Windows 8 Search in File Explorer does not work!

Here is an inconsistency in the way Search works (or does not work) in Windows 8.

I have installed a version of Windows 8 Pro on my new computer.  I have a partition C: for the OS and applications and another partition E: for data and user files.  I relocated My Documents to E:\Users\nicolas\Documents using My Documents Properties.

So far so good.  I can access my files either through Libraries\Documents or through E:\Users\nicolas\My Documents.

However, if I use Windows Explorer and the search function (Ctrl E or upper right corner) and type *.doc, the behavior is not the same whether I start from Libraries\Documents (does not work) or E:\Users\nicolas\My Documents (works).

This is inconsistent.  I suppose this has to do with the way file indexing is set on the computer.  But I would assume that by default search should always look for files when starting from Windows Explorer instead of saying "No files found".

Charm search does not find the files I am looking for either.

I wish Search would work consistently without having to rebuild indexes or change settings.

How come Libraries are not included in the Search Indexes?  I thought this was the default?

Thanks for your help,

-Nicolas







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Hi Nicolas

 

If you select a single drive and perform a search, only that drive will be searched. If you want to search All Drives, in File Explorer, select Computer and perform the search.

 

From your description, search should be working from the Documents Library as long as the Documents folder on the E: drive has been added to the Documents Library.

 

If this still does not work, you might want to Rebuild the Index.

 

Press WinKey+X to display the system menu and open Control Panel/Indexing Options.


Select the Advanced button and click the Rebuild button. This will delete the current search index and rebuild it from scratch.

 

Note: The indexing is designed to work best when the computer is idle. If user activity is detected, the indexing will pause and wait for an idle condition before starting again.

 


Let us know if this helps.

 


Regards

MVP 1999 - Present
Windows Insider MVP

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Thank you for your answer.

I am rebuilding the index following your suggestion.

Two Users folders appear in the Included Locations: one for Drive C: (this one excludes AppData) and the other for Drive E:  (where my files are located). 

Under Libraries in Window Explorer I can see all my documents (on the E: drive).  So I assume it is properly added to the Documents Library.

I still don't understand why Search works when I search directly from a folder on the E: drive but not from the libraries.

Since I can access the same documents both ways, it's frustrating getting conflicting search results.  I hope rebuilding the index takes care of the problem.  But why I should do this unless I want to add a new location?

Thanks again,

-Nicolas

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I have issues with search not finding all items. I have run the Mr.Fixit at http://support.microsoft.com/mats/windows_search/

 

and I have rebuilt the index and search STILL FAILS TO FIND SOME FILES

 

I have  a screen shot of two file explorer windows, one showing the search results with ONE file found searching for tri*.mp4 and one showing a folder containing TWO files that that meet the search specification.

 

 

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Microsoft:

This is something your team should be deeply embarrassed over.  You should actually FIRE the whole search / explorer team.  The work on this is extremely sloppy with horrible UIX design to top it off.  

Seriously, this is stuff that worked in DOS!!! Windows 8.1 still can't search a directory tree for files of a certain name.  For shame.

This is SIMPLE stuff.  I search for a file name at a root folder and the search function only finds 1 file.  Even though I have directed search to find the files in all sub-directories.  It simply quits after finding the first match.

This is NOT a matter of indexing.  And if it is, you should have your heads examined.  I simply want to pull up a list of files and (in 2014 on a "modern" OS) cannot do this.

Shame on you.  You deserve all the bashing non-Microsoft users heap upon you.  

Amazingly, stunningly, poor engineering.

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Similar but even simpler problem here. I want to filter the files in a single folder using the search bar. No results ever. It worked great in Vista but here it does absolutely nothing.

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I totally agree, this is a gross embarrassment for Microsoft!

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I am also now having this problem.  I didn't used to until around October or so of last year.  I don't know if it was an update but I haven't gotten any workable solutions yet.  The one or two that I did get, did not work, one including the indexing solution. 

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Same issue.

Why can't we just have a simple search without indexing work?

What a mess, how to screw up an operating system.

I don't want indexing... all I want is to find files in some branch of a directory tree and the search in file explorer finds nothing!!!

There must be a fix...

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Since windows explorer in win 7 pro doesn't reliably search a directory and its subdirectories for a particular file type, I now open a command window, navigate to the top-level directory I want to search, then use the "dir" command with the "/s" option, e.g. "dir /s *.doc".

It's absurd that microsoft isn't fixing this.

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So I did this:

Went to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Troubleshooting\System and Security and then

selected "Search and Indexing".

Followed on screen prompts.

What worked was "search as Administrator".

Good luck

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Last updated May 13, 2021 Views 13,962 Applies to: