Win XP and Zip files: How can I search for files without the results including contents of zip files

Posted on 2006-05-12
Last Modified: 2008-03-06
I keep my laptop and desktop synchronised (more or less) by searching for recently modified files, zipping them (with path) and then extracting them to the other machine.  In Windows XP, the search results include not only files (including zips which have been emailed to me or that I've downloaded) but also the contents of zips.  This is something I really don't want.

Is there a setting which stops Windows XP from including the contents of zip files in search results.

If not can you suggest an alternative synchronise strategy.  

I don't use Windows backup because in my experience, the versions which come with different editions of Windows have not been compatible.  I don't use the briefcase because as a Web Developer I have both machines set up as web servers and I need to preserve the same file structure on both systems.
Question by:maryelizabeth
    LVL 47

    Expert Comment

    Try this:

    To disable searching in ZIP files is to turn off Win XP's support for treating ZIP files as folders. This is easy to do—and to undo.

    From the Start menu's Run dialog, enter this command: regsvr32 /u zipfldr.dll. Repeat and enter regsvr32 /u cabview.dll. Each time, you should get a notice that DllUnregister succeeded. Contrary to numerous Web sites displaying this advice, you need to restart the computer for the change to take effect.

    Now, when you search, the operating system will ignore ZIP folders instead of treating them as folders. If you don't care about that feature, you can leave it turned off. But turning it back on is as simple as repeating the two regsvr32 commands without the /u.

    Extracted from this article:,1759,1573774,00.asp
    LVL 47

    Accepted Solution

    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    Here's two sync software tools I am familiar with:


    SyncToy for Windows XP (free)

    Author Comment

    Thank you rpggamergirl, I tried what you suggested with the following results.  Win XP no longer searched in zipped files - good.  However it treated zipped files as compressed folders, ie it sorted them with folders not files and opened them with Windows Explorer instead of WinZip.  This behaviour was an improvement but not quite what I wanted.

    I also tried your suggested utility.  Apart from the fact that running it triggered a "suspicious behaviour" message from McAfee the result gives me the behaviour I want (ie what used to happen under Windows 2000 and earlier versions)

    Thanks a lot.

    Thanks also to Expert4XP for your sync suggestions

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