When using search files in Windows 8 (win+f) I don't get expected results. For example, I installed VLC, it's in Program Files (86) folder, and that folder is selected for indexing. Search for files (win+f) gives 0 results.
If I pin to start that exe, then it's found - but I don't want to do this, that's not the point.

Where does it search for files? Is there any way to specify search locations? It doesn't use Indexing Options settings, at least it seams so.

Also, searching from explorer window is kinda slow - I tried entering VLC.EXE in search box (when in c:\ root), and it takes some time to give correct results. It works, but it looks like it doesn't use indexing, rather scan all files/folders, which is slow.

3 Answers 3


You need to make sure that the directories: c:\Program Files (x86) and c:\Program Files

add to indexing files. By default, they are not. Go to Control Panel --> Indexing

If you add this folder Win+Q works fine.


Go to Control Panel --> Indexing --> Advanced -> there you will find a button called something like rebuild, its forces windows to rebuild the index :D



The search results are filtered by file type now. If you know the type of file you are looking for use one of the following shortcuts:

⊞ Win+q: search for apps
⊞ Win+w: search for settings
⊞ Win+f: search for other files

  • Of course I read your question. My answer is meant to show you that your expectation is misplaced. Win+f searches for non-executables, which explains why it found your shortcut and not VLC.EXE. That you can find it using Explorer tells me Search is working as expected. If you are searching for an executable in WinRT, use Win+q, otherwise continue using Explorer. Aug 29, 2012 at 14:59
  • But why search with Explorer doesn't use indexing? It's unusable slow, even I added that folder to indexing settings! So basically, from Metro i can't search for files, and Explorer doesn't use Indexing settings. Aug 30, 2012 at 11:55

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