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How to search other drives from Windows search on Windows 10

Windows search, by default, only searches the C drive or whichever drive it is you’ve installed Windows 10 on. It’s not a bad feature if it works and to have it extend to other drives on your system can make it all the more useful. Of course, out of the box this doesn’t happen so here’s how you can search other drives from Windows search.

We should mention that when you first add an entire drive to the Windows index, it may slow down while the files are indexed.

Index other drives

In Windows search type in ‘Indexing Options’ and tap the Control Panel result.

Click the Modify button and a new window will open. All the other drives, internal and external, will be listed in this window. You can select an entire drive or, if you’d just like to index certain folders on a different drive, you can expand it and select the folder(s) you want to index. Click Ok.

When you first add a new location, the Indexing Options will show you a message ‘Indexing speed is reduced due to user activity’. This will be temporary. With the addition of the new locations, it will take some time to index all the files. Once the files have been indexed, everything will be back to normal.

Enhanced search

Windows 10 has two different search modes; Classic, and Enhanced. Enhanced search will search for more than the default locations and if you enable it, it will indeed search your entire PC.

To enable it, open the Settings app and go to the Search group of settings. If you’re on an older version of Windows 10, you might need to go to the Cortana group of settings.

In the Search group of settings, select the ‘Searching Windows’ tab. Under ‘Find My Files’ select the Enhanced option.

Excluding locations

You can add entire drives, or select locations to the Windows search index however, it’s not unlikely that you may want to exclude certain locations while still indexing everything else.

To exclude certain folders, you can go through both the indexing options and the Searching Windows tab in the Settings app.

Under Indexing Options, expand the drive you want to add to the index and uncheck the folders you want to exclude.

In the Settings app, go to Search>Searching Windows. Scroll down and click the ‘Add an excluded folder’ button. Select the folder you want to exclude and it won’t be indexed/searchable.

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