Users are not finding specific files with Windows Search on Windows 10. File is obviously there, but Search returns "no matches".

First thing I've noticed is that some directories do not have the SYSTEM permission as most have inheritance disabled. Is SYSTEM permission a REQUIREMENT for indexing to index the files (if that is, shall we recreate the ACL ? Very hesitant to add SYSTEM permission recursively) ?

Users are seeing network drive G:\ which is stored in a local shared D:\ drive in Windows Server 2019. Nothing fancy. That D:\ drive is indexed. Searching within the file server with RDP will use the index mostly as indended, near instant matches for some items that are obviously in the index (back to the original question, are we missing files because they have no SYSTEM permission or else?), however, searching via the G:\ map drive will still take very long, as if it's not searching in the index at all. Our index is of 8 GB size and just over 1,000,000 files (in theory, we have a lot more).

Previously answered by harrymc on Sep 9, 2021:

Windows does not support indexing network shares. You may still search them, but this is done in real-time without indexing, so may be quite slow.

You may enable Offline Files for a network folder by right-clicking it and selecting "Always available offline". This will basically copy the folder to your computer. To make it searchable, you will need to add "Offline Files" to Indexing Options.

None of the above options are really practical.

The correct way to do that is to store the files on Windows Server with the "Windows Search Service" role installed. The server will index its shared folders, and the Windows client can then use this index.

So is this an actual limitation? I have installed the "Windows Search Service" role and rebuilt the index with no apparent change. I am reluctant to reboot the file server not knowing it will do anything, unless I absolutely have to.

1 Answer 1


I think that's Dedup ? (Explaining why some files are listed as Size on Disk 0 and can't be indexed)


Windows Search doesn't support Data Deduplication. Data Deduplication uses reparse points, which Windows Search can't index, so Windows Search skips all deduplicated files, excluding them from the index. As a result, search results might be incomplete for deduplicated volumes. Vote for this item for Windows Server vNext on the Windows Server Storage UserVoice.

We do have Dedup on our server. We MIGHT be able to exclude the most common files (generally small), DOCX, XLSX from indexing? Simplest solution anyway. Or switch to an alternative to Windows Search heh.

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