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How To Rebuild The Search Index In Windows 7 / Vista

When you perform a search in Windows 7 or Vista, files that were deleted earlier may show up in Search results because the Indexing Service needs to update its records. The time frame may vary from one system to the other. In case search still continues to show deleted files, or if it does not show files that exist in the system, the indexing service may be out of date. It maintains an index of your computer’s files in order to make searches faster. If you do a search for a specific file and it doesn’t show up, your index may need to be rebuilt.

Go to Start > Control Panel.

control panel

Click on System and Maintenance category, under the Indexing Options category, click Change how Windows searches as shown in the screenshot below,


Click the Advanced button


Now to rebuild your index, click the Rebuild button. The number of indexed items will reset to zero, and Windows will begin to rebuild your index.


The rebuild process may take several hours to complete on some computers so please be patient!


  1. Okay…I have the same issue as a previous Vista user had and this ‘rebuild’ process helped him so I’m being rebuilt as I type. Hope this works because one .lnk file has had me in a tizzy for nearly a week now. I bookmarked this page for future references and if this works, I’m naming my private island after you Asad, if I ever win the lottery. 😉

  2. Why do I have to do this every freaking day? It takes up my entire workday and I can’t get actual work done! Any ideas?

  3. Thanks for this! It put me on the right path but didn’t work – until I noticed that my C: Drive was not included in the locations to be indexed! Click on Show All Locations and make sure the necessary ones are all ticked. Where would we be without this network of support …

  4. Windows 7 ba-lows! And so does Microsoft for that matter. Can somebody please make a pc that actually works. Gee, maybe I should get a Mac…

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