How to Configure Indexing Options on Windows 11

How to Configure Indexing Options on Windows 11

What to do when you need to access a file/folder/app but feel too lazy to browse through the storage on your computer? Enter Windows Search to the rescue. Windows Search Index provides search results quickly by looking for a file or app or setting from within predefined areas. Windows operating system automatically rebuilds its index and updates it regularly when you add a new location so that Windows can show new files from this updated index. Today, we will discuss how to configure & rebuild Indexing Options on Windows 11 manually.

How to Configure Indexing Options on Windows 11

How to Configure Indexing Options on Windows 11

Windows Search Index offers two modes: Classic & Enhanced. Now, when you switch the Windows Search Index modes, the index gets rebuilt. This ensures you get the results you are looking for after the index is rebuilt. Read here to learn more about Windows Search Overview.

  • By default, Windows indexes and returns search results using Classic indexing. It will index data in user profile folders such as Documents, Pictures, Music, and the Desktop. To include more content, users can use the Classic indexing option to add additional locations as explained later on in this guide.
  • By default, the Enhanced indexing option indexes all items stored on your computer. However, selecting the Enhanced indexing options may increase battery drainage and CPU usage. Because of this reason, it is recommended that you plug your computer into a power source.

How to Switch Between Indexing Modes

Follow the steps listed below to configure search indexing options in Windows 11:

1. Hit Windows + I keys simultaneously to open Settings.

2. Click on Privacy & Security in the left pane.

3. Scroll down to Searching Windows and click on it, as shown.

click on Privacy and security and select Searching Windows option

4. Click on Enhanced under Find my files in the Searching Windows section

select Enhanced option in the Find my files section. How to Change Indexing Options on Windows 11

Note: If you want to switch back to Classic indexing mode, just click on Classic under Find my files.

Also Read: How to Change Desktop Icons on Windows 11

How to Change Search Indexing Options in Windows 11

In case you are not getting proper results, you need to update the index manually to allow the index to pick up the changes made and new files added. Follow the steps mentioned below to change indexing options in Windows 11:

1. Click on the Search icon and type Indexing Options. Then, click on Open as shown.

type indexing options in the search bar and click on Open

2. Click on the Modify button in the Indexing Options window.

click on Modify button in the Indexing Options window

3. Check all the location paths you want to be indexed in the Indexed Location dialog box.

Note: You can click on the Show all location button if the directory you want to add is not visible in the list.

4. Finally, click on OK, as shown.

check all the locations and click on OK or select show all locations button find particular location path in Indexing Options

Also Read: How to Disable Online Search from Start Menu in Windows 11

How to Rebuild Search Indexing

To rebuild Windows Search Index, follow these instructions:

1. Navigate to Windows Settings > Privacy & security > Searching Windows menu as earlier.

click on Privacy and security and select Searching Windows option

2. Scroll down and click on Advanced indexing options under Related settings, as depicted below.

click on Advanced indexing options in the Related Settings section

3. Click on Advanced in the newly opened Indexing Options window.

click on Advanced button in the Indexing Options dialog box. How to Change Indexing Options on Windows 11

4. In the Index Settings tab of the Advanced Options window, click on the Rebuild button, shown highlighted, under Troubleshooting head.

click on Rebuild button in the Advanced Option dialog box

5. Finally, click on OK in the confirmation dialog box to Rebuild Index.

Note: This may take some time depending on the size of the index and the speed of your PC. You can pause the index rebuilding process by clicking the Pause button. You can see the Progress of Index rebuilding on the Settings page. 

click on OK in the Rebuild Index Confirmation prompt. How to Change Indexing Options on Windows 11

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We hope this article would help you out on how to configure & rebuild Search Indexing Options on Windows 11. We love getting your suggestions and questions so you can go down in the comment section and let us know!

Posted by
Pete Mitchell

Pete is a Senior staff writer at TechCult. Pete loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has a decade of experience writing how-tos, features, and technology guides on the internet.

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