How to: Rebuilding your search index in Windows 10

Kellogg Brengel

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How to: Rebuilding your search index in Windows 10

Before Windows 10 Build 10122 was released yesterday to the fast ring of the Windows Insiders, Gabriel Aul, Engineering General Manager for Microsoft’s Operating System Group, said that this particular build is “buttery smooth” and a “nice improvement” from Build 10074.

As I’ve casually used it over the past day I have found it to be an impressively stable build compared to previous ones, especially the apps and menus are much smoother, so far. However it is important to remember that it is a preview and you should expect things to go wrong occasionally, if not frustratingly too often. This build is meant to help test and uncover what could be wrong in order to strengthen the development process of the software, not to serve as a normal daily use OS.

One thing that can go wrong is Windows 10 search function returns broken results that lead to nowhere or to the wrong place on your PC. One of the nice features of Windows 10 is having a powerful search option to reliably navigate your PC. If you find this not to be the case you can try rebuilding your PC’s search index in a few easy steps.

Important note before rebuilding: While the steps to initiate the rebuilding process are simple and quick, the actual process you are initiating can take quite some time depending on how much data Windows has to index. Before the process begins consuming resources, Windows will alert you that, “Rebuilding the index might take a long time to complete. Some views and search results might be incomplete until rebuilding is finished.”

The easiest first thing to do would be typing “indexing options” into the search bar and selecting the top result…. but of course this is a guide for fixing a broken search function. In the case it is somewhat working and does return a link to Indexing Options, skip ahead to Step 3. Otherwise go to step 1.

Step 1

Right click the Start Menu and select Control Panel. Indexing Options has not made its way to the new Universal App for Settings and still resides in the traditional Control Panel.

How to: Rebuilding your search index in Windows 10

Step 2

From the Control Panel window select Indexing Options as indicated by the larger of the two arrows. Note: On the following screenshot the control panel is organized by large icons, not category. To switch between how the window is organized click the view by options in the top right of the window as indicated by the smaller of the two arrows.

How to: Rebuilding your search index in Windows 10

Step 3

From the Indexing Options dialogue box , click the Advanced button. Note: access to this option requires the PC administrator’s permissions.

How to: Rebuilding your search index in Windows 10

Step 4

From the Advanced dialogue box, select Rebuild. Selecting Rebuild will begin the process of deleting and then rebuilding your PC’s search index, remember this is a time consuming process.

How to: Rebuilding your search index in Windows 10

That’s it to the process. Once it is done you will have a freshly rebuilt search index so you can keep easily navigating Windows 10 right from your search bar.