Change the location of Search Index in Windows 7 / 8

You may, if you wish, chose to change the default location of search index in Windows 7. It is, by default, stored at C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data  folder, which is a hidden system folder.

Change location of Search Index

To do so, Open Control Panel in its ‘all items view’, and click on Indexing Options.


Next click on Advanced.


In the Index location box, click Select new.


Choose the folder where you want to store the search index file in. Click on OK.

This operation will restart Windows Search Service and indexing will take place afresh and be saved at this new location.

Want more? Check out these Windows Search Indexer tips.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, an end-user Windows enthusiast, & a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows for the period 2006-16. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. I have a strange problem: I moved the index location to another HD partition; a week or so later I changed the drive letter of that partition and then noticed the Windows Search Service stopped working.

    I changed the partition letter back and Search started again. I then set the index location back to its default location; but I still can’t change the other partition letter without the search service stopping.

    I found entries in the registry key: HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindows SearchGathering Manager – they still point to the moved location.

    I tried to change those entries ‘DefaultApplicationsPath’ and ‘TempPath’ in the registry key, but don’t have permission, even after turning on the hidden administrator account and trying to elevate privileges for that key.

    I can’t figure out how/why the registry entries changed, but won’t change back to the current default location.

    I had turned the Search (and Indexing) feature off and on a couple times, as I have my OS on an SSD and read old recommendations to turn it off, but realized it is best left on.
    I even tried to remove the Search feature and reinstall it, to no avail.
    I could live with the non OS partition letter as is, but it is not an ideal solution.

  2. Marcus2012

    You should submit a bug report to Microsoft, and shame them over not using a variable to store the drive mount point, because that’s stupid as fuck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prove you passed math in school! *