Searching Your Computer
Searching Your Computer: Search Options
Search options control the way the Windows Search service searches your com-
puter. By default, Windows Search searches indexed locations and nonindexed loca-
tions in different ways:
• In indexed locations, the Windows Search service searches filenames and con-
tents. This means it will look for matches to your search text in filenames and
folder names, file properties and folder properties, and the actual textual con-
tents of files.
• In nonindexed locations, the Windows Search service searches filenames only.
This means it will look for matches to your search text only in filenames and
folder names. It will not look for matches to your search text in file and folder
properties, or in the actual textual contents of files.
By default, Windows Search searches subfolders of a selected location and allows
partial matches. Thanks to partial matching, the Windows Search service matches
your search text to part of a word or phrase rather than to whole words only. This
allows you to search for picture and get matching results for pictures, pictured, my
picture, my pictures, and so on.
You can customize the search options for your computer by completing the follow-
1. If you have a Windows Explorer window showing search results, click Search
Tools on the menu bar and then select Search Options. Otherwise, click Start
and then click Control Panel. In the Control Panel, click Appearance and Per-
sonalization and then click Folder Options. Finally, select the Search tab in the
Folder Options dialog box.
2. As shown in Figure 6-21, you can then use the Search tab options in the Folder
Options dialog box to configure search options. To restore the default search
options, discussed previously, click Restore Defaults, click OK, and then skip
the remaining steps.
3. On the “What to search” panel, select the options that best describe what you
want to be searched. To have the Windows Search service always search filena-
mes and contents, select “Always search file names and contents (might be
slow).” To have the Windows Search service always search filenames only, select
“Always search file names only.”
If you select either “Always search” option, you force the Windows
Search service to ignore whether a folder is indexed when searching.
This does not mean that indexes won’t be used, however. When
indexes are available, the Windows Search service will use them.
When indexes aren’t available, the Windows Search service will not be
able to use indexes to speed up the search process, and this can result
in extremely slow searches.