Windows 10: File Explorer searches Solved

  1.    09 Jul 2017 #1

    File Explorer searches

    I'm having some problems finding a folder which I'm 99% sure is on my computer. The folder is called "workspace" (without the quotes of course) and I created it months ago on either my C: drive or my F: drive; it is *much* more likely that it is on the C: drive but I'm not positive.

    When I went into File Explorer, navigated to the F: drive, chose the Search tab and entered workspace in the search box at the top right, it came back fairly quickly and said nothing with that name was found. That was great and matched what I expected so I assumed it was correct. When I did the same in the C: drive, it brought back a number of files and folders that had "workspace" in the name - and even some that had an abbreviation like 'wkspace', which baffles me somewhat - but the thing that really baffles me is that it just keeps searching and searching and searching. It's been going over an hour now and still keeps turning up new hits (none of which are the one I want yet). The progress bar is beyond the downward facing arrow and has half-filled the "X" that is to the right of the downward facing arrow.

    I've seen this behaviour time and time again in the search facility in Windows, probably going back to XP: it never really ever gets to the end of the search if it's on the C: drive. Can someone explain this to me? I need the search to look everywhere on the C: drive. It's a big plus if it returns relatively promptly. Instead, it keeps churning and churning without ever seeming to come to an end. It's not like this is a particularly large hard drive; it's only 1 terrabyte and it's not even half full.

    Something else that I suspect is related came up while I was poking around with settings: indexing. Am I right in believing that Windows is only going to find things that are in the list of indexed folders relatively quickly? And that the lion's share of the search time is in searching the folders that are NOT indexed?

    I don't remember ever telling Windows which folders to index so I'm going to assume that Windows makes some assumptions about that. From the dialogs I saw, it appears that I could choose additional folders to index. Am I right in assuming that simply telling it to index *everything* on C: and F: is a very bad idea? Is that because it's going to take an eternity to index or because it's still going to take a long time to search even when everything is indexed or both? I'm guessing it's the former. I vaguely remember telling Windows to index my hard drive many versions of Windows ago when hard drives were much smaller and it took a staggering amount of time to create that index; I'm not sure I even had the patience to wait until it was finished.

    What is the best way to set indexing up in Windows 10? I really don't want to shoot myself in the foot here but I'd sure like the searches to actually find what I'm looking for without taking hours.

    If I've got to let the computer run all night to index the whole hard drive, I can live with that. But if its going to take days or weeks and slow down everything else I need to do, then I'm not too keen on that.

    I'd value the advice of the experts here.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    09 Jul 2017 #2

    I suggest you try 3rd party search software like Everything Search by VoidTools which is totally free (donations accepted) Fast and efficient, I have been using it for years and have never had a problem
    Everything Search has a portable version so you can test it without installing it. I always use the portable version

    When you first launch Everything it will create the database (Index) which should only take a few seconds, this database will be updated whenever you launch Everything
    There are other options like Run in background and Start with Windows but Everything is very fast to load and update the database so unless you are constantly searching there is no real need for these to be enabled.

    There is another UltraSearch which is also portable and popular

    Since Everything Portable is only about 10 MB (depends on the size of your database) and UltraSearch is only 6.2 MB I use both. Everything is set to only search my C drive and UltraSearch is set to only search my E drive (NTFS external)

    Everything Search

    Fastest File Search: UltraSearch

    Personally, I don't think Windows has ever created a good search function and stopped using it as soon as I found Everything and UltraSearch
    If you decide to use a 3rd party search software you can then disable Windows Search and Indexing of the drive, this will save space, time, resources and you won't have to go through this dilemma again
    Windows Search
    • Control Panel (icon view)
    • Administrative Tools
    • Services
    • Double click on Windows Search
    • Startup type: Disabled
    • Stop (if necessary)
    • Apply
    • OK
    • Right click on OS (C: ) (or whichever drive)
    • Properties
    • Un-tick ”Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed ….
    • Apply
    • OK

    Good luck :)

    Edit: One last thing, I suggest don't give your folders or files names that might also be used by Windows like Workspace, this might get confusing. Putting your name first can help like Rhino Workspace or just RH Workspace to keep it shorter
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    10 Jul 2017 #3

    Thank you *VERY* much for your suggestions, FrillyBits! I've just installed EverythingSearch and, so far, it seems staggeringly fast. (Mind you, a crippled turtle would seem fast compared to the Windows search ;-) It looks like EverythingSearch should meet my needs going forward!

    The fact that it didn't find my "workplace" folder either also sheds some light on my original problem.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    11 Jul 2017 #4

    That's great news and I'm glad to be of assistance :)
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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