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Search function in Windows 10 is messed up


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#1 hihihihi

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 03:42 PM

I have used Windows 10 in two different laptops and also reinstalled a few times but i have always had a problem with the search function. I tried a few tips i found online related to indexing but I am still not satisfied with the way everything works.

 

When I was using Windows 7 i used to be able to use the search box in file explorer to find any file or document and I used to even be able to search for content within documents (such as word documents).

I used to love this function.

 

I have never been able to do this on Windows 10. I don't know if there is something wrong with my devices/operating system or if the search function is just simply very bad on Windows 10. 

1) Is anyone able to confirm if the problem is just mine? Or is Windows 10's search function just bad?

 

 

To illustrate how bad my problem is:

- Sometimes there is a document inside a folder. The folder is displayed on my screen and let's say my document is called "to do list"

- Within that folder I use the search function and type in "to" "do" "to do" "to do list" or any other variation which should show me the document i am looking for.

- However, NO document shows up in my search even though I know 100% the document is right there!!!

 

This is driving me crazy and I hate Windows 10 because the search function is sooo horrible

 

Please help!



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#2 Allan

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 04:05 PM

I use Search Everything (https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/everything-desktop-search/). It is a lightweight, free utility that provides instant returns (as you type). I disable Windows search completely (disable the service) and use this app instead on all of my systems. Give it a shot, I think you'll love it.



#3 britechguy

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 04:25 PM

Allan,

 

             I also use Search Everything (developer's download site:  voidtools.com) and love it because the vast majority of the time I am searching on file name (or part of it) alone.  If that's the nature of the search that's being done it's probably the best tool out there and far better than Windows Search has been for some time now when this is the type of search you want to do.

 

             That being said, I do use Windows Search on some occasions because I know I have a file I want to find based on something I know to be contained in it but I cannot for the life of me recall its name well enough to do a file name or partial file name search.  Search Everything cannot handle this and is specifically set up not to do so.

 

             Under Windows 10 Cortana takes the place of Windows Search whether you have her personal digital assistant and/or web search results included features turned on or not.   I immediately turned those two features off the first day I got Windows 10 and have kept them this way.  One has to realize, though, that Windows Search/Cortana does rely on how indexing is set up and much of that depends on the file type as well as the file name.  Here are some screen shots I just took of some example searches and bits from how my indexing is set up.  Unfortunately I do not know which entry is for file name itself in the indexing list, but clearly it's turned on given that it finds my image file with the name starting with "WAN_DNS" when I search on either just "WAN" (where other things also get found based upon content) or "WAN_DNS" which only returns it.

 

Attached File  01MyTempBCFolder.jpg   182.49KB   0 downloads

 

Attached File  02DNS_Subfolder.jpg   51.54KB   0 downloads

 

Attached File  03WanUnderScoreSearch_Results.jpg   95.13KB   0 downloads

 

04wan_dns_searchresults.jpg

 

05_main_indexing_dialog.jpg 

 

06_advanced_idxing_by_file_type_docx.jpg 

 

07_advanced_idx_by_file_type_txt.jpg 

 

 

There are also times when the system index can become corrupted, and that may be the case here.  The best thing to do then is to use the "Delete and Rebuild Index" option via the Rebuild button in the main Index Advanced Options tab:

 

08_advanced_idx_main.jpg

 

Be aware that rebuilding the index on a system with a huge number of user data files is a non-trivial task that can take hours and hours to complete.  You tend to kick this sort of thing off when you're done for the day and don't attempt to do a search again until the next morning (at least if you wish to have accurate results)


Edited by britechguy, 15 December 2017 - 04:30 PM.
Note about rebuilding corrupt index

Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

             ~ Brian Vogel

 

 

 

              

 


#4 cafejose

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 01:23 AM

Another free tool for searching on your computer is 'findmyfiles' or some name like that, from 'nirin' or nishin,... I can not remember the name exactly; but I did try it briefly and it worked well.  Think of this as an alternative for that "everything" tool.   Portable, too, I think. 

 

I cannot find a way to completely stop Cortana for Windows 10.  Something changed after one or more of the Windows 10 updates and Cortana is more persistant now.  I wish I knew how to completely stop Cortana and let Windows 10 do a search as it did before one of the updates changed how Cortana interferes.  Still, a few parts of file name in the search box and Win10 will show some items, usually useful items one of which I am looking for.



#5 Allan

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 08:47 AM

Good post Brian. And while my personal choice is to disable indexing and search, the manner in which you presented the info in your post is outstanding!!



#6 britechguy

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 10:18 AM

Allan,

 

           Thanks very much for the kind words.

 

            This comes down to what one's own search needs are and then getting/using tool(s) to suit the task(s).


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

             ~ Brian Vogel

 

 

 

              

 





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