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In File Explorer, I can enter search terms in the upper-right search box to search the current folder and all subfolders. I can also navigate the folder tree of zip archives like any other folders. However, if I want my searches to include files in a zip archive I have to navigate to the specific folder in the zip archive where the file is located. My searches never include files in zip archives if I'm not in the archive, and when I am in the archive my searches don't include files within the archive's subfolders.

Is there a way for my searches to include zip archive subfolders?

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There are a few things that you will need to keep in mind.

First of all, you will want to ensure that the your zip files are indexed properly:

  1. Press enter image description here + S
  2. Type Indexing Options and press Enter
  3. In the subsequent window click on the Advanced button (and acknowledge UAC, as necessary)
  4. Select the File Types tab
  5. Scroll down and select the Zip file extension
  6. Ensure that zip files are configured to Index Properties and File Contents, as seen below:

    Index Properties and File Contents

    (Source)

Next, within the File Explorer interface you will want to select the Search field and confirm that the Search Tools tab is configured within the Location section to search inside All subfolders, as seen below:

Search All subfolders

Finally, within the File Explorer interface you will want to select the Search field and confirm that the Search Tools tab is configured within the Options section and modify the Advanced options to search inside Zipped (compressed) folders in non-indexed locations, as seen below:

Search Zipped folders

  • It looks like I already tried this. And I tested it by searching for something I know is in the zip archive. It returns results if I'm inside the archive in the correct subfolder, but not if I'm searching from a parent folder of the archive. – Kyle Delaney Sep 26 '17 at 13:34
  • That is very unusual. At this point, I would revert back to "troubleshooting 101" and ascertain all of the facts to see if there are any extenuating circumstances that may cause the problem to persist: are these actually zip files, not 7z or rar files? Is the location where that file resides indexed? If so, was the file placed in that location long enough to be indexed properly? Also, is the file actually password protected? – Run5k Sep 26 '17 at 20:58
  • It's a good guess that 7-zip and password-protection could be at fault, but I experimented with ordinary Windows-10-generated zip archives and experienced the same behavior. Have you experimented with this lately? Try putting text.txt in a folder and then zip that folder and then do a search for "test." – Kyle Delaney Sep 26 '17 at 21:18
  • First of all, please note that 7z files and rar files are not configured to Index Properties and File Contents by default, but zip files are already configured in that manner. That being said, yes, I tested this rather extensively earlier today. For example, my Windows 10 machine has a folder called C:\Users\Public\Downloads\Software and within File Explorer I searched for PsList. Since the Public user folder is indexed by default, my search immediately found the executable file inside the PSTools zip file within the PsTools 2.44 subfolder underneath Software. – Run5k Sep 27 '17 at 0:42
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    Yes, that is essentially the search function working as advertised. In the example I mentioned previously, the PsList search was found in a few different places within my C:\Users\Public\Downloads\Software folder. However, the search results displayed the PSTools zip file as well as the name of two PDF files that actually referenced PsList within the text of the document. In other words, when we are searching for something that is buried within another file from a parent folder, the results display will simply show us which file it is in. – Run5k Sep 27 '17 at 21:05

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