Searching for files within Windows server is normally an easy task, but there can be situations where searches take an exceedingly long time to process, or the search results do not reflect the parameters being entered.

This is where Windows Indexing can be a life saver. I have personally been in situations where I need a string of words to be identified in the format as I type them (example: Microsoft Office 2019), but Windows Server decides to find any documents where any one of those words exist, thus providing a larger subset of results, most of which are irrelevant to what I am looking for. In most cases adding quotes to your search would fix this situation (ex. ‘Microsoft Office 2019’). But I have seen many instances where this is not the case, and the only fix is a feature within Windows Server.

Below we have provided instructions for how to enable the Windows Search Service Feature.

How to Enable Windows Search Service

  • Start Server Manager.
  • Click Manage, and then click Add Roles and Features.
  • On the “Before you Begin” page, click Next.
  • Select Role-based or Feature-based Installation, and then click Next.
  • On the Features page, select Windows Search Service, and then click Next.
  • On the Confirmation page, verify that Windows Search Service is listed, then click Install.

Now in some situations this may still not provide you the precise results you want from your search parameters. In cases like this, you may want to rebuild the index within your Windows server. Below are the steps required to perform this.

How to Rebuild the Index

  • Open Control Panel.
  • Select Indexing Options.
  • Click Advanced to be brought into the advanced options.
  • On the Index Settings tab, click Rebuild under the Troubleshooting section.

If even after a rebuild of the index is not producing the results needed, it is possible that the Windows Search Service may not be running or could be in a hung state. The instructions below will provide the appropriate service settings as well as how to perform a restart of said service.

How to Restart the Windows Search Service

  • Click the Windows start button and type ‘services.msc’.
  • Scroll down to Windows Search Service.
  • Double-click on this service and confirm it is set to Automatic.
  • Click the Stop button and wait for the service to be placed in a stopped state.

Click Start button and wait for the service to be placed in a running state.

For more information on Windows 10 please visit our Champion website.

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