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How to Change Search Options in Windows 10

information   Information
When you perform a search in File Explorer, Windows uses the search options you set to customize the search results.

You can turn on or off the following search options:
  • Don't use the index when searching in file folders for system files (searches might take longer)
  • Include system directories when searching non-indexed locations
  • Include compressed files (ZIP, CAB...) when searching non-indexed locations
  • Always search file names and contents when searching non-indexed locations (this might take several minutes)

This tutorial will show you how to change search options to customize search results for your account in Windows 10.

CONTENTS:





Change Search Options in Windows 10 OPTION ONE Change Search Options in Windows 10
To Change Search Options in Folder Options

1. Open Folder Options.

2. Click/tap on the Search tab, check or uncheck the options you want, and click/tap on OK to apply. (see screenshot below)

Name:  Search_options.png
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Change Search Options in Windows 10 OPTION TWO Change Search Options in Windows 10
To Restore Search Options to Defaults

1. Open Folder Options.

2. Click/tap on the Search tab, click/tap on the Restore Defaults button, and click/tap on OK to apply. (see screenshot below)

Name:  Restore_default_search_options.png
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Change Search Options in Windows 10 OPTION THREE Change Search Options in Windows 10
To Change Search Options using a REG file

Note   Note
The .reg files below will modify the DWORD values in the registry keys below.

 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Search\Preferences

WholeFileSystem DWORD

0 = (uncheck) Don't use the index when searching in file folders for system files
1 = (check) Don't use the index when searching in file folders for system files

 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Search\Preferences

SystemFolders DWORD

0 = (uncheck) Include system directories when searching non-indexed locations
1 = (check) Include system directories when searching non-indexed locations

 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Search\Preferences

ArchivedFiles DWORD

0 = (uncheck) Include compressed files (ZIP, CAB...) when searching non-indexed locations
1 = (check) Include compressed files (ZIP, CAB...) when searching non-indexed locations

 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Search\PrimaryProperties\UnindexedLocations

SearchOnly DWORD

0 = (check) Always search file names and contents when searching non-indexed locations
1 = (uncheck) Always search file names and contents when searching non-indexed locations

1. Do step 2 (Don't use the index), step 3 (Include system directories), step 4 (Include compressed files), and/or step 5 (Always search file names and contents) below for which search options you would like to change.


 2. Don't use the index when searching in file folders for system files

A) Click/tap on the Download button below you want to use to download the file below, and go to step 6 below.

Do_not_use_index_when_searching_in_file_folders_for_system_files.reg

download

OR

Use_index_when_searching_in_file_folders_for_system_files.reg
NOTE: This is the default setting.

download


 3. Include system directories when searching non-indexed locations

A) Click/tap on the Download button below you want to use to download the file below, and go to step 6 below.

Do_not_include_system_directories_when_searching_non-indexed_locations.reg

download

OR

Include_system_directories_when_searching_non-indexed_locations.reg
NOTE: This is the default setting.

download


 4. Include compressed files (ZIP, CAB...) when searching non-indexed locations

A) Click/tap on the Download button below you want to use to download the file below, and go to step 6 below.

Include_compressed_files_when_searching_non-indexed_locations.reg

download

OR

Do_not_include_compressed_files_when_searching_non-indexed_locations.reg
NOTE: This is the default setting.

download


 5. Always search file names and contents when searching non-indexed locations

A) Click/tap on the Download button below you want to use to download the file below, and go to step 6 below.

Always_search_file_names_and_contents_when_searching_non-indexed_locations.reg

download

OR

Do_not_always_search_file_names_and_contents_when_searching_non-indexed_locations.reg
NOTE: This is the default setting.

download

6. Save the .reg file to your desktop.

7. Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

8. When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

9. You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn


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