Windows 7 Search for specific file content doesn't work

I'm really struggling with Windows 7 Search which seems to be far worse than previous versions. When  I search for words that I know are in files no results come up.  I ran the Search and Indexing Troubleshooter which said it detected problems with the system and was able to successfully apply fixes.  However it then reported that verification showed  the problem still exists.  It reported that Windows Search is crashing or failing; Windows Search does not start and gives an error message; Windows Search does not show any results.  My HP computer support technician says the only solution is a full restore, which I really don't want to do.  Any ideas much appreciated.



I would suggest you to follow these steps and check if it helps.


Method 1:

Try running system file checker and see if it helps:


Method 2:

If the search function is still not working even after trying system file checker, then you can try to delete all of the files associated with search indexing in Windows 7 by deleting everything inside these folders:

Steps to delete the files associated with Search indexing in Windows 7
These folders are basically hidden folders. You need to unhide these folders. Visit the link below for the same. 
Show hidden files 
Note: Again, make a backup of the files in the directories before deleting them just in case, but they really are not that important. Also, if you receive any error messages like “Access is denied” while deleting the files, then you need to stop Windows Search Service going to Control Panel, then Administrative Tools, and then clicking on Services. Right click on Windows Search and click on Stop.
After you delete the files, restart the computer and check if Windows Search works. Once you restart the computer the search will be rebuilt and it should start working.

Make changes and then post it.


Method 3:

If that doesn’t help, then try following the steps mentioned in the below link for the similar issue:

Registry disclaimer

To do so: Important this section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:


322756 (

 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows


Hope this helps

John Rubdy
Forum Moderator | Microsoft Community

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Question Info

Last updated August 13, 2018 Views 15,178 Applies to: