Microsoft Windows 10 Search Indexer Diagnostics

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 12, 2020
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft released a new application for the company's Windows 10 operating system recently that helps administrators troubleshoot Windows Search related issues.

Windows Search is a core part of the operating system as it assists users in finding files, e.g. documents, images, or executable files, on devices running the operating system.

While search works well most of the time and for most users, especially when it is used to find items that are indexed by default, it is know to cause troubles and issues at times.

Microsoft changed search in Windows 10 significantly; first by merging it with Cortana to push the digital assistant (which did not work well), then by adding features such as web search or top apps to it that barely anyone found useful.

Some Windows users help themselves by installing third-party search applications such as WizFile, Everything, or FileSearchy to find files blazing fast and without the delay that Windows Search is known for.

Some users, especially those in corporate environments, may not be able to use these third-party tools. Microsoft released a new diagnostic tool recently for Windows 10 to analyze search indexing issues. desktop search review/

All it takes is to install the application from the Microsoft Store and run it once it has been installed. The app displays information on the start screen that may be useful to troubleshoot search indexing issues on the Windows 10 device.

The homepage displays various search indexing information right away including the number of indexed and pending items, usage by type statistics (last hour, day and week available), the status of the indexer and its version.

More interesting than that, probably, is the list of options that the sidebar displays. There is "search is not working" which opens options to restart or reset the search service, or file a bug if that does not help, "is my file indexed" to find out if a particular file is indexed by Windows Search, and "what is being indexed" which displays the list of included and excluded paths.

The performance link opens performance related information; advanced users may launch resource tracking and functional tracing from the page, collect application logs, or file a bug.

Last but not least, there is also "search roots" which provides the root levels that indexer will start in when it searches for changes or new files.

Closing Words

Indexer Diagnostics may assist administrators in analyzing search indexing related issues. Some tools it offers are quite basic, e.g. those that restart the service, while others, e.g. to use functionality tracing, are designed specifically for advanced users only.

Regular users may use it as well, e.g. to find out if a file is indexed properly, but the only "real" troubleshooting option provided is to restart or reset the Search service.

Now You: Do you use Windows Search?

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  1. Indjana said on January 14, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    You can’t use alternative software for searching inside Microsoft OneNote (Ctrl+E).
    OneNote search relies on Windows Search, so in OneNote you sometimes can find and sometimes cannot. You can even see a section name with the word you want, but search returns nothing.
    You go to another machine with the same notes, do the same search, you get the result.
    Lots of users complain…
    Nothing helps.

  2. John Fenderson said on January 13, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    “While search works well most of the time and for most users”

    It does? That’s news to me. I find it broken to the point of utter uselessness, so I don’t use it. Even the people I know who do use it complain about how awful it is. I’ve never before heard of someone who would say it “work well”!.

  3. Will said on January 13, 2020 at 10:50 am

    Latest update seems to have fixed some problems with search, like no results coming in until your close and reopen the explorer window.

    My pet hate? Searching from the start menu does not return results from a network share. Windows 7 did this no problem.

  4. chikyuu said on January 12, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    not really convinced…

    try this
    only NTFS supported.

  5. Betty said on January 12, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    Why don’t they just fix search rather than playing the fool with these tools. They recently ruined File Explorer search. Its a buggy mess. They only need to bring back windows 7 search. It worked perfect. We don’t need all the other nonsense like web search or Bing.

  6. Sol Shine said on January 12, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    They messed up their own desktop search feature by merging it with Cortana and web searches (Bing) causing privacy problems.

    Savvy Windows users are fleeing to alternative search programs.

    Now they need to spend time and money on making a program to find the problems they created for their enterprise customers.

    But I think most of their big company customers are getting what they deserve, for their bad support of open source software.

  7. Rixster said on January 12, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    Thanks for this!

  8. Anonymous said on January 12, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    Windows 10 Search is hilariously broken, almost useless. Well known and documented, but as usual Microsoft doesn’t give a crap.

    1. wj said on January 12, 2020 at 5:23 pm

      Absolutely, I got it working fine on one machine. And the rest it’s just comically broken.
      Had to rely on third party software like Everything.

  9. Sairamkrishna said on January 12, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    My mobile lumia625 micro soft account not open trouble small connection please help me

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