How To Modify Search Index Location And Fix Windows Indexing In Windows 10?

Indexing is one of the most important background functions of Windows 10. Just as in any library, an index is created to identify the location of a specific book; similarly, Windows 10 has a search index. The Windows Indexing allows us to search for files and folders much faster and conveniently. Although Microsoft has designed Windows Indexing to run in the background without any visible effect on the computer’s performance, there are a few tweaks that can make conditions even better. And one of them is to change the search index location which will help to reduce write cycles of your solid-state drive and thus to make it live more than expected.

The Windows Indexing process is quite complicated and is powered by Microsoft Windows Search Indexer. It uses a new algorithm and database as compared to its predecessors in older Windows versions. The Microsoft Windows Search Indexer has a predetermined list of search index locations which contains details of all the files stored in your computer. So when a real-time search is carried out on your computer, the Microsoft Windows Search Indexer pulls out the results from the previously indexed information stored in search index locations and displays the results almost immediately. Here are a few troubleshooting steps in case you face issues with searching files on your computer:

Also Read: How To Customize Windows 10 Search Options

Reset Search Index To Fix Windows Indexing Process

If by any chance, your Search index is disabled, then obtaining the search results will consume more time and will be a slow process as each file on your computer would be scanned. To resolve search issues, you can always try to change the search index location rather than disable it altogether. Here are the steps to do that:

Note: The Search Index folder has a default folder designed by Microsoft. The path of the folder is given below.


Search Index folder

Step 1: Type Control Panel in the Search Box on the taskbar and click on the relevant result to open Control Panel.

Step 2: Type Indexing in the search box located on the upper right corner and from search results, click on “Indexing Options”.

Indexing Options

Step 3: A new window will open where you have to click on Advanced button.

Step 4: Now a further new box will open where you have to choose the Index Settings tab and click on “Select New” Button under Index Location section.

Advanced button

Step 5: Navigate through Windows folders and select a new folder and then click on OK.

Note: The Microsoft Windows 10 will then begin the process of creating a new search directory in the new location specified and will store the entire further search index here at the new location.

Also Read: How To Index Files In Windows 10 To Get Faster Searches

Change Search Index Location With A Registry Tweak

There is an alternative method to change the search index location and enhance your Windows Indexing process, and that is by tweaking the Windows Registry.

Disclaimer: It is always recommended to take a backup of your registry before making the slight change as if something goes wrong, and then the changes can be reverted to normal by restoring the backup taken. To take a backup, open the Registry Editor and click on File tab and then click on export. The steps to change the search index location are :

Step 1: Open the Registry Editor by pressing the Windows + R key and typing “REGEDIT” in the Run Box.

Registry Editor

Step 2: Navigate to the following path and reach this key.


Step 3: On the right panel, locate the (REG_SZ) “DataDirectory” and set its value data to the new folder.


Step 4: Exit the Registry Editor and restart the computer.

Also Read: How To Fix Windows 10 Search Issues By Rebuilding Index

The Final Word On How To Modify Search Index Location And Fix Windows Indexing In Windows 10?

It is essential to maintain the Windows indexing process and if required, change the search index location so that the search results are derived accurately and at a faster rate. You can use any of the two methods to achieve this, but I recommend using the Control Panel method as it is easier, and there are no chances of committing an error.

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