I recently installed Google Drive on my Windows 7 laptop and began syncing all my files a few days ago. All was well until I needed to search for some documents in my local copy of Google Drive using Windows 7 Search feature.

Windows did not return any results at all. Weirdly, when I turned off Windows indexing for that folder, it began returning results.

I don't mind using windows search w/o the index but sometimes it takes too long to search (especially for keywords inside documents like Word and Excel). It's driving me nuts to the point where I have given up on Windows Search and switched to Google Drive's online search to look for files (not as convenient as I still have to go back go google drive in Windows to locate the folder). Any help appreciated!

5 Answers 5


OK, I hope this helps for people who are having problems with Windows 7 Search in Google Drive folder. After a few days of playing around, finally got windows search to work and best of all, search inside files(e.g. word, excel) works too!

  1. make sure security permissions for 3 users (specifically the SYSTEM group) are given FULL access to Google Folder. I'm not sure why my folder only gave my user account access. I realized this only after checking the other folders where index search was working.

FULL Control Security permissions for these 3 users

  1. Indexing is enabled for content. When Google Drive synced my files, it apparently did not set this attribute. The funny thing is that the folders were set but not the individual files inside. I'm not sure who to blame for this. So what I did was go to the Google drive folder properties, clicked on Advanced button, then unchecked "Allow files in this folder to have contents indexed in addition to file properties". After clicking all the OKs and confirming to do this to all folders and sub folders, go back to properties and enable the "Allow files in this folder..." so that it will propagate to all files inside.

Google drive Properties - Disable and enable the below checkbox for this property to copy to all files inside folder

Now Windows search is working for both normal file search and content searching. I'm not sure if this affects Google Drive in any way. But if you are reading this Google, please fix this in your app (unless this was done intentionally to force users to user Google Drive's online search :P).

  • 4
    Only the SYSTEM account was needed for me, I ignored the Admin group.
    – Orangutech
    Oct 3, 2013 at 17:06
  • It was a little unclear to me how to add permissions in step 1. This forum post explained how to do that: eightforums.com/general-support/… The solution in the post says click "EDIT" then "Add...", then to simply type in "Users" in the box and click "ok". It also claims that indexing is not the issue. I have an solid state drive and I thought I wasn't supposed to enable indexing (?). So, I did not and simply adding "Users" has worked fine to fix the problem for me.
    – jmbejara
    Mar 26, 2015 at 19:19
  • 2
    FULL permissions should not be necessary. The default should work fine (Read & execute, List folder contents and Read). As long as the indexing service can navigate the folders and read the files, it will work. I confirmed this on my own Windows 8.1 installation. Jun 2, 2015 at 0:23
  • For me, only certain individual files were missing the SYSTEM permission. I noticed that searching the folder returned results for some files but not others, and that I got the same results in a normal folder as in Google Drive. But the problem definitely started when I moved them into Google Drive, maybe when I uploaded them from a non-trusted work computer.
    – Noumenon
    Jul 6, 2015 at 16:11
  • SYSTEM isn't showing up in the user list, just my name. I'm using Windows 10. Mar 20, 2017 at 16:10

Maybe there is a problem with the index of the Windows 7 search.

You can try to correct it with the Microsoft Fix It tool from support microsoft.
Download the tool and execute it. Select Detect problem and select fix manually.
After some time there is a list of problems and fixes.
Select reset windows search.

After the dialog is finished you problem is hopefully solved.

  • 2
    Thanks. Microsoft Fix It tool did not find any errors. After resetting windows search, it still did not solve the issue. Anyway, after banging my head for a few hours against my laptop, I discovered that my Google Drive folder on my laptop did not have the same security permissions as the other folders. After applying the security permissions (Administrator, System, [myusername]) to the folder, windows index started working...sigh. But Search inside files like word still does not return anything in Windows search.
    – Joel
    Oct 11, 2012 at 0:53
  • I am having the same problem. The Microsoft Fix It tool did not fix the problem and all my security permissions were correct. I only started developing this problem in the past week or two. It used to work perfectly.
    – IThink
    Oct 16, 2012 at 18:19
  • Wait wait. Maybe it is working but it is taking 27 years to display a result.
    – IThink
    Oct 16, 2012 at 18:23

I have two computers running Windows 7, one is older and runs Windows 7 32 bit and works perfectly with Google Drive. I just recently got a newer computer running Windows 7 64 bit and it would show some files but would miss most in the Google Drive search.

I did this with the permissions and the index. Now it works perfectly now on the second computer. I might add that I rebuilt the index before it worked perfectly.


I don't know why, but moving the Google Drive folder to another drive solves the problem for me. To move the Google Drive folder:

  1. Right click the Google Drive tray icon and select preferences
  2. Click disconnect account
  3. Sign in again, but this time, select Advanced setup before syncing
  4. Change the folder location and point it to a folder on another drive
  5. Sync

BTW, I reported this to Google as a bug. Unfortunately, Nyan (Google Support) tagged is as "answered", even though it is not.


After a few weeks of failed attempts, I was able to fix search by disabling the search index for my Google Drive folder.

  1. In your Google Drive folder, open the Folder Options
    • Windows 7: Tools -> Folder Options
    • Windows 8/10: View -> Options -> Change folder and search options
  2. Open the Search tab
  3. Check "Don't use the index when searching in file folders for system files"
  4. Select OK

Source: Google Drive Help Forum

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