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I have files and shortcuts on my desktop, when I use the search feature in 8.1 and type in the name of a shortcut on my desktop, it does not find it. This use to work amazingly well in Windows 7.

As you can see from the below image, the Desktop is selected, but I see no results from things on it, such as .lnk files. (Yes, .lnk files are added to be searchable.)

enter image description here

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Does your Windows 8.1 has enabled the Search Index Service? Windows uses a library(or a database) call it as you like, to locate where the files are and return results faster. If Search Index Service is not running Windows won't know what files there is on your HDD. Please look at this article about enabling and making faster the Search Index Service http://www.tomsitpro.com/articles/windows-8.1-index-files,2-748.html

  • I edited my original post. As you can see, the "Desktop" is selected and it still does not show me any results for icons on there. I have some .lnk files and they are selected in the "File Types" to show results from. I am so confused. – Aaron Aug 10 '14 at 2:52
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Had same issue some time ago, these steps helped me solve it, from technet

1.Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc
2.On  Processes Tab,click “Microsoft Windows Search Indexer”,then right-click “End Task” 
3.Go to the directory C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search
4.Delete the folder “Data”.You will directly see a new folder named “Data”
  • Is that safe to do? It did not work. – Aaron Aug 11 '14 at 3:58
  • Aaron, nothing bad happened to my system, but always the risk is yours, sorry that it didn't work for you. – Gexos Aug 11 '14 at 13:56
  • Maybe add the risk part next time.. – Aaron Aug 11 '14 at 15:56
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I figured out if you put shortcuts in this location, that they then appear when you do a search from windows 8:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories

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