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Windows 8's desktop search seems not to index PDFs. Is this by design or have I misconfigured something?

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This issue also can happen on W7 - the answer my also help you… – Dave Nov 19 '12 at 8:51
up vote 9 down vote accepted

Windows 8 should be able to index PDFs out of the box. Just press Win+W / type "index" / Indexing Options / Advanced / File Types tab, select PDF and ensure that Index Properties and File Contents is selected:


Also, as per this Adobe forum thread, seems like installing Acrobat XI can actually break Win8's PDF indexing ability. Considering the fact that Adobe's iFilter/preview handler+thumbnailing feature has been broken for more than 3 years now, this comes as no great surprise to me. Adobe has responded with an official workaround to restore the native Windows 8 PDF iFilter functionality.

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It is selected in mine, but it says "Registered IFilter is not found". Can you verify that it works for you? If Acrobat is to blame, I need to find a way to disable its iFilter without uninstalling it altogether. – Emre Nov 20 '12 at 19:24
I don't have any crap from Adobe installed for handling PDFs, and no PDF iFilter installed either. I just tried changing the Indexing Options and when the Plain Text Filter was activated for PDFs instead of the File Properties Filter, search correctly found PDFs with the text I specified. The only other PDF iFilter I know of is Foxit's, but no idea if it works in Windows 8, plus it is not free. – Karan Nov 20 '12 at 20:15
To be clear, the text it found was inside the PDF, not the title or metadata, correct? – Emre Nov 21 '12 at 22:36
Yes, it was inside the PDF. – Karan Nov 21 '12 at 22:40

This worked for me in Windows 8.1 with MS Reader, Adobe Reader and Foxit Reader installed:

Change registry key per Adobe's instructions.

Restart (may not be needed).

Win+W, select Index > Advanced and click "Rebuild" under Troubleshooting.

Now Windows Explorer shows PDF content in the search results.

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This issue also can happen on W7 - the answer my also help you

So, for Windows 7:

Go to Indexing > Advanced > File Types, and remove the check for PDF. Press OK > Press Close.

Then uninstall any Ifilters that you have relating to searching PDF Files.

Re-install Acrobat if lower than version 9.3

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It says "Registered IFilter is not found". Do Windows 8 or Acrobat XI not come with one? – Emre Nov 19 '12 at 17:28
I think it is not supported.… Here you can see what iFilters you can download and it only mentions Windows 7 (despite saying 64bit) – Dave Nov 20 '12 at 8:57

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