Rebuilding the Search Index

by Barry Dysert
(last updated February 3, 2014)

You may occasionally find yourself wanting to rebuild the search index (e.g., if it's very large and you remove a big chunk of indexes, or if it gets corrupt). To rebuild the search index, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows key. Windows displays the Start menu with the insertion point blinking in the Search box.
  2. Type "index" (without the quotes) and press Enter. Windows displays the Indexing Options dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Indexing Options dialog box.

  4. Click the Advanced button. Windows displays the Advanced Options dialog box.
  5. Make sure the Index Settings tab is displayed. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The Index Settings tab of the Advanced Options dialog box.

  7. Click the Rebuild button. Windows asks you if you are sure you want to perform the action.
  8. Click OK to start the rebuild.
  9. Close any open dialog boxes.

The work involved in rebuilding a search index is done behind the scenes and could take a while to complete. While Windows is rebuilding, you can work with other programs just fine, but you won't be able to do a search and get any meaningful results.

 This tip (12936) applies to Windows 7.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

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