Search for environment variables return no results

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  1. Posts : 4
    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 Computer

  2. Posts : 4,566
    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 Computer

  3. Posts : 6,285
    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 Computer

  4. Posts : 4
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64
    Thread Starter

    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 Computer

  5. Posts : 6,285
    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 Computer

  6. Posts : 4
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64
    Thread Starter

    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 Computer

  7. Posts : 6,285
    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 Computer

  8. Posts : 6,458
    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 Computer

  9. Posts : 25,847
    Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

    I use this %appdata% and get roaming. Tick on it and I get all kinds of programs.
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 6,458
    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.

      My Computer

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