Configure Search Indexing Options for Windows Vista and 7

If you want to improve your searches, the best place to start is with the indexing feature itself. In Control Panel, open the Indexing Options window to show the folders in which Windows currently looks for files.


Here, you can choose each folder to include in the index; you can index an entire drive index only certain subfolders.  By default, only your personal files are indexed. But if you plan on hacking up Vista as described elsewhere in this book, you may want to index your entire drive.

This will make it easier to find .exe files in the Windows folder, for instance, but doing so will increase the size of the index, which may slow down the rest of your searches. For privacy purposes, you may wish to exclude certain folders by removing them on this list. You can further speed up searches by also excluding folders
you don’t need to search.

Click OK when you’ve selected folders to index, but you’re not done yet. Next, click the Advanced button to open the Advanced Options window. Most of the options shown here are fairly self-explanatory, but what may not be obvious is that Windows won’t index many file types unless you select them by hand in the File Types tab:


Choose only the file types that you want to be indexed to speed up searches.  Watch out for more Windows optimization tips!

Ben Carigtan shows you how it’s done!

Comments [2]

  1. Lovely post! Exactly what I needed to know. Many thanks!

  2. Some year+ later, the Windows 7 Indexing Service and the Superfetch continue to rape my HDDs (systematically shortening the life-span of the devices). Using the Sysinternals DiskMon v2.01 I can see the disk activity drop several times a 100% when shutting down these kinds of services (on idle, yes). Of course, my system is Norton AV protected, with no malware, or any kind of "extra" and/or conflicting software loaded at startup or in memory.

    The newest gem I've discovered is that there are locations added to the index by the WMP, such as music folders from one of the other HDDs (not the system drive). This is with all of the locations available UNCHECKED from the index and the file types untouched (why would I want not to index some mp3s?).

    Marvelous Microsoft engineering at its finest.

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