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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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4 Answers 4

up vote 19 down vote accepted

Here's what I had to do:

  • open services.msc
  • Stop "Window Search" (I was this far already).
  • Rename C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows\Windows.edb
  • Start "Windows Search"
  • The directory rebuilds Windows.edb (34MB initial size in my case)
  • Open Control Panel/Indexing Options
  • Wait a long time for buttons to become enabled
  • Click Modify
  • Uncheck Users 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 48MB. Pretty large index if you ask me, but better than 2GB.

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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 at 16:24

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

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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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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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