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So I've spent a lot of time perusing forums trying to figure out why Windows 7 search doesn't work for me the way it does for the guy next to me. For my current 'test' I'm trying to find the string '139854' in a directory filled mainly with plain-text files.

As it is right now if I type in '139854' in the search window a single result of 'errors.txt' appears after about 10 seconds. When I use the 'Find in Files' search dialog in MSVS2008 it takes about 30 seconds to find one instance in 'errors.txt' and one instance in 'frmerrors.h'

When my co-worker performs this same test his windows search results include both 'errors.txt' and 'frmerrors.h' and it only takes about 5-7 seconds to find them.

So far I've tried every 'common' solution (i.e. if you can find it on a forum within the first 3 pages of google results, then I tried it) and nothing seems to work. All the Windows 7 system dialogs indicate that the search should function properly. All the Windows 7 system dialogs indicate the same settings as my co-worker.

So now I'm looking for non-first-page-google-result solutions to see if one of them works.

As a final note, I have a lot of harsh opinions towards te search functionality in Windows 7, but I've tried to refrain from letting that show. That being said, I'm not looking for a third-party solution. I already have MSVS2008 and it works, but it's annoying and bothersome (the select folder dialog in MSVS2008 is particularly stupid in design).

Thanks

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 7 '12 at 12:48

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If you could add a screenshot of your 'Indexing Options' settings that would help. –  snowdude Aug 7 '12 at 13:04

2 Answers 2

1- Check this (complete) article about Windows search in case you're missing somethings:

How to do a Search and Advanced Search for files and folders in Windows 7

2- Try this MS Fix it:

Fix Windows Desktop Search when it crashes or not showing results

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It sounds as though perhaps your colleague has search indexing enabled and you do not, either on the folder in question or for the file types in question. You can see these settings by clicking Start and running the "Indexing Options" app. In the advanced settings, you can switch the perceived filetype of each extension as far as search is concerned - making sure that .h files are searched as text may help.

In Windows 7 this can also be affected by your Library settings. Windows will "optimise" library folders according to a content type which can be set to Documents/Music/Pictures/Videos/General Files.

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