XP/2003: Search through Files of Unknown File Types

Posted May 3, 2006 by MickeyMouse in Windows

By default, the latest Microsoft operating systems only search through files of known file types. This registry hack will allow you to search through every file on your computer.


As a programmer, I give files unusual names all the time. Often, I would like Microsoft Search to search through these files. Currently, by default, Microsoft Search ignores file types that it does not recognize.

This registry hack will tell Microsoft Search to search through files of unknown file types.

Note: This will slow down your search since it causes the search to include many more files from your system. Only use it if you really need it.

1. Click Start.
2. Click Run.
3. Type regedit in the Run box, and hit Enter.
4. Browse to the following key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\ContentIndex

5. Double-click on the key when you find it.
6. Change the value to 1.

If you want to switch it back, just change this value to 0.

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