Windows 10 Search Index failing to keep up-to-date

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  1. Posts : 10
    Windows 10
       #1

    Windows 10 Search Index failing to keep up-to-date


    I am using Widows Search to query the contents of a large collection of pdf documents. Normally, when new pdf files are added to the collection, these are immediately and automatically indexed, and promptly appear in the search results.

    However, after sucessfully re-installing Windows 10 following a SSD failure, I find that the Index is no longer being kept up to date when new files are added. In other words, the initial Indexing process completes sucessfully, but does not respond to the addition of newly-saved pdfs. The only way to include them seems to involve a complete rebuild of the Index, which in my case, takes around 48hrs, which is impractical. I have checked that the added files have the same attribute set as those involved in the initial indexing process.

    Is there any way to force the indexing process to resume, if it stops after the initial indexing? Ideally of course I would like to have the Index constantly responding to new file additions, which is how it behaved prior to reinstalling Windows 10.

    I should add that having reinstalled Windows (Version 1909) I rolled back to Version 1903 in order to recover the superior search query functionality of the earlier version.

    Any suggestions as to how to proceed would be appreciated
    Last edited by Graham1705; 06 Oct 2020 at 08:49.
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  2. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 57,993
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21390
       #2

    Hello Graham,

    This is one of the issues with search indexing. It often takes time for it to get updated since it updates slowly by default in the background when their is system activity.

    If you like, you could disable the indexer backoff using an option in the tutorial below to allow indexing to update at full speed no matter the system activity. However, if you often notice everything else running slowly with the indexer backoff disabled, you might enable it again to stop this.

    Enable or Disable Indexer Backoff in Windows
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  3. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 31,382
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #3

    Hi, please could you confirm you have tried adding or deleting a file in a folder known to be indexed and monitored the count shown in Indexing Options.

    Please post a screenshot of your task manager when you hope this file will be indexed - is there excessive resource usage?
    (This relates to what @Brink has just suggested).

    I quite understand what you mean about 1903 vs 1909/2004 on indexing- although I think the mess MS made in 1909 has now largely been resolved except that valid file explorer search syntax is now not indicated in blue. (I'm still on 1903 for this and one other reason)
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  4. Posts : 10
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Windows 10 Search Index failing to keep up-to-date


    Hi Brink, Hi dalchina,

    Many thanks for taking the time to respond to this. The issue is not that indexing is slow due to user activity. My PC is reasonably fast (i5, 3GHz) and I can use the 'indexing options' tool to watch the files increment (albeit more slowly) while I work on other things, as the initial index is being built.

    In order to investigate what's happening, I stripped down the number of indexed locations to a single test folder containing around 100 pdfs. Rebuilt the Index, got 'Indexing complete' message. Then added an additional 20 or so pdfs to the folder which were copies of some the original files in that folder but saved with different filenames (hence the similar attribute set). Then left the computer to run overnight with no other activity. Result next morning - none of the additional files were recognized, the Indexed filecount remained the same. Something seems to be preventing the Indexer from recognizing that additional files have been added to the Index locations.
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  5. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 31,382
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #5

    Odd. You might as well run the search indexing troubleshooter and post a screenshot of the result.

    Then run
    Use Indexer Diagnostics App for Windows Search Issues in Windows 10

    Then try disabling content indexing and try that (e.g for the folder or pdf's)

    You could also experiment with a different file type of course...
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  6. Posts : 10
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Windows 10 Search Index failing to keep up-to-date


    Hi Dalchina,

    Many thanks for the link to the Indexer Diagnostics App. Very handy to have, even when everything's running normally! The standard Troubleshooter wasn't able to help, and the Diagnostics App confirmed that the Indexer is running in the background, and that the Indexer hasn't recognized the duplicate file that was added (about 15 hours ago) after the original was successfully indexed during the Initial Index build. Screenshots appended.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Windows 10 Search Index failing to keep up-to-date-capture-0.png   Windows 10 Search Index failing to keep up-to-date-capture-1.png  
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  7. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 31,382
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #7

    The standard Troubleshooter wasn't able to help
    - presumably passed?

    Please also try 2 experiments as per my #5.

    Notwithstanding your belief there is no excessive usage, as an experiment try what Brink suggested in #2

    Further experiment: if your current files are on a different drive, try an experiment with files only on your system disk. (Sure- should not be different...)

    Please then create a new user for test purposes, and see if the same thing occurs.
    If it does, perform an in-place upgrade repair install of 1903.
    (iso freely downloadable- see tutorial or Google "Heidoc iso downloader"

    Thanks.
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  8. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 57,993
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21390
       #8

    Graham,

    Since you are needing instant always updated search results, you might consider disabling search indexing. This way your search results will always be on the fly instead of referencing from the index.

    Search results may take a bit longer than if from the index, but they will always be accurate and up to date.

    Enable or Disable Search Indexing in Windows
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  9. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 31,382
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #9

    ... but no content indexing if that's required...

    I am using Widows Search to query the contents of a large collection of pdf documents.
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  10. steve108's Avatar
    Posts : 12,670
    19041.1052 - 2004/20H1 Home x64
       #10

    Hello @Graham1705,
    I would suggest running sfc and dism commands to check for Windows issues :
    Use DISM to Repair Windows 10 Image

    From an elevated command prompt or powershell run these two command:
    Code:
     sfc /scannow
    Code:
     Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
    Pending this search issue getting fixed, give Agent Ransack search app a try. It's blazing faster than Windows Search with indexing broken.
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