Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Comes with Improved Search Indexing

Search Indexing Icon

As you may already know, Windows 10 comes with the ability to index your files so the Start Menu and File Explorer can search them faster. Indexing runs in the background without trying to affect your PC's performance. With Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, improvements made to the Start menu's search algorithm make the OS search, that is, Cortana, track and index file system changes almost instantly.

A new feature was highlighted by Microsoft's Jen Gentleman. A GIF animation shows how an .exe file stored in the Desktop folder appears in the search results with its new name right after it is renamed.

The ability to track changes to shortcuts and the Start menu is not new to Windows 10. It was already present with Windows NT's Distributed Link Tracking service. Also, the new Windows Search indexer replacing the legacy indexing service of Windows 2000, was introduced with Windows Vista and significantly improved in each subsequent release so the changes were tracked instantly and showed up in the Start menu. However, Cortana's search algorithm was not up to the mark and often missed some files. Now Cortana's search feature has slightly been reworked in the latest OS version.

Here is the GIF animation I am talking about (via

Here, on, we have a number of useful articles related to Search Indexing in Windows 10.

We have covered how to change the search index location in Windows 10. This can be useful if you have an SSD and want to reduce its write cycles.

Change Search Index Location in Windows 10

If you have issues with the Search feature, you can rebuild the Search index or even reset it completely. Also, see how to fix very slow search in Windows 10.

If you change the Search index options frequently, for example, in order to add or remove certain file types from search, you can create an Indexing Options shortcut.

You can configure Search Indexing to include files on network shares.

Finally, you can disable Search Indexing if you find no use for this feature.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

4 thoughts on “Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Comes with Improved Search Indexing”

  1. They changed the search algorithm and it’s not as good as the predecessor and only now they made it on par with the predecessor after years. It just like a typical act of Microsoft these days.
    Same applied to the Aero effect, they removed it in Windows 8 in favor of touch screen and portable devices, and now they add something similar back slowly in the form of Fluent Design.

  2. I am still on Anniversary update, but since I moved the special folders to a different partition, Cortana never finds what I try to search in the general page of results. I always have to click on a filter (file if it is a file, folder if it is a folder, etc.) to see any result. This is very bad for productivity.

    Yes, I looked at the indexing locations and made sure everything is indexed. It works, but the need to click on a filter to see any search results is very annoying.

    I wish I could just skip Cortana entirely. I disabled everything I could about her, but I can’t avoid this search results issue. Oddly, installing Classic Shell makes search works like it did on Windows 7. I generally avoid using third party software to make up for core OS features, but this one is a must to regain sanity using search on Windows 10.

    1. Can’t agree more, if there is a gun pointing to me to force me using Windows 10, the first thing I will do is install a third party start menu to get rid of the ridiculous design and remove all the crap of UWP.

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