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Windows Search does not appear to recognize flash video files as being video.

I frequently use Windows search to filter files in a folder. Occasionally I want to look for newly download video files in a folder so I will run a search like after:yesterday type:video. Unfortunately this does not appear to include flash video files. But it does seem to pick up .wmv, .mp4, and probably other type types.

What do I need to change to get Windows to recognize that a .flv file is a video? Or more generally, how do I force Windows to believe some arbitrary file extension is a certain kind of file.

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Which version of Windows? – ChrisF Oct 31 '12 at 17:22
@ChrisF, Windows 7 mostly, but I believe the same search engine is built into vista, 2008, and 2008 R2. A generic solution that applies to all recent versions of Windows is preferred. – Zoredache Oct 31 '12 at 17:25
I have discovered on my work computer this was actually working, and seemed to be related to having the K-Lite Codecs, which I had installed via I would still like to know the general steps required to get this working. – Zoredache Oct 31 '12 at 19:03
Don't have K-Lite or any codec pack, but when I have FLVs associated with even a self-contained player like VLC, it seems type:video includes them. Will have to see what exactly is required for this to work. – Karan Oct 31 '12 at 19:17
@Karan, that is odd because I have FLV files associated with VLC on my home system and that is where it wasn't working... This makes me even more curious about what needs to be setup. I may have to setup a completely clean VM and see if I can capture exactly what is happening during the K-lite install. – Zoredache Oct 31 '12 at 19:25
up vote 1 down vote accepted

So apparently I was miss-understanding what exactly type type: search operator does. I assumed there was some mapping being done somewhere that classified files by extension or mime-type, but that is not what is happening..

The type: seach operator will match the the text that is displayed the Type column. When VLC is set as the default application for files matching *.flv the text displayed in the Type column is VLC media file (.flv).

Windows Type

The type text when VLC is the default program is defined like this.

@="VLC media file (.flv)"

Adjusting that value to something like VLC video file and restarting explorer makes it so that a search for type:video displays *.flv files when VLC is set as the default program.

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I haven't tried this but here's what I'd suggest:

  • Open up regedit.
  • Head to computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
  • Find (or create) the .flv key.
  • Inside that key, add a new String (REG_SZ) named PerceivedType and set it's value to video.
  • Close Regedit and reboot.
share|improve this answer
I have discovered the answer. – Zoredache Nov 3 '12 at 7:46

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