Windows 10 Start Menu Search not searching the entire PC

Many a time Windows search results don’t include what you wanted to search. However, if you were searching for something which was on your desktop and Libraries, they would appear on the search results right away. The problem is not with the search, but rather the list of files and folders Windows can index. In this post, let’s look at the classic problem — Windows 10 Start Menu Search not searching or working properly.

Windows 10 Start Menu Search not searching or working

Starting with Windows v1903, the OS offers two types of searches — Classic and Enhanced search.  We either need to add more folders to classic search or use enhanced mode.

  1. Enable Enhanced Mode
  2. Add Folders to Class Search
  3. Remove excluded folders
  4. Run Windows Indexer Troubleshooter

1] Enable Enhanced Mode

Windows Not Searching the entire PC

You need to enable the Enhanced Search Mode, and configure the folders you want to be indexed.

2] Add Folders to Class Search

If you do not want to use Enhanced search, then it’s a good idea to add folders which are important for you. You need to configure the Search Indexing Options. Go to Settings > Search > Classic > click on Customize search locations here.

Search Indexer settings in Windows 10

In the pop-out window which it opens, click on Modify, and add drives and folders were your most important folders are available. Once indexing is complete, Windows will be able to find the file and display in the result.

3] Remove excluded folders

Windows 10 Start Menu Search not searching the entire PC

If you are using Enhanced mode, but your files are still not appearing, then you should look at the excluded folder list. Under Search, there is a list of folders under the Excluded folder list. Click on the one you want to remove, and then click on the button which says Remove Excluded folders.

When using Classic search, you need to check if the index has restriction on the file type. It is available in Advanced options > File Types. If you want to search into documents, you can also enable the Index Properties and File Contents. It should resolve the Windows not able to search for a fil on PC problem.

4] Run Windows Indexer Troubleshooter

Windows Indexer Troubleshooter

If nothing works, it is about time that you use the Search Indexer Troubleshooter. It is available at the end of the Search settings. It will prompt you with a few questions, and take appropriate action.

Hope these tips help you resolve your problem.

Helpful post: Windows Search Indexer is not working.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. 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.

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