How to include system files in the search index of Windows 7

By default, the search index in Windows 7 doesn’t include system files – even when you add the system drive root to the index. This is a good thing for non-power users, but if you’re a techie, you might be looking for those system files. Here’s how to change that behavior and make sure you get the results you want:

  1. In Windows Explorer, click Tools | Folder Options
  2. Click the Search tab
  3. Click “include system directories” under the section “When searching non- indexed locations.”
  4. Under “How to Search,” check the option “Don’t use the index when searching in file folders for system files (searches might take longer)”

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