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I asked Windows 7 to index my entire "Media" folder. After it was done it'd find anything in there, no problem.

Then I reorganized it a bit and moved some folders around, and now it doesn't find things inside those folders anymore. For example, I'm looking at a folder with the files:

01. Ferry Corsten - Shelter Me.mp3
02. Ferry Corsten - Black Velvet.mp3
05. Ferry Corsten - Made Of Love.mp3

I type in "Love" in the search box for the current folder, and it doesn't find anything.

I checked in "Indexing Options", and this very folder is checked off in there. It seems I just messed up its indexing feature. Any ideas how fix?

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

Control panel->indexing->advanced->rebuild

I've seen several similar questions and as far as I know there's no way to reindex just one directory. Would be great if someone could prove me wrong though.

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Thank you, works great, +1. Quick tip for anyone following, hitting the windows key and typing "index" gives quick access to the Control Panel / Indexing panel. – zx81 Jan 17 at 21:42

I've found no other working solution for re-indexing just one specific folder than that:

  1. close all open programs, which may access the folder in question
  2. copy your folder. For example if your folder is named to_be_indexed, copy it to a new folder named to_be_indexed - Copy. In Windows Exlplorer you may simply use ctrl-c ctrl-v shortcuts, having selected the folder to be re-indexed
  3. wait for indexing to complete (check Windows "Indexing Options", status is given on top of window)
  4. remove the original folder to_be_indexed. Be careful to check before if your copy in step 1 was successful - you do not want to lose data ... (if you want to play safe, rename to_be_indexed to to_be_indexed_old and delete it later)
  5. rename to_be_indexed - Copy to to_be_indexed
  6. wait for indexing to complete (check Windows "Indexing Options", status is given on top of window)
  7. to_be_indexed is now re-indexed in Windows Search

Cumbersome, but works.

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Wouldn't you acheive the same by renaming the original to something_bak and then copying to folder to the origianl name? – JonC Sep 3 '15 at 11:38

Click on the Windows Start button, then:

  • Type 'Search' (without the quotes)
  • From the list of available options, select 'Indexing Options'
  • Click on the 'Advanced' button
  • On the 'Index Settings' tab, select the 'Rebuild' button, which is under 'Troubleshooting'
  • Click the 'Ok' button
  • Click the 'Close' button


When you initiate this process, you will not be able to see your drives, folders and sub-folders until they are re-indexed. So, make certain that you're not in a hurry to access any data on your hard drive before starting.

This process will take a while; and it's best to do it when no other applications are running. As far as I know, there is no notification to indicate when it's finished re-indexing your drive. Suffice to say, if you watch a movie, or a ball game, by the time you get back the task should be complete.

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Experienced the same issue today and forced a specific folder to be re-indexed, without rebuilding in it's entirety.

  • Control panel-> indexing options-> modify-> select your folder you wish to index by de-selecting it with a check mark, initially for exclusion -> Ok to confirm
  • Close the window
  • Control panel-> indexing options-> modify-> select your folder by selecting it again with a check mark, removing it from exclusion -> Ok to confirm

Index will be re-created as the folder has now come into scope for the indexing system

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You can re-index a single directory:

Folder properties --> Advanced --> untick index --> apply changes

Go back to Advanced --> tick the index files option again

This will now re-index that particular directory. Hope this helps.

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