What is Included in the Index?

This topic describes the items that Windows Search indexes.


Included by Default

Protocol handlers and filters are included in Windows Search (MAPI, File, file\item types):

  • Mail will be indexed for any user when the user has a user session and the mail application is active.
  • In Microsoft Windows Vista, Outlook Express will store mail items as files. A start address for Outlook Express mail will consist of a file start address. File notifications are used to index newly arrived mail.
  • Offline files in the client side cache (CSC) will be indexed locally.
  • Windows Search supports gathering of file start addresses on NTFS and FAT32 volumes. NTFS supports notification-based indexing, and AT32 only supports scheduled crawls.
  • Windows Vista continues to expose a per-folder/per-file property to enable indexing, the "For fast searching, allowing Indexing Service to index this folder" option in the Property dialog. Setting this flag (called the FANCI bit) controls indexing with Windows Search rather than of Indexing Service.

File Formats Supported

Windows Search has protocol handlers, property handlers and filters to index the following formats automatically:

  • HTML (nlhtml.dll): .ascx, .asp, .aspx, .css, .hhc, .htm, .html, .htt, .htw, .htx, .odc, .stm
  • MIME HTML (mimefilt.dll): .mht, .mhtml
  • Office (offfilt.dll): .doc, .dot, .pot, .pps, .ppt, .xlb, .xlc, .xls, .xlt
  • Text (query.dll): .asm, .asx, .bat, .c, .cmd, .cpp, .cxx, .def, .dic, .h, .hpp, .hxx, .idl, .idq , .inf, .ini, .inx, .js, .log, .m3u, .rc, .reg, .rtf, .txt, .url, .vbs, .wtx
  • XML (xmlfilt.dll): .xml, .xsl
  • OneNote: .one
  • Tablet Journal (jntfiltr.dll): .jnt

For all files (except HTML), NTFS and structured storage properties are indexed. On XP and later, many media file properties are indexed; however, the content is not if they are protected under DRM.

Note  The HTML filter does not index HTML comments

File Formats Excluded

When a file type does not have an associated filter, no content is indexed. However, the system properties are still indexed. Windows Search excludes the following formats by default:

.386, .aps, .AudioCD, .bin, .bk1, .bk2, .bkf, .bsc, .btr, .chk, .ci, .crwl, .dbg, .dct, .DeskLink, .dir, .dl_, .dll, .drv, .dvd, .evt, .ex_, .exe, .exp, .eyb, .fnd, .fnt, .Folder, .fon, .ghi, .gthr, .hqx, .icm, .idb, .idx, .ilk, .imc, .in_, .ini, .inv, .jbf, .latex, .lib, .local, .m14, .mac, .manifest, .map, .MAPIMail, .mmf, .movie, .mv, .mydocs, .ncb, .obj, .oc_, .ocx, .pch, .pdb, .pf, .pma, .pmc, .pml, .pmr, .res, .rmp, .rpc, .rsp, .sbr, .sc2, .sit, .sr_, .sy_, .sym, .sys, .tlb, .trc, .ttc, .ttf, .vbx, .vxd, .wll, .wlt, .xix, .z96, .ZFSendToTarget

Furthermore, Windows Search does not index the content of files under IRM or DRM.

Folders and Files Excluded

The following folders are excluded by default:

  • The following %SystemDrive% directories and their contents are not indexed:
    • \Build\
    • \Installed Repository\
    • \ProgramData\ (except the shared Start Menu directory)
    • \Program Files\
    • \Program files (x86)\
    • \Users\Default
    • \Windows\
    • \Windows.000\
    • \Windows.old\
    • \$Recycle Bin\
  • Default User folders.
  • Any item marked as Hidden and System.
  • Removable drives.
  • Files without extensions or filters. Windows Search does not assume the a file format is text.