Windows Search 4.0

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 23, 2008
Updated • Aug 15, 2016
Search, Windows

Microsoft released a new version of Windows Search on Windows Update and as a manual download for all supported operating systems.

The company made the update an recommended update for Windows XP and Vista, and Windows Server 2003 and 2008 devices.

Windows Search 4.0 introduces a wealth of new features and improvements over the previous version. This includes the automatic indexing of shared folders, improvements in indexing online e-mail, as well as performance and stability improvements of the indexing component.

Windows Search is basically a desktop search application much like Google's Desktop Search. It builds an index of the files - and other information like emails - on the system after installation.

This initial indexing takes some time depending on the size of the hard disks, the number of files stored on the disk, and the indexing locations. Some users reported indexing times of several hours in previous versions of Windows Search.

It does take this long because Windows Search does not only index file names and attributes, but also file contents for selected file types. These file types include most plain text formats such as .txt or .html, but also Microsoft Office formats like Word. It may also index properties such as tags of media files.

I still prefer Locate32 which is resource friendly and faster in my opinion.

Please note that this particular version of Windows Search is only available for Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008, and not newer versions of the Windows client or server operating system. It is however also available for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

Windows Search 4.0 comes with the following improvements over previous versions of search:

  • Can index encrypted documents
  • Improved overall indexing performance
  • Per-user group policy settings including default exclude paths and indexed paths, and the prevention of indexing certain paths and customizing indexed locations via the control panel.
  • Ability to index locations of networked machines.

Please note that Windows Search 4.0 will also install XmLite and IFilters if not already installed on the system at the time of installation. These are used to index file contents and not only file properties.

Article Name
Windows Search 4.0
Microsoft released a new version of Windows Search on Windows Update and as a manual download for all supported operating systems.
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  1. play indian television computer said on December 15, 2010 at 7:49 am

    I really like people today who blog, it’s really difficult to receive this particular information just about any means. Really good job.

  2. Mike said on September 30, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    I found 4.0 to suck. I would create a new file. Save. And then try to search for it and it wouldn’t even detect it. I uninstalled immediately. Yes I tried to search under everything. Maybe it needs a day or 2 to update? Terrible.

  3. Laurie Maurides said on March 26, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Where do I download Windows Search 4.0?Could you please send me a link.Thankyou!


  4. sportyemen said on November 25, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    […] new version of Windows Search has been released by Microsoft. Windows Search is a recommended update for Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003 and Server 2008 users. There is a wealth […]
    Of cours

  5. DM said on November 24, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    I recommend you try “Everything”. It’s a new improved search that I think replaces Avafind and Locate32.

  6. Retoocs said on August 7, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Yes Locate32 is free program that beets all search programs including Windows Search 4.
    First off all i must say that search on any Windows is poor. I have not even try to install WS4 when i read this review.

    PC specification: E6750, 4GB RAM, Seagate Barracuda: 500GB/32MB, 320GB/16MB, 300GB/16MB all @7000rpm and Vista Ultimate 32bit.
    I have between 70 to 80 processes running all time, Full Effects, DreamScene and a lot small programs running in background, overall anything what use disk, processor and ram so I’m included every day user activity like in reality. Every disk is allmost full that means a loot off files. I don’t even start
    to think how big will be index file and time to index all files for better search (maybe around couple days).

    I’m using 3.1 RC1. With tweaking some options and database i have be amazed what that program can do.
    I have find that when you make separate databases for each partition indexing is a lot faster.
    1. One big database: Time for all disks around 2 minutes. Database=29.3MB
    2. Partial databases (one database for one partition, 15 partition=15 databases): Time for all disks 8 second (yes for all together). Database=30MB.
    3. WS4 vs. Locate32: Measure time how log for indexed file need WS4 and how long Locate32.
    Result: In less than second Locate32 found random test file.
    WS4 time to find that same file is between 5 and 10 second when index is small. If i include few some partition to index that time will expand.

    I don’t think that will Microsoft beat that in near future with some kinda update.
    Locate32 is musthave for any user who have a lot off data.

  7. gokudomatic said on July 23, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    same for me, once I installed locate32 tried a little, I was seduced.

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