If your objective is to retain search functionality, but not to use indexes, you need the set up the following situation:
- Turn off the indexing (to prevent an index being produced).
- Delete the existing index (to prevent windows from using the index during searches).
- Avoid re-enabling indexing.
- Optional: enable the searching of file contents.
Turning off indexing
Start -> Run -> services.msc -> disable and stop
Ensure that the Startup type is set to disabled to prevent Windows from starting it again automatically.
Deleting the existing index
You can get the path to the search index from the following dialog box:
Control Panel -> Indexing Options -> Advanced
However since we have disabled indexing, it will be empty:
But we can still look up the value in the registry:
- Start -> Run -> regedit.exe
- Browse to
- We need the value of the
Search folder specified by that path.
Avoid re-enabling indexing
Beware that when you run a search, you will frequently see this popup:
If you enable this, the indexing service will be restarted, and Windows will start using the index for indexed locations. So don't do that if you don't want it to use the index.
Search file contents
You may want to turn on searching file contents:
Control Panel -> Folder Options -> Search Tab