Search not working with compressed files

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  1. Paultx's Avatar
    Posts : 175
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 bits
       #1

    Search not working with compressed files


    I'm trying to find an old PNG image in an old USB drive and found that the Windows 10 Search is not reaching the compressed files content, though it's set to do so here.

    To make sure, I compressed one PNG file in a ZIP and a 7Z archives and moved them to the same USB drive. The Search didn't find the images.

    Any fix for that? TIA.

    Windows 10 Pro 1909 18363.720
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  2. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,511
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #2

    I've had decent support for .zip format files but needed to have 7-Zip installed for .7z format. Have you tried copying the files to the internal drive or decompressing them to a folder on the internal drive then using search?
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  3. Paultx's Avatar
    Posts : 175
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 bits
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Berton said:
    I've had decent support for .zip format files but needed to have 7-Zip installed for .7z format. Have you tried copying the files to the internal drive or decompressing them to a folder on the internal drive then using search?
    I can do that, but it'll be a last resource, 'cause there are hundreds of compressed files, several gigabytes of them. I need a solution for that issue, I know for sure the Windows Search used to show compressed files content before, since Windows 7 or even XP AFAIK.
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  4. idgat's Avatar
    Posts : 913
    Windows 10 Pro
       #4

    Because of the content, there is little advantage (space) in compressing multimedia files, particularly image and video files. Little is achieved.

    If device storage is insufficient, best to get external (USB) storage and uncompress to store in native format.

    And don't forget you need a backup as well, either way.

    In the meantime, you could try 3rd party software like UltraSearch and/or Everything
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  5. Paultx's Avatar
    Posts : 175
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 bits
    Thread Starter
       #5

    idgat said:
    Because of the content, there is little advantage (space) in compressing multimedia files, particularly image and video files. Little is achieved.

    If device storage is insufficient, best to get external (USB) storage and uncompress to store in native format.
    And don't forget you need a backup as well, either way.
    I know that, but this particular drive has lots of files in many different formats (DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPS, PPTX, PPSX, PDF, CDR, etc.) along with images and videos, from dozens of folders. I stored them in it because I was leaving a company and wanted to keep the files.

    There are hundreds of files, but I want one particular image only (whose name I can't remember, just the format).

    If the Windows search worked well like before, it'd be enough for me to find that image for now.

    Like this: insert the USB drive, open Explorer, search for *.PNG, set View options to Large icons, browse and see if that image is there or not.
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  6. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,511
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #6

    Paultx said:
    Like this: insert the USB drive, open Explorer, search for *.PNG, set View options to Large icons, browse and see if that image is there or not.
    I did that just last night, opened a .zip file in File Explorer to look at the contents then did a Search for a name. The columns in File Explorer can be rearranged by clicking their heading such as Type and have groups of the same type in blocks or Size to show largest at top or reverse. Then if not seeing a file do the Search for what part is known. A long way of saying it seems to work best if the compressed file is first opened.
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  7. Paultx's Avatar
    Posts : 175
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 bits
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Berton said:
    I did that just last night, opened a .zip file in File Explorer to look at the contents then did a Search for a name. The columns in File Explorer can be rearranged by clicking their heading such as Type and have groups of the same type in blocks or Size to show largest at top or reverse. Then if not seeing a file do the Search for what part is known. A long way of saying it seems to work best if the compressed file is first opened.
    It seems to me you're using the native Windows compressed folders association. I use 7-Zip.

    What's most important in this case is that I always found compressed files content with Windows search even using third party apps. The issue is only happening now with the current or other latest Windows 10 updates.
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  8. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,511
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #8

    Paultx said:
    It seems to me you're using the native Windows compressed folders association. I use 7-Zip.
    Actually, being of somewhat normal intelligence, I use either one or maybe another one or two depending upon the situation.
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  9. Paultx's Avatar
    Posts : 175
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 bits
    Thread Starter
       #9

    I ran the Search troubleshooter and it reported an "Incorrect permissions on Windows Search directories" issue that was not fixed.

    Then I googled and found this: How to Fix 'Incorrect permissions on Windows Search directories' Issue.

    I'll give their tips a try tomorrow. Hope it can help others with the same problem.
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  10. mngerhold's Avatar
    Posts : 605
    W10-2009 19042.867
       #10

    I don't know if Windows has ever been able to search inside .7z files, but it can see inside zips, if you select this option:
    Search not working with compressed files-zip-search.png
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