Privacy and Security Add or Remove Search Index Locations in Windows 11


  • Staff
Search_index_locations.png

Indexing the content of your PC helps you get faster results when your searching it for files, emails, or other local content.

The search index only includes your selected locations[/B] by default. These locations can be filtered for what file types (extensions), file properties, and file contents you want indexed.

You can choose to use Classic or Enhanced search indexing mode for where your PC will search for files.
  • Classic = Search only your Documents, Pictures, and Music folders plus the desktop.
  • Enhanced = Search your entire PC (may affect battery life and CPU consumption). PC must be plugged in for initial indexing.
This tutorial will show you how to add or remove locations to be excluded or included in the search index in Windows 11.


If you select a removable media (ex: USB flash drive) location to be included in the index, it will only be included while the removable media is connected. If you disconnect the removable media, it will automatically be included in the index the next time it is reconnected.

The index will not include search results from any drive or partition with the A and B drive letter, even if you add their location to the index. This is because the A and B drive letters are reserved for floppy drives. Since a floppy drive is considered to be a removable device, it will not be indexed. Even if this is a hard drive you assigned with the A or B drive letter, it will still be treated the same.



Contents

  • Option One: Add or Remove Excluded Locations for Enhanced Search Index in Settings
  • Option Two: Add or Remove Excluded and Included Locations for Search Index in Indexing Options





OPTION ONE

Add or Remove Excluded Locations for Enhanced Search Index in Settings


You must be signed in as an administrator to use this option.

This option is only applied to enhanced search for all users.


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on Privacy & security on the left side, and click/tap on Searching Windows on the right side. (see screenshot below)

Exclude_search_index_locations_Settings-1.png

3 Do step 4 (add) or step 5 (remove) below for what you want.


4 Add Excluded Folder or Drive

A) Click/tap on the Add an excluded folder button under Exclude folders from enhanced search. (see screenshot below)​

Exclude_search_index_locations_Settings-2.png

B) Navigate to and select the folder or drive you want to exclude, and click/tap on Select Folder. (see screenshot below)​

C) When finished added excluded locations, go to step 6 below.​

Exclude_search_index_locations_Settings-3.png


5 Remove Excluded Folder or Drive

A) Click/tap on the 3 dots button to the right of the excluded folder or drive you want to remove. (see screenshot below)​

B) Click/tap on Remove. (see screenshot below)​

C) When finished removing excluded locations, go to step 6 below.​

Exclude_search_index_locations_Settings-4.png

6 You can now close Settings if you like.





OPTION TWO

Add or Remove Excluded and Included Locations for Search Index in Indexing Options


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on Privacy & security on the left side, and click/tap on Searching Windows on the right side. (see screenshot below)

Exclude_search_index_locations_Settings-1.png

3 Click/tap on Advanced indexing options under Related settings. (see screenshot below)

Index_Options-a.png

4 You can now close Settings if you like.

5 Click/tap on Modify. (see screenshot below)

Index_Options-1.png

6 If you want to apply to all users, click/tap on Show all locations. (see screenshot below)

You must be signed in as an administrator to Show all locations.

If you do not click/tap on Show all locations, this will only be applied to the current user.


Index_Options-2.png

7 Perform the following actions to include and exclude locations: (see screenshot below)
  1. Uncheck folder(s) and drive(s) locations you do not want included in the search index.
  2. Check folder(s) and drive(s) locations you want to include in the search index.
  3. Uncheck subfolders(s) under a checked folder location to exclude the unchecked subfolder(s).
  4. Click/tap on OK when finished.
Index_Options-3.png

8 Click/tap on Close. (see screenshot below)

Index_Options-4.png


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

Attachments

  • Search_locations.png
    Search_locations.png
    5.5 KB · Views: 29
Last edited:

SM03

Active member
VIP
Local time
1:08 AM
Posts
27
OS
Windows 11 Pro Latest Retail Build
@Brink is there any way to make it via reg settings option to add indexing location/drive permanently via reg file inserting into the iso so that user don't have to do that manually after clean install?
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro Latest Retail Build
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Assembled Intel 2nd Gen (Sandy Bridge) based Desktop PC
    CPU
    i5-2500K 2nd Gen
    Motherboard
    Intel DH67BL
    Memory
    Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600Mhz Dual Channel 8GBx2=16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Integrated HD 3000
    Sound Card
    Motherboard Realtek ALC Codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    AOC 24 Inch LED
    Screen Resolution
    1920*1080 FHD @60Hz
    Hard Drives
    1. SSD: WD Green 120GB SATA
    2. HDD: WD BLUE 1TB 7200 RPM
    PSU
    Cooler Master Extreme 600W
    Case
    Gigabyte C200
    Cooling
    5 Arctic Chassis Fans (120mm+240mm)
    Keyboard
    Logitech K295 Wireless M&K Combo
    Mouse
    Logitech K295 Wireless M&K Combo
    Internet Speed
    60Mbps Fiber Broadband
    Browser
    Chrome+Firefox (Latest always)
    Antivirus
    Eset Internet Security (Latest always)
    Other Info
    Old Desktop
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro Latest Build
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Assembled Intel latest Alder Lake (12th Gen) based Desktop PC
    CPU
    Intel 12th Gen i5-12400
    Motherboard
    ASUS TUF GAMING B660M Plus WiFi D4
    Memory
    Corsair Vengence LPX DDR4 3200Mhz Dual Channel 16GBx2=32 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5X OC Edition
    Sound Card
    Motherboard Realtek ALC Codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Sony 32" LED
    Screen Resolution
    1920*1080 FHD @60Hz
    Hard Drives
    1. SSD: Samsung M.2 NVME 950 500GB
    2. HDD: Seagate 2TB + 4TB 5400 RPM drives
    PSU
    Cooler Master MWE V2 650W Gold Fully Modular
    Case
    Cooler Master MasterBox MB540 ARGB
    Cooling
    5 Arctic Chassis Fans (120mm+240mm)+AIO
    Mouse
    Logitech M235 Wireless Mouse
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless Keyboard
    Internet Speed
    60 Mbps Optical Fiber Broadband
    Browser
    Google+Firefox (Latest)
    Antivirus
    Eset Internet Security (Latest)
    Other Info
    Newly Build PC

Brink

Administrator
Staff member
MVP
Thread Starter
Local time
2:38 PM
Posts
3,770
OS
Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
@Brink is there any way to make it via reg settings option to add indexing location/drive permanently via reg file inserting into the iso so that user don't have to do that manually after clean install?
I'm not aware of a way so far. :(
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
Top Bottom