Adding network folders to the Windows search index

Adding network folders to the Windows search indexIn Windows 10, the default search feature indexes your Internet Explorer history, the Start menu, and the entire home folder on the system partition. What if you want to add to the search index in a network folder? Windows 10? For example, suppose you have a network attached storage (NAS) device and a bunch of videos, pictures, and files that just don’t fit on your PC.

In this article, I’ll show you how to add a network folder to the search index so that when you search for a file in Explorer, you also get results that contain files that are stored in the network folder.

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Note : Technically, the Windows client doesn’t add a network location to the local search index. Instead, this search is forwarded to the server and the server performs a search based on its index. When you try to browse a NAS device, the search is done in real time so it will take some time to display the results. When looking for a Windows file server, you need to make sure that the search index on the server includes all of the locations you want.

Step 1 – share folder

The first thing you want to do is share the folder that you want to include in the index. You’ll need to share the folder on your NAS or on the host computer if the files are stored on a Windows PC for example. As an example, I wanted to include some files that are stored on my Windows 7 PC in the Windows 10 search index. These are the three test files I want to include:
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So I went over to Windows 7 and shared the folder by right clicking and selecting Properties .

Then I clicked the Share tab, Advanced Sharing , checked Share This Folder , clicked Permissions, and gave Everyone Full Control . You don’t have to give everyone full control of course, I’m only doing it here because it’s easier to install.
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Step 2 – map network drive

Next, you need to mount the folder as a drive on Windows 10. You can do this by opening Explorer and then clicking Network at the bottom. Find your NAS, file server, or PC in the list and double-click it to view the shared folders.

Go ahead and click the shared folder and then click Easy Access and Map as Drive . Note that you can also just right-click the folder and choose Map Network Drive . You must provide credentials to log in to the file server or network PC.

Note that if both computers have the same username and password, check the box next to Connect using different credentials and enter the username and password for this computer or file server. Now when you go to the computer, the mapped drive should be listed.

Now right click on the network drive and click on Real Estate . At the bottom, make sure you have the Allow files on this drive indexed in addition to file properties .
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Once you do, the new files will be scanned and added to the Windows 10 Search directory. Depending on how many files have been added, it may take a while before you see the results. Now when I do a search, I see files from my assigned NAS folder:

Cute! Also note that with certain file types such as Word documents, the contents of the files are also indexed so that you can search text files, etc. However, as mentioned earlier, these files are not indexed in the local search index. If you click Start and enter the indexing options, you will see that the mapped network drive is not listed and cannot be added.
Basically, the search is done in real time, which is why it gets slow when you have a large number of files on your network share. That’s all! Have a look at how it works. If you do not get all the results you want from a search, rebuild the search index . If you’re having trouble finding a network location in Windows 10, post a comment here and I’ll try to help. Enjoy!

 

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