We all know that Windows ships with a robust search engine and how it can be used to find apps, search the Windows Store, get results from the web, find files on the PC, and perform basic calculations. But did you know that you can configure Windows 10’s search to search through file contents?
Searching through file contents
Most PC users are under the impression that Windows 10 can’t search through file contents and only the Microsoft Office is capable of doing it. But the truth is you can search file contents using Start menu search. And if you’re wondering why you are unable to search file contents, it’s because the ability to search for texts inside files is turned off by default.
And before we tell you how to configure Windows 10’s search to index file contents, you need to know a two things. First, while it’s easier to configure the search to index file and file contents, Windows 10 might not be able to find file content that you’re searching for as fast as it does the job when you search for apps or files. Of course, this entirely depends on how many documents are there on your PC and in most cases, you won’t see any delay.
Second, in order to configure Windows 10 to search through file contents, you need to rebuild the search index, and it might take hours depending on the number of files. When the rebuilding is in progress, the search might not work properly.
Configuring Windows 10 to search through file contents
If you are ready to take the plunge, follow the given below directions to make Windows 10 search file contents so it can search through files contents for you.
Step 1: Type Indexing Options in Start menu or taskbar search box and press Enter key to open Indexing Options dialog. If you’re unable to launch Indexing Options this way, open Control Panel, change View by to Small icons, and then click Indexing Options.
Step 2: Once Indexing Options launched, click Advanced button to open Advanced Options.
Step 3: Switch to File Types tab. Here, under How should this file be indexed, select the second option titled Index Properties and File Contents.
Step 4: Finally, click OK button. You will get a dialog with “Rebuilding the index might take a long time to complete. Some views and search results might be incomplete until rebuilding is finished” message. Click OK button to continue rebuild the Windows 10 search and index file contents.
Once the rebuilding is done (might take hours), you should be able to search file contents right from the search box, as shown in the screen shot at the beginning of this article.
Important: Even after enabling and configuring Windows 10 to search for file contents, you might not see results from contents when you perform a search from the Start menu or taskbar search box. On the results menu, click My stuff button (located at the bottom) to view document(s) with the content you’re searching for.
And if you’re feeling that the Start menu opens slower on Windows 10, please go through our how to make the Windows 10 Start menu open faster guide.