Windows 7: Always Search for Contents Inside Files

   Posted October 17, 2010 by Lê Hoàng in Windows 7

By default, Windows 7 only searches within files in certain indexed locations. This tutorial describes how to enable search within the contents of files for all locations.

1. Launch explorer.

2. Press ALT to access the menu bar.

3. Go to Tools->Folder options….

4. In Folder options window, switch to Search tab and choose Always search file names and contents (this might take several minutes)

5. Hit OK to save the setting.

From now on, you can search for contents inside files (like .docx, .zip)  in non-indexed locations.

Doing this can slow down your search and index times considerably.


About Lê Hoàng

When not creating exciting new Android games, Lê Hoàng is here crafting tutorials, tweaks, and fixes for your enjoyment.
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  • Jhill150

    I do not want to search contents of files. It gives me a lot of extraneous info. How do I turn it off for even indexed files?
    thank you,

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  • Omkar

    Perfect! Worked for me. Good screenshots.

  • Greg_Wants_Windows_7_to_Die

    Hello all, I am trying to search for phrases within files that are located on my server at work. I just got “upgraded” from xp to Windows 7, and have been trying to figure out how to do those types of searches with no success.

    I looked at the tutorials that I can find, and I believe I can easily index and search my own pc, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to get the search done on files on the server (where everything I would need to search is located).

    Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  • Dario de Judicibus

    Does not work, or at least, is works badly. If I search for text in my PHP files it does not find it, even if it is there. Really a pity Google decided to get through with Google Desktop because Win7 Search is really far from the quality of Google Desktop. In most cases it is useless… 🙁

  • Alexandre

    Excellent…save me some work time

  • HM

    Nope, have set this a million times but search just keeps ignoring text in many documents.