type in something that you’re searching for, but you should be aware that Windows Explorer will only look within the folder that you are currently in. The best way to find something in Windows 7 is to go and open the Start Menu and create the necessary search. From here it will search your entire computer, not just a single folder, for files or even programs that match the terms you typed in the search bar.
Windows 7 Search Not Working: Detect Problems
If you notice that the Windows desktop search in Windows 7 is not working from the start menu or from Windows Explorer, you can use the Windows 7 Troubleshooting Wizard to detect any problems that might be occurring that you’re not aware of. To do so, just follow these steps:
1. Open the Control Panel and under “System and Security”, select Find and fix problems. You need to be in Category view to see this.
The Wizard will then detect problems and fix the issues with search. If it does not solve the issue, then please keep reading.
Search the Contents of Your Files
The Windows desktop search in Windows 7 will search within the content of your files by default. This means that desktop search will find if your search terms actually appear within a file on your computer. The problem with desktop search on Windows 7 is that this “default” setting won’t always work. This may be why you’re unable to find the document you need, especially if you’re not searching by file name.
- Open Windows Explorer
- Go to Organize>Folder and Search Options
Indexing will take some time, but once it is complete, you shouldn’t have any further problems with Windows 7 search not working (for now). You might want the rebuild to run when you are not using the computer, as it could slow down your PC a bit while the process is taking place.
Add Folders to Your Index
Windows desktop search in Windows 7 has a general idea of which locations and folders need to be indexed. It will go through your Start Menu, the User Folder, and any of your offline files. If you moved something around or have some things stored in another location on your drive, then you will want to add folders to your index so that the desktop search will go looking within those folders as well.
There are two easy ways to do this, adding a folder to a library or adding one directly to the index. When you add a folder to one of your libraries, it will instantly make it part of the index because Windows Explorer automatically indexes all of your libraries. So you can either create a new library or you can go into an existing library by right clicking, go to Properties and add a folder. This folder will then automatically become indexed.
The other way would be to go to your Indexing Options (look for it in your Start Menu) select Modify and then you can add a new folder to the index as well.
The minor changes and tips will have your Windows 7 desktop search working a lot better. If you continue to run into issues, then you may want to consider an alternative for Windows desktop search.