I noticed that Windows 10 (build 18363) search didn't show the program .lnk shortcuts from the Start menu.

Here's my experiment:

I placed a test file in my "David" user folder and another one in Appdata. I made my Appdata folder visible just in case that helps. I double-checked that both of those folders either belong to "David" or "SYSTEM" and have the indexing option enabled. I configured Windows to index just my User folder and the Appdata folder and clicked the "Delete and Rebuild index" button. Then, I searched for the files with Windows search.

Here's the result: enter image description here

As you can see, the search menu successfully shows the files "Help Me 1.txt" and "Help Me 2.txt" from my user directory, but it fails to show the "Help Me 3.txt" from the Appdata folder. Also, the Indexing Options indicate that it has "423 files indexed", -- this is because there are a lot of protected operating system files.

In light of these results, I repeated this experiment with two other computers of the same build, and their results arrived at the same conclusion. This is not a personal issue. There are certain folders through which windows refuses to show the search results, even if they are indexed correctly.

Is there some way I could fix this and make the Windows search show the "Help Me 3.txt" file?

1 Answer 1


You may want to check your user profile and see if it is damaged.

Please see this article from 2017:

Windows 10 Search not finding certain file NAMES; indexing on OK, no special characters in name

See advice of Darleen Pen Microsoft Agent | Moderator

To further isolate your issue with Windows 10 Search, we suggest that you create a Test user profile. Check if the issue will occur on the Test profile. If you will not experience the same issue on Test profile, it means that there are some file corruptions on the user profile that you are currently using. If that'll be the case, you need to run the System File Checker tool.

  • 1
    Have you run the SFC (system file checker)? Also, disk cleanup may help along with DISM, this helps cleanup your disk (all the updates from microsoft also, will be cleaned up.) DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth or DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
    – vssher
    Commented Jan 4, 2020 at 8:48
  • I have run this tool already, so I do not get errors when I run it the second time: imgur.com/QDbf6th
    – DemSec
    Commented Jan 4, 2020 at 9:04
  • I have just repeated this experiment with another 2 computers of the same build and they too have the same exact results. This is not a personal issue, anyone should be able to replicate these results.
    – DemSec
    Commented Jan 5, 2020 at 3:07

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