How to Turn on Advanced Search in Windows 10
This tip is for Windows 10 May 2019 Update (Version 1903) and newer versions of Windows 10.
Windows 10 does a fairly reasonable job of searching your computer to find what you’re looking for – but it’s it can be rather slow and it sometimes doesn’t find what you’re looking for.
Windows 10 May 2019 (hereinafter referred to as Version 1903) makes Windows search much better. First by separating Search from Cortana and secondly by allowing you to turn on Enhanced search which expands Windows search beyond your local Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos, and Desktop folders. And turning on Enhanced search will noticeably speed up Windows search performance.
Once you enable Enhanced search (it’s not enabled by default), Windows will search across all of your files, folders, and connected drives rather than just a handful of folders.
Here’s how to turn on Enhanced search in Windows 10 Version 1903 (or newer):
1.) Press Windows Key + i to open Settings.
2.) Click on Search.
3. )Click on “Searching Windows” (in the menu on the left).
4.) Under “Find my files” tick the radio button next to “Enhanced”.
Windows will start indexing your files, but during the initial indexing, this will use a lot of resources so your computer may seem slower. The indexing process can 15-20 minutes or more, especially if you have a lot of files and folders and drives to index.
Your system will start an indexing process that typically takes 15-20 minutes, but your mileage may vary depending on your system and the amount of data you have. Keep in mind that the indexing takes a lot of system resources so while things are getting indexed, your system performance may be degraded unless of course, you have a fancy NVMe SSD drive with tons of disk IO.
If you like, you can follow the progress of the indexing process and check the number of items remaining to be indexed.
One more thing… you can also exclude specific folders from search. For instance, you probably won’t store any files in temporary files or Windows system folders. Excluding folders that you know don’t contain any of our personal files or folders can help speed up the search process.
To exclude a folder or a number of folders, just click on Add an excluded folder and browse to the folder ou want to exclude.
That’s it. Once you turn on Windows 10 Enhanced search you should find whatever you’re looking for on your computer and find it much faster.