I have a bunch of folders on a network share with thousands of files in them (application logfiles). I would like to be able to search these by filename quickly and eventually programmatically (perhaps via MSIDXS).

The problem is that I can't seem to add network shares to the indexing service. When I try to add a new catalog to the indexing service, the only thing I can add are folders that are under the C:\ drive. Anything with \\share\whatever\ is "invalid". Nor can I add drives that have been mapped to a network share. When I try it says the "catalog name or location is invalid."

Is there a way to index a network share for indexed search? What are my options for searching network shares efficiently?

FWIW, I am dealing with Windows XP.

I also tried installing Add-in for Files on Microsoft Networks-- still same problem.

Here is what happens: Trying to add catalog to indexing service

I get this error whenever I try a UNC filepath: enter image description here


There's simply no way to index non-Windows network drives on a 64-bit Win 7/8, with Windows itself. Other desktop search apps can do it, like Archivarius.


Use network share names instead of the network drive P:\foldername.

I just had the same issue, and solved it by using \\computername\foldersharename$. You'll have to enter a user account and password for server authentication.


You're looking for this Microsoft add-in. (More information)

  • Thanks! but it still isn't working. I have added some more detail to my question. Is this talking about an entirely different search tool in windows? – Angelo Mar 13 '12 at 14:58

Another way is to let the server index the files and the file explorer on the client access that index remotely. That works using the "Windows Search Service" (not to be confused with the "Indexing Service", they are different beasts). Works on recent servers.


  • 1
    please do not use links as answers; Copy the relevant data from the link and paste it on your answer. Only then use the link as reference instead. if the link ever gets broken so does your whole answer. – Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Mar 14 '13 at 17:26

If what you are actually after is the ability to add a UNC path to your local libraries, the tool Win7LibraryTool might help (download, source). I found this via another source which also provides such a tool but which didn't work for me, and that in turn I found buried in the thread How do I get windows 7 to Index a network mapped drive?.

  • Any way to make them actually INDEXED? – Evengard Jun 23 '15 at 15:24
  • Only if one find a program that builds a file-database to answer queries over HTML (using SOAP). There is one in MS's SharePoint services on their Server OS's. The protocol is documentedl: interoperability.blob.core.windows.net/files/MS-SEARCH/…. Then your client machine can query the remote file server to get responses from the remote indexing service. AFAIK, no one has written an open-source client for MS-Search, but the protocol is published for purposes of interoperability (like other OS's). – Astara Oct 31 '20 at 21:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.