Question Search Index - Which Folders to Exclude

Do you 'Exclude' folders from your Search Index?


  • Total voters
    2

rabaker07

Reputable
Oct 2, 2014
61
0
4,640
2
Anyone have suggestions on which folders to exclude from Windows Search? My computer is still huffing and puffing through my multitude of hard drives and SSDs and I figure there are probably a ton of system files that I'd rather never hear from again. I recently upgraded to the latest Windows 10 Update, and the fresh index has only processed 650,000 out of 2,250,000 files (~30%). It's starting to cramp my style.

Any thoughts on which folders could, or even should be excluded from search indexing? I'm guessing that this will not only improve system performance during indexing (or at least complete indexing sooner), but also remove irrelevant search results and serve them up faster.

Please advise...
 

rabaker07

Reputable
Oct 2, 2014
61
0
4,640
2
I just exclude SSD's in total from indexing.

But as my system is all SSD...


But I would absolutely not delve down to specific folder level on an HDD to include or exclude.
Why do you exclude SSDs from Indexing? Save on wear and tear? Isn't that much less of an issue than originally thought?

And how do you search for things? Just dig in every time? I suppose I'm not as well organized as I'd like. I have movies and music all over the place and large collections at that. Searching comes in very handy these days. Particularly as old age seeps in and affects my memory. :/

My OS drive (SSD) has some honkin folders that seem to be irrelevant to typical "searches" so I'd be fine excluding them. I suppose I could exclude the entire drive, but there are occasions to search for files deep within the system folders when performing various tweaks.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
110,808
1,366
152,940
18,390
It is less of an issue, but it is also not needed.
The SSD's are already 'fast'.

Search works exactly the same. All an Index does is create a table (the index) where everything is, for faster retrieval.
The SSD with its fast access.....Indexing not really needed.
 

rabaker07

Reputable
Oct 2, 2014
61
0
4,640
2
It is less of an issue, but it is also not needed.
The SSD's are already 'fast'.

Search works exactly the same. All an Index does is create a table (the index) where everything is, for faster retrieval.
The SSD with its fast access.....Indexing not really needed.
Oh, I had no idea. I thought the index was a dependency for search.

I'll give it a shot and disable the indexing on all. Odd, when I disable on a drive it asks if I'd like to apply to the drive only, or all subfolders and files. Wouldn't this rule inherently apply to all subfolders? I'll have to experiment and see how this all works...


Another odd thing is that it's now indexing in reverse. The number of indexed items is slowly being reduced... haha. Oh Windows 10...

View: https://imgur.com/a/9iF4kz8
 
Last edited:

britechguy

Prominent
Jul 2, 2019
761
100
640
20
You also need to ask yourself exactly how you search.

Well above 95% of the time I am searching on one thing: file name. Thus, I have found the Everything Search by voidtools.com to be vastly superior to the built in Windows search for that purpose.

I still use Windows search every once in a very great while if I need to search based upon text content in a file, but that's rare. Once the index or indices are built there's not much work to be done if you're not constantly adding many files or updating the contents of many. For most home users, the numbers of files we add is index-able in mere moments after the original indices have been built.
 

rabaker07

Reputable
Oct 2, 2014
61
0
4,640
2
So I disabled the search indexing on all drives and attempted to find a movie that I had just seen in search results 5 minutes ago, and it won't come up. So I guess I do need some indexing. Granted, I do have a number of old HDDs that I use for storage (~5+TB) so that may be the issue. I tried both the Start Menu search as well as the File Explorer search. Both came up with zilch (well, File Explorer is still trying after 5 minutes.)

I really need to upgrade and grab a new SSD or M.2 drive as I realize I only have my OS on a 250gb SSD... It is Prime Day, after all. ;)

I'll give Everything Search a gander. Thanks!
 

rabaker07

Reputable
Oct 2, 2014
61
0
4,640
2
Holy Smokes! Everything Search is amazing. It indexed all 5 terabytes in seconds. And it basically just parses everything and gives you every result that matches. (I'm sure filters can improve relevance).

Why does Windows take so very long to index, and still doesn't work very well? Even the File Explorer search is complete garbage compared to this tiny application that worked almost instantly. (I'm still waiting 10 minutes later for the term "Iron Man" to give ANY result at all in File Explorer, whereas ES gave me 109 results in 3 seconds). Are we sure that Microsoft should be handling our OS needs? I can't complain too much but I'm sure if a modern and nimble company created an OS, it would be light years ahead... just sayin...
 

rabaker07

Reputable
Oct 2, 2014
61
0
4,640
2
Too bad Everything Search couldn't be placed as an open field on the task bar. Or a widget of some sort. Or allow windows to use their service in place of the crappy start menu search...
 

rabaker07

Reputable
Oct 2, 2014
61
0
4,640
2
Alright, I pinned Everything Search to the task bar and that works great. Same amount of clicks as the start menu search. Thanks again both for the advice. I still may add my HDDs to the indexer just to have that as an option. I'm guessing the performance impact is only on the initial index and then the incremental doesn't really affect anything. They even pause it when comp is in use. I'll just have to keep an eye on task manager cause I could swear I've seen search use up a lot of resources in the past. Again, Windows odd way of doing things.
 

britechguy

Prominent
Jul 2, 2019
761
100
640
20
I set up Everything to run when Windows starts, so I always have an icon in the system tray (overflow area, since I don't keep it constantly visible). You can even change settings such that you don't have to right click and select showing the Everything search window, but that just a straight click will do that.

You also need to remember that Everything can be (and is) much faster since it only needs to build an index using the volume table of contents for file names, which are part of the file system itself (or file systems themselves).

Windows Search indexes both file names (fast) and file contents (very slow for first build of that utterly massive index - by comparison).

I haven't yet played with Windows Search in 1903, and certain things have been separated from Cortana that were not in all earlier versions. I don't really feel pressed to do so, either, since the current arrangement I have using Everything Search suits me to a T.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS