I did a search in Windows 10 File Explorer for files containing a specific string in the file name. Then I either renamed or deleted the files it found. When I searched the same string again to see if I missed any, it keeps returning the same original set of files it found the first time, even though those files/names no longer exist.

Is there any way to make Windows actually perform the search again, rather than just returning this cached result from before? Pressing refresh doesn't do anything, nor does searching for a different but similar string (like "joh" when the first search was "john").


The problem is that Windows will not immediately refresh the disk index, so that it searches through data that no longer exists. You need to force it to re-index immediately.

This solved the problem for me on Windows 10:

  • Create a new .reg file and enter the following text:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
  • Double-click the file and allow it to execute

  • Reboot.
| improve this answer | |
  • Doesn't appear to have worked for me. I can navigate to the individual folders and see that the files don't exist, but they still show up when I repeat the search. – techturtle May 2 '19 at 21:35
  • Strange. Windows Search was always pretty weird. A third-party product that doesn't suffer from such problems is the free Everything, a tool I rely upon a lot. – harrymc May 3 '19 at 5:46

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