Windows 8: How to Index Files

Windows 8: How to Index Files

By tuning the various components of the Windows 8 index service you can speed up file searches in Microsoft's next-gen operating system.

Investigating how indexing works may also resolve the question: Is indexing really slowing down my computer?

If you press the WinKey +w, and then type 'index,' you will see the 'Indexing Options' icon in the results column to the left. Alternatively, you could start typing 'I n d' at the Metro Interface.

Windows 8 Indexing OptionsWindows 8 Indexing OptionsIndexing Decisions and Strategies

Which folders do you want to index? Your document library locations are usually indexed by default. However, if you store data files at other locations then I would click on the 'Modify' button and tweak the Windows 8 Indexer's to-do list.

An alternative strategy is to add more locations to your 'Libraries,' my reasoning is that your library locations are indexed by default. If you like this tip then right click a folder of text files and 'Include in Library' --> Documents.

Which folders don't you need to index? The key principle is don't mindlessly select 'Index all files', because this really will put an unnecessary burden on the CPU; instead actively choose folders that you regularly search. For instance, I would not bother to include the Window system files, but I would index a local copy of my Web site.

Decide if there is benefit in excluding files, for example temporary files. While there is no 'Exclude' button, you can just expand a folder and remove the tick next to the unneeded sub-folder.

Advanced Windows 8 Indexing OptionsAdvanced Windows 8 Indexing OptionsTip: If the Windows 8 Indexer / Search hangs, then exclude folders containing downloads, video or any files that are in-use, or could be temporarily corrupted.

Index File Properties, and File Content, (or Index Properties Only). Give thought to the Windows 8 indexing process. For a particular file type ask the question, 'Do I need to index the CONTENT of the files, or would indexing properties such as name, author and date be sufficient?'

Click on the Advanced tab, then File Types, now decide how to index text-rich types such as .doc. Your options are Index Properties Only, or additionally, index the file contents.

Index Tactics - Another Drive?

Once again seek the Advanced button from the front page of the Window 8 Indexing Options, but this time stay on the Index Settings tab, to change the position of the index file itself, now click on 'New Location'. This tactic works best if you have the luxury of a second disk.

Guy ThomasGuy ThomasGuy Thomas is a computer consultant and writer with attitude and a great sense of humor.