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: Index - Rebuild

Index - Rebuild

How to Rebuild the Index in Windows 7 and Windows 8
Published by Brink
23 Jul 2009
Published by

How to Rebuild the Index 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.

If the index cannot find a file in it's seach results that you know exists or not exists in an indexed location, then this will show you how to manually rebuild and update the index to have accurate search results from changes to the included locations since the last rebuild or update.

Note   Note
The index will often run (indexing) automatically in the background to rebuild and update for changes made to the included index locations since the last index rebuild to increase search result accuracy.

By defaut, the indexing speed is reduced due to user activity. If the computer is running idle, then the indexing speed will be at full speed instead to finish indexing faster.

warning   Warning
Rebuilding the index can take several hours, and searches might be incomplete until the index is fully rebuilt.

Here's How:
1. Open the Control Panel (icons view) in Windows 7 or Windows 8, and click/tap on Indexing Options icon.

2. Click/tap on the Advanced button. (See screenshot below)
Index - Rebuild-step1.jpg
3. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes.

4. Click/tap on the Rebuild button. (See screenshot below)
Index - Rebuild-step2.jpg
5. Click/tap on OK. (See screenshot below)
Index - Rebuild-step3.jpg
6. After a moment, you will notice the index being rebuilt. Click/tap on Close. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: When the index is finished being rebuilt, you will see Indexing complete.
Index - Rebuild-step4.jpgIndex - Rebuild-finished.jpg
That's it,

15 Aug 2009   #1

Vista Ultimate 64bit

Hi Shawn

In Vista there was a button in the Indexing Advanced Settings to "Restore Defaults" which would restore your index to it's original settings.

This option seems to be missing from the W7 settings? Do you know of any other way to restore the default settings in W7?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Aug 2009   #2

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello RJV,

Yeah, the restore defaults option for the Index is no longer available. However, all of the Index tutorials here (see also related links) have the default settings in the screenshots to help restore them manually if needed.

Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2010   #3

Wondows 7 Home Premium

Hello everybody.
Recently my index has been corrupted and I had to rebuild it. I have noticed that the Index Option window, after incresing the item counter for a while (up to 1400 or so) seems to stop, showing the message "Indexing Complete". Thus I closed it but soon discovered that the indexing was not done at all.
Starting again I have seen that the item counter does not update continuously and automatically but only if I start an application (e.g. Outlook), use it for a while and then return to the indexing. In this case the message 'Indexing speed reduced' appears and the counter jump to a higher number.
The fact that no advancement bar, nor other icons are shown to indicate the indexing progress, is dangerously misguiding!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Oct 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

I had a problem with the Windows Search function - it produced no results at all, not even at the Start-button.
The Troubleshooter gave the message: : Indexing not running.
The Indexing Locations were greyed out, there were no indexing locations specified and it was not possible to add a location.
So the official method to rebuild the index as explained above was not possible.

In "Services" where I tried to start Windows Search service, it started and stopped right away, giving the message: The Windows Search service on local computer started and then stopped. Some services stop automatically if they are not in use by other services or programs"

I have been googling for days and I finally found how to fix this / rebuild the index if you get the message "indexing is not running" or you get search results that look corrupted:

Essential first step: disable Window Search service (not stop, but disable, otherwise Windows Search keeps running and will interfere with/block your actions).
Delete all files in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows
Delete all files in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Temp
(these are hidden files, so be sure that hidden files are made visible)
Start Window Search service (delayed start).
(I'm not sure if the last reboots are really necessary, but I did it just in case).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2013   #5

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
Windows Updates empties contents of my index GRR

um... hi Shawn.

This has been happening for over a year now. I am assiduous about keeping my Windows Updates up to date. But the next time I go to search for something I find the contents of the index to be 0... nothing indexed and so I have to rebuild from scratch.

I use the search feature a LOT and this is so annoying... cannot determine why this happens after every set of Windows Updates.... any idea?

btw I scan clean; am running Microsoft Security Essentials and MBAM (both updated and run daily).

thanks in advance :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2013   #6

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Bootsmom,

I must admit that I'm not sure why Windows Updates would reset your index causing you to have to rebuild it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2013   #7

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

rats !! well thanks for your time... just have to keep digging I guess :)

Merry Christmas to you and yourn.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2013   #8

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Merry Christmas to you and your family as well. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2014   #9

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

Hi again Shawn. I do believe I've found the problem: saw it online somewhere. I use CCleaner regularly, and on the applications tab down at the bottom in the "Windows" section, I removed the checkmark for "MS Search". Apparently that will now stop wiping out my index.... "we hope". I shall report back in a couple weeks, see if it did !
My System SpecsSystem Spec

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Why is Rebuild Search Index ridiculously slow?
Hi, I have a SONY VAIO laptop, 64 bit. I recently did a factory reset, so it's a clean install. But after doing the factory reset, Outlook mails stopped showing up in search results, so I decided to rebuild the search index (Indexing options > Advanced options > Rebuild). However,...
Performance & Maintenance
index rebuild...anyone know how to speed up
Have seen countless reports on forums of how slow the Windows index takes to build/rebuild in W7. Been trying for over a week. I let the first one run for several days and it was barely moving. I never shut the pc off (new ASUS PC). My old HP running windows XP pro had the same slow issue. ...
General Discussion
A Rebuild Gone Bad
So I've been working on rebuilding my computer since September, I finally got it finished, worked fine yesterday. I bought a new monitor and the OS started to boot up then it froze. I restarted and nothing happened. I tried a different monitor that worked yesterday and nothing still happened. ...
BSOD Help and Support
Windows 7 wont rebuild my index
Hi All, Let me inform you first about what ive already tried: 1. Changed indexing folder 2. Rebuilding 3. Googleing 4. Searching this forum 5. Restarted Windows Search service 6. Removed shareing for Users folder
Performance & Maintenance
rebuild of OEM/HP
Well I finally committed to a buy of new mobo, CPU, CPU cooler and case to repair my fried mobo of my OEM HP desktop. It's only been 2 and half months.....deciding on upgrade mobo then old ram isn't going to work.....and on an So I just committed to replace the original parts with the...
Chillout Room

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 08:18.
Twitter Facebook