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Whenever a search is performed in Windows 7 on a folder that is not indexed, Windows throws up a banner at the top of the Explorer window (below the address bar) blabbing about Indexing and asking you to turn it on and index the folder:

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After the thousandth or so time, that warning/prompt/banner flashing and its [x] needing to be clicked gets to be really annoying. I heard you the first time!!!

Worse, this still occurs even when the Indexing service is disabled, and Indexing is un-selected and all of the relevant options.

(Windows is acting like a stupid person who cannot understand a simple concept like yes, I heard you the first thousand times, but no, I don’t want to use it, now leave me alone! and so keeps bugging you anyway.)

Is there a way to disable the banner short of hacking explorer.exe?

What’s particularly aggravating is that I have already disabled and removed the Indexer from Windows and yet it still tries to use it and then complains when it can’t. Well duh; it’s been removed:

enter image description here

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I've just learned to ignore it... :( –  Mehrdad May 1 '11 at 6:58
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@Mehrdad, I understand, but I have not. –  Synetech May 2 '11 at 3:28

2 Answers 2

Trying doing the following: Open Folder Options (Tools-> Folder Options), go to the search tab and check the "Don't use the index.." option, as well as check the "Always search file names" option.

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No, that doesn’t have an effect on the banner; it only forces Windows to always search the contents of files which is highly undesirable (there is already a contents: tag for when you actually want it). –  Synetech May 1 '11 at 5:09

Well it looks like the only way to really get Windows to stop prying you with prompts to force you to use its (limited) indexing service is to outright remove it:

Start -> OptionalFeatures.exe -> un-check ‘Indexing Service’ -> OK

It’s not an ideal solution, but I suppose that if one never use the service anyway, then there’s no reason to “have it available, just in case”.


For the record, I personally only use Windows’ search functionality for basic file searching based on filename or date. I prefer third-party search tools for more powerful searching, especially for content.

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It turns out that doesn’t stop the stupid prompt each and every single time that a search is done with Explorer. –  Synetech Feb 26 '13 at 21:15

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