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

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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


 

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