How to search within files in non-indexed locations

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 10 July 2012 / Last Updated on 26 March 2012]

A tip about how to search within files in non-indexed locations on a Windows 7 computer.

Windows XP had an option to "search within files" that would work even for non-indexed locations.  Windows 7 by default only performs content search for indexed locations, but you can change this so that content search can also be performed for non-indexed locations by doing the following:

1. Open Windows Explorer and click Organize on the toolbar, then select Folder And Search Options from the drop-down menu that appears.

2. In the Folder Options dialog that appears, select the Search tab and then select the option "Always search file names and contents (this might take several minutes)"

An alternative approach is to use the "Search again in: File Contents" option if you don't find what you're looking for in the initial results of your query.

Mitch Tulloch is a seven-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award and widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. For more tips by Mitch you can follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

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The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a well-known expert on Windows Server administration and cloud computing technologies. He has published over a thousand articles on information technology topics and has written, contributed to or been series editor for over 50 books.

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