Windows 7 Changing Search and Indexing Settings

Note while reading this section that we’re describing the built-in Windows 7 Search features. Your system might have a different search tool installed, such as Google Desktop Search, Yahoo Widgets, or some other brand—those tools will operate differently. You’ll have to refer to those tools’ help files or websites to learn how they work. However, you might want to know that you can choose which program will do your searching for you, and even switch back and forth between the programs you want to use as your default. Choose Start, Default Programs, Set Your Default Programs, and you’ll see a screen that allows you to change which search tool to use by default.

Windows 7 indexes most common files on your computer, including all the files in your personal folder, your email, your offline files, Internet Explorer History, and the Start menu. Program files and system files are not indexed because Microsoft says those files are rarely searched. That doesn’t mean that Windows 7 won’t search nonindexed files. Windows 7 searches filenames and contents in indexed locations and only searches filenames in nonindexed files by default. You can change this default in the Folder Options dialog box from Computer or Windows Explorer. Open the Folder Options dialog box by clicking the Organize button in the menu toolbar and then clicking Folder and Search Options.

You determine what to search in the What to Search area at the top of the tab. Your other option is to have Windows 7 search filenames and contents in all files. This type of search could be a lot slower than the default, depending on how many files you’re searching. When you search nonindexed locations, you can also tell Windows 7 whether you want to include system directories and compressed files at the bottom of the tab.

In the How to Search area in the middle of the tab, the default search parameters are to search in subfolders and to find partial matches. You can also decide how to search, including using natural language search (where you get to ask a question), and turn off the index. If you decide you don’t like your changes and want to revert to the defaults, click Restore Defaults. The Indexing Options applet in the Control Panel also lets you view the state of the index and make changes to the file types and folders you want to index. Open the Indexing Options applet by clicking Start, Control Panel, and then Indexing Options (in Icons view).

The Indexing Options window shows how many items are indexed and which folder locations have indexed files. You can modify the folder locations by clicking Modify. If you want to really drill down when configuring your index, click Advanced. The Advanced Options dialog box appears so that you can index encrypted files, delete and rebuild your index, and set the index location. If you click the File Types tab, you can scroll down the list and add and remove files to index categorized by file extension. You can also tell Windows 7 whether you want the file to be indexed by properties only or by properties and file contents. If you don’t see the extension in the list, type the file extension in the Add New Extension to List text box at the bottom of the tab and then click Add.

Source of Information : QUE Microsoft Windows in Depth (09-2009)

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