Without having to install a third-party search tool, knowing how to enable Enhanced search mode in Windows 10 makes it faster and easier to find files on your PC.
Windows 10’s default search mode is “Classic,” which only searches your desktop and libraries like your Documents, Pictures, and Music folders. Although this may be sufficient for some users, Windows power users are more likely to have important data stored elsewhere on their hard drive (s).
In contrast, enhanced search mode allows you to search your entire PC from the Windows search box. It indexes all of the folders on your computer, but you can choose to exclude or include specific folders.
Be aware that indexing can take some time and may increase the power consumption of your system. You can still use your computer while it’s indexing, but the indexing speed will be slower. Additionally, the initial indexing of Enhanced search mode requires your laptop to be plugged into the wall to save battery life.
We’ll show you how to enable Enhanced search mode in Windows 10 for more thorough and accurate searches, as well as how to customize the feature to meet your specific needs.
How to enable Enhanced search mode in Windows 10
1. Open the Windows 10 Settings app by pressing the Windows key + I on your keyboard or by clicking the Start button and selecting the Settings gear icon.
Click the Search category when the Settings window appears.
2. On the next screen, go to the left-hand menu and select “Searching Windows.” Change the “Find My Files” setting from “Classic” to “Enhanced” in the “Find My Files” section.
3. The Enhanced search mode in Windows 10 will now begin indexing all of your system’s drives, folders, and files.
In the “Indexing Status” section, you can see how many items have been indexed and how many are still pending.
4. You can speed up the indexing of Enhanced search mode by excluding specific folders from the scan. Select a folder to ignore by clicking “Add an excluded folder.”
Enhanced search automatically excludes several system folders, including C:\Program Files, C:\Windows, and C:\Users\[username]\AppData. If you want to include any of these in searches, select it and choose “Remove excluded folder.”
5. Alternatively, you can specify which folders to index in Enhanced search mode.
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Then, in the Indexing Options box that appears, click the Modify button under “Advanced Search Indexer Settings.”
To confirm, select all of the folders you want to include in searches and click OK.
6. You can also exclude specific file types from indexing in the Enhanced search mode. In the Indexing Options box, click the Advanced button, then the “File Types” tab. Remove any file types that you don’t want to appear in Windows search results by deselecting them.
Select a file type and click “Index Properties and File Contents” to index the contents of files as well as their names (which will take longer for Enhanced search).
7. Finally, if you run into any issues with Enhanced search mode, such as incorrect results, you can delete the index and start over.
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In the Troubleshooting section, click Rebuild under the “Index Settings” tab of the Advanced Options box. You can also change the index file’s location.
If the Enhanced search mode returns too many results for your search queries, simply switch back to Classic mode using the “Searching Windows” settings mentioned in step 2.