Windows Desktop Search 4 Group Policy for PDF file index only properties not contents

Posted on 2008-10-06
Last Modified: 2010-08-05
By default the PDF files are indexed for Content and File properties by the search program.
We have a large amount PDF files with word indexes that we only want the name and properties indexed.  This is easily changed in changing the settings for the files for each user individually.
I would like to be able to do this though a group policy or a registry setting for this file type.
Question by:fullermetric
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 22653727
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 22653732
download  the desktop search tool from and the blurb says it comes with an ADM file so presumbably you can download this and gain the ability to configure it with a GPO.
LVL 55

Expert Comment

ID: 22654061
It's just a single regkey.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\Gather\Windows\SystemIndex\Extensions\ExtensionList]
999 is not really on intention but just a high number. Windows enumerates the registered filetypes to exclude and as the number of filetypes registered will differ from system to system (but will be for sure smaller than 999), I chose 999. After the service windows search is restarted (next reboot), pdf-contents will get excluded.

So now you can either
-apply that value via domain startup script
-apply it via GPP (recommended)
-build your own template to apply it

I wonder why MS has not made this possible through gpo.
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Author Comment

ID: 22655601
After checking the posts this still does not get me there.
I think the registry key I am looking for is in the User Desktop search section.
From the Desktop, Windows Search, Indexing Options, Advanced, File Types
I can go to -pdf- file type and change it to "Index File Properties Qnly"  instead of "Index File Properties and Contents"
This is what I would like to enforce.
LVL 55

Expert Comment

ID: 22655694

This won't be in the user's section, to get there, you need admin rights (the shield=elevation), so it won't be found in the user section.
Try my comment, I confirmed it working ->after closing regedit and restarting the service of course.

Author Comment

ID: 22673042
Hello McKnife
I used this approch but now all PDF files are excluded from the index totally.
I just want the contents fo the PDF file not to be indexed but the file name still to be searchable.
I think I need I need to change the Filter that is associated with this file type.
LVL 55

Expert Comment

ID: 22673917
My apologies, you are perfectly right. It removes the checkmark which means to stop indexing that filetype altogether. Will have another look.
LVL 55

Accepted Solution

McKnife earned 500 total points
ID: 22673990
OK, got something.
When changing pdf from index properties only to props and contents, the following regkey gets changed:
HKCR\.pdf\Persistent Handler\(Default)

Have a look at that. I'm off because of vacation now.

Author Comment

ID: 22680866
I was looking at this on a user basis where really it is set on a system level.
If you change the setting as an administrator on the box then it flows down to everyone else.
This may be the key but I can not verify this.
At this point I will probaly not control this via the GPF but thank you for your help.

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