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I have Windows Vista on a machine and I noticed quite a bit of hard drive was disappearing. I ran a utility to show me where it all went. I found the following directory consumes over 2GB of space: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows.

The Microsoft Search service is now disabled, but I want it removed completely. I see nothing on Add/Remove Programs. Also, will I get blue screens if I delete this directory?

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migrated from Oct 24 '09 at 12:18

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up vote 39 down vote accepted

Here's what I had to do:

  • open services.msc
  • Stop the Windows Search service (I was this far already).
  • Rename C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows\Windows.edb
  • Start the Windows Search service
  • The directory rebuilds Windows.edb (34 MB initial size in my case)
  • Open Control Panel / Indexing Options
  • Wait a long time for buttons to become enabled
  • Click Modify
  • Uncheck Users directory or whatever else you don't want indexed (I left Start Menu enabled because it's so small)
  • Click Ok
  • Stand on your head and count to three while drinking water with a straw. (not sure if this part is necessary but I wanted to try everything I could)

It now says indexing complete with only 800 or so items. Total size of the directory is now just over 48 MB. Pretty large index if you ask me, but better than 2 GB.

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Thank you both for your answers. They lead me to this answer. – User1 Oct 27 '09 at 14:26
I had a 64GB file, this helped solve it. Thanks! – Andrew Wilson Jun 4 '14 at 16:24
The service restarts itself too quickly for me to rename the edb file. The solution by @deskicio was successful. – cja Oct 15 '15 at 14:49

Open an administrator command prompt and type

net stop "Windows Search"
del %PROGRAMDATA%\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows\Windows.edb
net start "Windows Search"

Repeat when needed.

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But what's the point of doing this? Again and again... That's like emptying a bucket under a hole in your roof instead of fixing that hole. Why would you do that unless you enjoy emptying a bucket? If you don't want to have a big search index and you don't use the Search feature, simple uninstall it or remove some directories from the search indexer. – Dawid Ferenczy Feb 29 at 11:35

Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Programs and Features\Turn Windows features on or off/ then unchek windows search

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To delete and rebuilt the index :

  1. Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Indexing options
  2. Click Advanced
  3. under Troubleshooting, click rebuilt

You may want to change which folder you wish to include in the index before doing step 3. For that in step 2 instead of clicking Advanced, select Modify

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If you open the search tool and then click on the "details" drop down on the right hand side (next to the "?" icon) there's a menu called "Search Options..". Open that dialog and you can modify which folders are being indexed.

By removing folders from the Indexed Locations (by clicking on "Modify") the indexer will remove the data associated with these folders thus freeing up your disk space.

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