New Filters for Vista Search

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 6, 2007
Updated • Nov 6, 2017
Windows, Windows Vista

Did you know that you can add ifilters to the search feature of Windows Vista to add support for additional file types? These filters add support for finding file content and not only file names and extensions to the search function.

The new ifilters, think of plugins if you like, add content indexing for various file formats that the default Vista search and desktop search functions do not support. This includes indexing of Adobe Reader documents, mp3, wmv and wma files as well as various other formats including zip, rar and help files. This is a great addition to the search in Windows Vista, especially if you do work with those file formats regularly.

Update: The website the filters were published on is no longer available. Alternatives don't seem to be available anymore either unfortunately. Windows Vista is no longer supported by Microsoft.

Each of the following ifilters adds content indexing to Vista search; just select the filters that you want to add and install them as usual on your system. Everything else is done automatically and the new filters become active immediately (rebuild index for Desktop Search) after the installation finishes.

Just a quick remark about the filters that add content indexing for archives like rar and zip; Those filters only index files that are inside the archives, not the content of the files in the archives.

Most of the links below link directly to the download of the filters, just install them as usual. Most ifilters should work for Vista search and Vista desktop search.

  • Audio / Video iFilter (mp3, wma, wmv)
  • CAB iFilter
  • CHM iFilter
  • EXE iFilter (for installers)
  • HLP iFilter
  • JPEG iFilter
  • Open Office / Star Office iFilters
  • PDF iFilter
  • RAR iFilter
  • RTF iFilter
  • XML iFilter
  • ZIP iFilter

The following link leads to a filter for the Windows Vista Desktop Search

  • Thunderbird / Mozilla / Eudora Filter

If you want to find out which ifilters are currently installed on your system check out the excellent iFilter Explorer by citeknet.

Update: Some filters are unfortunately no longer available. We had to remove the links from the article as it does not make any sense to keep them up. The majority of filters are on the other hand still available.

Article Name
New Filters for Vista Search
The article links to ifilter downloads which can be installed on machines running Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system to extend search capabilities.
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  1. Art said on November 10, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    It appears there is NOT YET (as of 11/10/2008) an ifilter or other method of indexing Thunderbird emails using Vista search.

    HOWEVER, one has been developed by the TB team for version 3.

    You can find more details at the links below:

    There is a fix coming –

    When it will be available is unknown – the version is JUST going into alpha now:

    This is a really impressive effort by the TB team – the next version looks really impressive if you start reading the developer notes.

  2. marcovanschagen said on July 17, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    At CAD & Company we have released the 2007 version of our DWG IFilter. This allows you to add your DWG and DXF files to your search results! At this time DWG and DXF files are added up to AutoCAD version 2008.
    Free trial and free desktop version available.

  3. Scott said on March 17, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    More ifilters are available at

  4. John said on March 14, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    The iFilter for Thunderbird doesn’t work in Vista as it says that Windows Desktop Search needs to be installed. Does anyone know of one that would work?

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