Windows 7 search doesn't work

Posted on 2012-08-11
Last Modified: 2012-09-08
I really mis my WIn XP search. It actually works and works quite well. Not sure what Microsoft was thinking with Win 7.

I open win explorer, and in the upper right search box, I type part of the name of a file that is in the folder that I opened, and it returns no items match the search. I read somewhere about changing the features ticked in the Folder and Search Options box for that folder, but I cant find my notes. I do know that it did make it work.

Anyone know the correct default settings to make the serach feature work? It is very hard to find files without a working search function.
Question by:M_Epstein

    Expert Comment


    When you open windows explorer, I believe by default it shows your library. The search bar in the top right will only search the directory you are currently in. If you select "Computer" on the left side menu, and then search again you should get better results. You can also use the search bar at the bottom of the "Start" menu to find files.

    Hope this helps!

    - Jon
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    Click on ....
    Tools > Folder Options

    Then select the Search Tab
    You will see various search options
    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    Close all apps and then run this fixit

    Reboot and check.

    LVL 89

    Assisted Solution

    by:John Hurst
    When you work through the search options, make sure the locations where you store your data are indexed. This is normally your User folder. Make sure Outlook shows separately. Once you make changes you should rebuild the index ( this takes a while).

    Then, I use the Start Button to search because this will look in all indexed locations. Searching from Windows Explorer may search in an un-indexed location and so may return unexpected results. I think this may be why you see diiferences from XP. Used from the Start button, I find Windows 7 to be faster and more accurate than XP.

    .... Thinkpads_User
    LVL 50

    Expert Comment

    M_Epstein--I use Everything Search much of the time.  Much easier interface, but not as powerful.
    And here are some FAQ

    One key to improving Windows Search is to index properly.

    Author Comment

    So many different ideas. I narrowed the behavior down a little, maybe this will tell what I am doing wrong.

    I have a folder with Nikon jpg files in it. I am searching for the file _DSC6299.jpg

    If I type "_" or "D" or "S" or "C", the search box shows the correct files.

    However, if I type "6", the search box is empty. What is wrong here???
    LVL 89

    Accepted Solution

    However, if I type "6", the search box is empty. What is wrong here???

    Something wrong with your search setup. I set up a copy of a file _5498.... and saved it in an indexed folder. Search (from the Start button) found it instantly. See below:


    So as I suggested earlier, make sure (Indexing Options) that the location you are searching in is indexed and also that you have rebuilt the index.

    ... Thinkpads_User
    LVL 59

    Expert Comment

    I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

    Accepted answer: 250 points for thinkpads_user's comment #a38285427
    Assisted answer: 250 points for thinkpads_user's comment #a38298953

    for the following reason:

    This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.

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