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I noticed the following...

In the "Indexing Options" menu, I have added a folder 'c:\PortableApplications' hoping the indexer would make the exe files available through the search feature. The Indexing Options menu shows "Indexing complete" and under "Advanced", "exe" files are selected in the "File Types" menu.

This made me wonder, is the Indexer excluding exe files?
So, I added a file 'someTest.txt' in the PortableApplications folder. The search feature instantly returns it. Rename it to .exe, and the search feature stops finding anything.

Then, I tried searching for '*.exe' and got 0 hits. Searching for '*.txt' gives a huge list, as expected.

Is this a security feature? But why would exe files be listed in the File Types menu then?

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    you're not the only one with this problem. there's no solution or comment from microsoft yet (or i just didn't find it?). however, there are some workarounds you could try, just go through this thread: answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/…
    – SimonS
    Jun 13 '16 at 13:02
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Assuming you're using this for finding files, I would recommend using Agent Ransack.

Agent Ransack

It will search for filenames and, if you want it to, it will search the contents of the files (including EXEs) as well. It's also much faster than what Windows has built-in, and it's free. There's no "pro" version or anything -- it's the full software.

I realize I'm not exactly answering your question here. Rather, I'm providing an alternative that gets the job done. As for what Windows is doing, I don't have a response (beyond the first comment under your question).

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  • Thanks. Given that this seems to be a known and unsolved Windows bug, I'm going to leave the question "unanswered" untill the problem is solved, or someone found a hack to fix this. But any workarounds are of course valuable in the meantime.
    – Wouter
    Jun 17 '16 at 8:19

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