The search experience in Windows 10 was revamped with the May 2019 Update, which separated it from the Cortana assistant interface. Microsoft also improved search as part of this update, offering a new “enhanced” option that is more successful at discovering files.
The taskbar search bar used to only search for files on your desktop and in your libraries. The new improved mode allows you to search all of the files on your device, regardless of their location. This means that search is more likely to return a result, particularly if you store files in unusual places.
Because enhanced search has a considerably greater scope, you may notice a little decrease in speed and battery life when a large number of new files are indexed. However, if you use search frequently, the advantages of the new system should exceed the few drawbacks.
Enabling Enhanced Search
Open the Settings app (Win + I keyboard shortcut) and then choose the new “Search” category to enable Enhanced search. From the left sidebar, select the “Searching Windows” page. Then, under “Find My Files,” select the “Enhanced” radio button option.
The enhanced search feature will now be enabled. If you’re using it for the first time, Windows will begin indexing your files. Under the “Indexing Status” heading, you may keep track of the progress.
It’s possible that indexing will take a lengthy time, particularly on low-end devices. If you’re using battery power, the process will automatically pause. Some files may not appear in search results until the index is complete, so connect your device to power and wait for the procedure to complete.
Excluding folders from Search
Using the “Add an excluded folder” button further down the Searching Windows page, you can prevent folders from appearing in searches. Use the filepicker to find the folder you want to exclude. Any files in the directory will be removed from the index, so you won’t be able to find them in a search.
In general, all root directories that don’t contain your own files should be excluded. By default, some areas are excluded, such as the Windows system directory, because you’re unlikely to search them. Excluding folders that solely contain system files shrinks the index and increases efficiency, so take the time to blacklist any places you’ll never need to search.
After you’ve completed the configuration and created the index, use Win + S to search all of the indexed files on your computer. When compared to prior Windows 10 releases’ libraries-only search, you should see a lot more results.