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Windows 7: Search for environment variables return no results

15 Jun 2014   #1
herman

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Search for environment variables return no results

Hi all,

I am a new guy on this forum.
I have been using this forum as a resource for many years (going back to the XP and Vista days), there are tons of useful information here.
In all these years I never had a question for which I had to register and ask it to you guys.
Until now......

When I click the START button and type the name of an environment variable, e.g. %appdata%, there are no results displayed.
BUT when I just type %appdata% and hit RETURN the proper roaming folder is opened.
The same for %temp% and other environment variables.

It used to work on this machine, i.e. typing %appdata% showed the Roaming folder as a result.
It seems to me that the variables are still OK, they are just not displayed in the search window.

When I check the properties of the Roaming folder the Hidden flag is not set.

Any idea what can cause this?

Thanks for any pointers!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
15 Jun 2014   #2
andrew129260

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Welcome to seven forums

Problems with search can be usually fixed by rebuilding the index.

Index - Rebuild

I also suggest looking at these as well:

Index Locations - Add or Remove

Index - Add or Remove File Types
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2014   #3
Ztruker

Windows 10 Pro X64
 
 

I think it's a matter of substitution. Until %appdata% is substituted with it's definition, it's not going to be found. Pressing Enter tells the system to process the entry, it sees %appdata%, checks to see if it's a defined variable, substitutes the value C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming then passes it on. Search is not involved at that point, I think Explorer.exe is which is why the folder is opened.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Jun 2014   #4
herman

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks for the suggestions so far.

Rebuilding the search index did not help.
Search locations and file types are OK, I could compare these to my laptop (same OS, same file structure) and the settings are similar.
On my laptop the environment variables do show up in the search results, so the problem is apparently not in the settings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2014   #5
Ztruker

Windows 10 Pro X64
 
 

It works the same way with XP, Vista, 7 and 8.

Just discoverd this:

Search for environment variables return no results-searchw8.jpg

After you type the variable name, with % at each end, click on See more results right above it. That works as you want I think.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2014   #6
herman

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I wish it did ....

The image you show is what I used to get on my main PC (and what I still get on my laptop) when I just type %appdata%. The search produces results with every character you type and when the trailing % is typed it should show just the environment variable.
There should be no need to click "See more results".
Anyway, on my main PC the search results blank when I type the final %.
When I click "See more results" it returns a number of files which contain appdata in the body, but the Roaming folder is not returned.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2014   #7
Ztruker

Windows 10 Pro X64
 
 

Not returned for me either. I don't understand why it returns what it returns.

I never use the search in Win 8 or previously in win 7. I install Everything search and use that to find files or folders. It doesn't know anything about variables but is very good at finding files or folders.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2014   #8
Slartybart

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
 
 

You wouldn't have deleted your Libraries by any chance?

Regardless of the answer, try rebuilding the Libraries
Right click on Libraries on an Explorer navigation pane
Select..... Restore default Libraries.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2014   #9
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I use this %appdata% and get roaming. Tick on it and I get all kinds of programs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2014   #10
Slartybart

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
 
 

Is this only on the Start menu search or does it also behave that way if you type %appdata% in an Explorer search box?


Could you post a screen shot of the search properties
Explorer > Organize (upper left) > Folders and Search > Search tab

I think there's also a search properties tab on the taskbar, but I'm currently taking Win8 for a test drive and can't refresh my memory. If there is and it's different - please post both.

Bill
.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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