Windows 7 / Getting Started

Search in Windows 7

Windows 7 builds upon the foundation of Windows Vista by adding the following new features and enhancements in search and indexing functionality:

  • Start Menu Search has been significantly enhanced to make it a universal entry point for starting programs, finding Control Panel settings, and searching for almost anything on the local computer, the corporate network, or the Internet. For more information about these improvements, see the section titled "Using Start Menu Search" later in this tutorial.
  • The Advanced Search option in Windows Vista, which became available only after searching, has been replaced with a new Advanced Search pane that helps users create complex queries while learning AQS. For more information on this improvement, see the section titled "Searching Libraries" and the How It Works sidebar titled "Advanced Query Syntax" later in this tutorial.
  • Beginning with Windows 7, when the indexer is up to date on the system, all items in the indexed location that would be returned by a grep search are now also returned by the indexer, with the exception of reparse points such as junction points and hard links. This is a change from Windows Vista, where certain types of files were always excluded from being indexed by default. For more information on this change, see the section titled "Understanding the Indexing Process" later in this tutorial.
  • A new feature of Windows 7 called Libraries now makes it easier for users to organize and search for documents and other types of files. For information about searching libraries, see the section titled "Searching Libraries" later in this tutorial.
  • Indexing prioritization has been implemented to ensure that particular scopes are given higher priority during indexing. Windows Explorer uses this feature to ensure that index-backed views are always given priority to improve the speed and relevance of searches issued against libraries. For example, if a user has the Music library open and is viewing it via an index-backed view (for example, by artist), Windows Explorer requests that the index scopes associated with that view are given priority. The result is that if indexing hasn't yet finished for those scopes, indexing for this location takes priority over the indexing of other content on the system.
  • Indexing performance has been improved by significantly reducing resource requirements for the indexer. New functionality has also been added to the indexer to facilitate troubleshooting, reporting, and feedback concerning indexing issues. For more information, see the section titled "Troubleshooting Search and Indexing Using the Built-in Troubleshooter" later in this tutorial.
  • In Windows Vista, a user needed to be a local administrator on the computer to add new locations to the indexer using Indexing Options in Control Panel. Beginning with Windows 7, this restriction has been removed, and standard users can now add to or remove locations from the indexer.
  • Beginning with Windows 7, Windows Search is also now an optional feature that can be enabled or disabled using the Turn Windows Features On Or Off task option in Control Panel. Note that the Windows Search feature is enabled by default, and significant loss of functionality will occur for users who disable Search in this way.
  • Files encrypted using the Encrypting File System (EFS) and locally stored on the user's computer can now be indexed and searched as easily as unencrypted files. For more information concerning this feature, see the section titled "Configuring Indexing of Encrypted Files Using Group Policy" later in this tutorial.
  • Windows 7 now enables users to search for Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) images based on textual content, such as text contained in images of faxed documents. For more information on this new feature, see the section titled "Configuring Indexing of Text in TIFF Image Documents" later in this tutorial.
  • Windows 7 minimizes the impact of indexing e-mail stored on Microsoft Exchange Server. Support for indexing digitally signed e-mail is also new in Windows 7.
  • Windows 7 allows searching the content of network file shares on computers running Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003. Some of these operating systems require the installation of an additional feature to support remote queries from computers running Windows 7. For more information, see the section titled "Understanding Remote Search" later in this tutorial.
  • Federated Search is a new feature of Windows 7 that enables users to search remote data sources from within Windows Explorer. Federated Search uses search connectors to enable users to work with files stored in repositories, such as Windows SharePoint sites, as easily as if they were browsing the local file system on their computers. For more information about Federated Search, see the section titled "Using Federated Search" later in this tutorial.
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In this tutorial:

  1. Managing Search
  2. Search and Indexing Enhancements
  3. Search in Windows XP
  4. Search in Windows Vista
  5. Search in Windows 7
  6. Understanding the Windows Search Versions
  7. Search Versions Included in Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  8. Search Versions Included in Windows Server 2008
  9. Search Versions Available for Earlier Versions of Windows
  10. How Windows Search Works
  11. Understanding Search Engine Terminology
  12. Windows Search Engine Processes
  13. Enabling the Indexing Service
  14. Windows Search Engine Architecture
  15. Understanding the Catalog
  16. Default System Exclusion Rules
  17. Understanding the FANCI Attribute
  18. Default Indexing Scopes
  19. Initial Configuration
  20. Understanding the Indexing Process
  21. Modifying IFilter Behavior
  22. How Indexing Works
  23. Rebuilding the index
  24. Viewing Indexing Progress
  25. Understanding Remote Search
  26. Managing Indexin
  27. Configuring the Index
  28. Configuring the Index Location Using Group Policy
  29. Configuring Indexing Scopes and Exclusions Using Group Policy
  30. Configuring Offline Files Indexing
  31. Configuring Indexing of Encrypted Files
  32. Configuring Indexing of Encrypted Files Using Control Panel
  33. Configuring Indexing of Similar Words
  34. Configuring Indexing of Text in TIFF Image Documents
  35. Other Index Policy Settings
  36. Using Search
  37. Configuring Search Using Folder Options
  38. Configuring What to Search
  39. Configuring How To Search
  40. Using Start Menu Search
  41. Searching Libraries
  42. Advanced Query Syntax
  43. Using Federated Search
  44. Deploying Search Connectors
  45. Troubleshooting Search and Indexing Using the Built-in Troubleshooter