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Tweaking Windows Start Search Menu

Thursday, September 30th, 2010 by | Filed Under: Shortcuts & Keyboard Tricks, Uncategorized

Windows 7 comes with a very cool search indexing feature. If you type any text inside the start menu search box, it gives you results instantly. This is because the files you’re searching have already been indexed by Windows, so it only takes seconds to find and show the results.

The Windows search feature includes all the common files on your computer, such as libraries, emails and offline files. By default, program files and system files are not indexed.

To make your search even faster, you have to make some changes in the indexing options. Suppose you want to search for a particular file extension, (.jpg, .png, .avi, .doc). In that case, you can make changes in the options to index only those types of files. You can also remove default set locations and add new locations as needed.

Here are the steps you have to follow:

-Click the Start button and type indexing options in the search box. Click on the result or press Enter.

-It will open the Indexing Options window. Here you can see that Internet Explorer History, Offline Files, Start Menu, and Users folders are set to index by default. You can change the locations by clicking the Modify button.


-Now you can choose any location in your computer to index. You can also remove the default indexed locations by unchecking the box next to the locations in Change selected locations area.

-To add new locations you have to first click Show all locations near the bottom of the Indexed Locations panel, before you can select locations. Location submenus are shown by clicking the small arrow to the right of the location shown.


-Now check the boxes next to locations to include it in the search index.

Note: Selecting the entire computer to index will not help you to get faster search results. It will result in indexing all the files, including program files and system files and ultimately make your search slower. Hence, it is advised to choose only those folders or locations which you use frequently.

How to select particular file extensions to index

Suppose you work on any particular file extension such as .doc, .pdf, .png, .jpg, .html, .php. etc. To select the particular file extensions to index, click the Advanced button in the Indexing Options window.


In the Advanced Options window, click the File Types tab. It will show you all the extension names. All the extensions are checked by default.

Uncheck those extensions which are not in use. If any file extension is unavailable in the list, you can add it by entering the name of extension in the Add new extensions to list box shown at the bottom. After entering the name, click the Add button.


Prevent Windows from searching documents, files, videos, emails.

If you don’t want to search images, documents, videos from the Start Menu search box, you can prevent indexing these files from the Start menu properties panel. It will result in faster search results. You can search for any application from the start menu search box instantly. The following steps are involved:

-Right click on the Start button and select Properties. In the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties panel, go to theStart Menu tab and click the Customize button.


-Scroll down to Search other files and libraries section and select the option Don’t search and then click OK.


Wait till all the changes start to appear, because Windows will clear all the index files after you make changes.

~ Himanshu Yadav

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