Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Search for environment variables return no results

15 Jun 2014   #1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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 System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2014   #10

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 System SpecsSystem Spec

 Search for environment variables return no results

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Environment Variables
Hi I set up a User defined Enviro. Var. called GomFolder to be C:\Users|Damo\MyDocuments\NinjaTrader 7 See the attached clip 2015-01-23_1242 - Judge101010's library My understanding is that this should set up a folder called GomFolder in the NinjaTrader 7 folder. Is this correct? If...
General Discussion
Windows 7 Environment variables
Is there an Environment variable that can tell me where the Documents folder is located? Typically, the Documents folder is located in C:\Users\username\Documents. I am creating a batch file to copy 1 file from a remote location (another computer in the network) to the Documents folder. Since...
General Discussion
What are Environment Variables in Computer?
Hey, Can anyone explain are environment variables are within the Advanced System Settings of Computer? I've had to create a new environment variable for a Java complier, and I was just wondering what exactly are environment variables are and why are they used? Thanks, Harry P.S I've...
General Discussion
How to search in win7 and return only file name results
I want to know how to search for ~????? and have the results returned be those of only file names.
General Discussion

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 14:17.
Twitter Facebook Google+