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I am bothered by the following fact:

When I go to open the PowerShell ISE, I search for in home screen. For some reason, it does not show up until I finish typing the whole name (powershell_ise) and then it shows up under apps.

Why is this?

Note: I can solve this problem by pinning the executable to the home screen. I want to know why it is occurring so I can prevent this from happening in the future (or at least know when it will happen to me)

EDIT: This appears to be a bug in windows (see here for reproduction). Any ideas on workarounds?

share|improve this question
Is search indexing (or something similar) turned on? – wizlog Jul 22 '12 at 2:29
@wizlog Yes, but that is not really the point. It finds the file just fine when I give it all the letters just not before. It does a partial match on everything else though. Why the inconsistency? – soandos Jul 22 '12 at 2:33
I can reproduce the problem on my Windows 8 VM. Perhaps it's a bug in the search algorithm. This is beta software after all. EDIT: A similar thing happens when I searched for Windows Update; it only showed up after a second attempt, when I narrowed it down to Settings. – user3463 Jul 22 '12 at 2:49
@RandolphWest, but it did not show up in the file or apps category. Try searching for winhlp32.exe – soandos Jul 22 '12 at 2:52
winhlp32.exe came up in the results. Want to take this to chat? – user3463 Jul 22 '12 at 2:55
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The reason it's not showing up in your partial search, is because it's considered an Administrative Tool.

Administrative Tools do not show up by default, and that's why you have to type in the full name of the executable.

Fortunately, a recent MSDN blog entry explains this in detail, including instructions on how to make it appear.

Taking an excerpt, it works like this (formatting added by me):

You can enable the Administrative Tools on the Start screen by:

  • Opening the Start screen

  • Opening the settings for the Start screen with Win+I (Tip: Win+I is a context sensitive hotkey to bring up the settings for the app you are using, even if the “App” you are using is the Windows Desktop)

  • Selecting the “Tiles” option and toggling on the "Show administrative tools" option.

Tada! I can now search in the Start screen for PowerShell.

I have verified that this works on the RTM build of Windows 8.

share|improve this answer
Very well done. – soandos Aug 20 '12 at 1:25
This bugged me, so when I saw it, I had to share it :-) – user3463 Aug 20 '12 at 1:26

The Windows Start search only shows filename results with exact matches when it's the target of an indexed shortcut, but the file is otherwise unindexed. Because powershell_ise.exe isn't the name of a start menu shortcut, it's not indexed with partial naming, but you could create one with that name and get that behavior.

By default you should have a "Windows Powershell ISE" shortcut that will come up with partial matching, since it goes by the shortcut name... but something that confuses me is that the equivalent with "(x86)" at the end doesn't show up in partial results, but does show up with wildcards: appending a * to the end of your query, like power*. I have no idea why that is for that particular one.

Bottom line: The shortcut target name doesn't get any of that special behavior unless the actual executable location is indexed.

Note that this definitely applies to Win7 as well and I believe also Vista.

share|improve this answer
Not sure what you are talking about. Files show up with partial search all the time. Try incrementally searching for "powershell" in the files section. – soandos Jul 22 '12 at 7:02
Sorry, I was tired and missed the most important part: The location isn't indexed, so you won't get the normal partial-name matching. The only reason it shows up at all is that it also does full-word matching on the shortcut link field as well. If you index the location, that will change. I'll edit my answer. – SilverbackNet Jul 22 '12 at 15:07
So you are saying that if I index everything, then partial matching will work for everything? – soandos Jul 22 '12 at 20:12

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