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Windows 7: Index Location - Change

Index Location - Change

How to Change the Default Index Location in Windows 7 and Windows 8
Published by Brink
18 Jul 2009
Default Index Location - Change

How to Change the Default Index Location in Windows 7 and Windows 8

information   Information
The Index keeps track of the files on your computer and stores information about the files, including the file name, date modified, and properties like author, tags, and rating. The index is used to make searching for files in Windows much faster. Instead of looking through your entire hard disk for a file name or file property, Windows scans the index, which allows most results to appear in a small fraction of the time that a search without the index would take.

This tutorial will help show you how to change the default index location to be saved where you like in Windows 7 and Windows 8.

You must be logged in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.

Note   Note
The default Search index storage location is in the hidden system folder C:\ProgramData\Microsoft with the full path of:


To Change Index Location in Indexing Options
1. Open the Control Panel (icons view) in Windows 7 or Windows 8, and click/tap on the Indexing Options icon.

2. Click/tap on the Advanced button. (See screenshot below)
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3. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes.

4. In the Index location box, click/tap on the Select new button. (See screenshot below)
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5. Select the drive or folder that you want to store the index in, and click/tap on OK. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: When you change the index location, you should choose a location on a non-removable hard disk that is formatted using the NTFS file system.
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6. Click/tap on OK. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: Notice the new location that you selected should now be listed.
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7. The Windows Search service will now automatically be restarted, and the change will not go into effect until the restart is complete. It should only take a short bit.
NOTE: You will notice the mouse pointer displaying the busy spinning circle over the Indexing Options windows until it is finished.

8. When it's finished, click/tap on Close. (See screenshot below)

To Change Index Location in Registry Editor
1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog, type regedit, and click/tap on OK.

2. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes.

3. In Registry Editor, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below)

Index Location - Change-index_location_registry-1.png
4. In the right pane of Windows Search, double click/tap on the DataDirectory string value to modify it. (see screenshot above)

5. Type in the full path of the location (ex: E:\Microsoft) you want the index to be saved at, add \Search\Data\ to the end of your path, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

Note   Note
Substitute (your location full path) in the path to be the full path of any location you want to have the index saved to.

The index will always be saved into a Search\Data folder in whatever location you specify, and why it needs to be included below.

(your location full path)\Search\Data\

For example: If I wanted to change the index location to be in a Microsoft folder on my E: drive (E:\Microsoft), I would type this below exactly.

Default Index Location: %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Search\Data\

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6. Close Registry Editor, and restart the computer to fully apply.

That's it,

Published by
23 Feb 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home premium x64

In registry it should be located in:


But I'm not really sure about this. It is very useful for deployment and ssd maximum life settings, if you need the service to index other normal HDDs

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2014   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise

Hello stsaerox,

Yep, the DataDirectory string value in that registry key is what holds the path of the index. I'll add this to the tutorial shortly with full details.

(your path)\Search\Data\

Ok. All added to tutorial.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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