How To Search The Entire Windows 10 PC For A File From Start/Taskbar

 

With default settings, the Start/taskbar search in Windows 10 looks for files in the Start menu folder and library folders such as desktop, documents, pictures, videos, and music. It cannot find search for a file located on a different drive on your PC by default settings.

There are some users who would like to search their entire PC right from the Start/taskbar. If you would also like to make the Start/taskbar search for any file located on anywhere on your PC, you can do so by forcing the search to index all locations on your PC.

In this guide, we will show how to search for a file located anywhere on your Windows 10 PC right from the Start/taskbar.

Method 1 of 2

Manually add new locations to search index

Step 1: Open the Indexing Options by typing the same in Start/taskbar search field and then hitting the Enter key.

Step 2: At the Indexing Options window, click on the Modify button. This will open Indexed Locations dialog which displays all locations that are currently indexed.

search the entire Windows 10 PC for a file in Windows 10 pic1

Step 3: Here, select all drives (or drives that you would like to index so that you can search for files in them). Click OK button.

search the entire Windows 10 PC for a file in Windows 10 pic2

Note that you can also add only specific locations or exclude specific folders from indexing. To do that, expand a drive by clicking on the “>” sign next to it and then select only folders that you would like to index.

Step 4: Finally, click on the Advanced button and then click the Rebuild button to rebuild the search index. Windows 10 might take some time to add new files and locations to its search index.

search the entire Windows 10 PC for a file in Windows 10 pic3

Once done, you can search for any file right from the Start/taskbar search field.

Method 2 of 2

Turn on Enhanced search mode

With Windows 10 build 18267 (1903) Microsoft introduced a new option called Enhanced search mode which enables you to search your entire PC for a file. Please note that this option is not part of 1803 and 1809 version of Windows 10.

Step 1: Navigate to Settings > Cortana > Searching Windows page.

Step 2: In the Find My Files section, select the Enhanced option to turn on the Enhanced search mode.

search the entire Windows 10 PC for a file in Windows 10 pic4

Depending on the number of files on your PC, it might take a while to index all files.

How to make the Start menu open faster in Windows 10 guide might also interest you.

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Dylan Austin

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Whenever I have a problem, I sing. Then I realize my voice is worse than my problem.

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