This post shows the steps for students and new users to add or remove search index locations in Windows 11. By default, Windows will use the index folders to help you search faster and get results faster.

Windows has predefined locations that it is configured to search for content. However, users can add to include additional locations or paths for Windows to find and serve relevant content. In addition to adding an additional location, users can also filter by file types, properties, and content that they want to include in the Windows search index.

The index uses the Windows Search Service which runs in the background to index new content. The service will automatically rebuild and update for changes when new locations are added or removed.

The Windows search service will run at reduced speed when a user is actively using the computer. Once the computer is idle, the indexing speed will return to maximum so that new content is included quickly and helps the user to obtain the best results.

By design, the Windows search service will not index the contents of any drive or partition with the TO and B drive lettereven when it is included in the index location. This is because drive letters A and B are reserved for floppy drives.

How to Add Folder Locations to the Windows Search Index

As mentioned above, one can add or delete folders to the Windows search index to include additional content to search. If you have an external (removable) drive and you want to search for content on it, you can include it as an index path so that Windows can index the content on it.

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User searches will return results from the external drive that was included in the index path.

Here’s how to add new locations to the Windows index.

Windows 11 has a centralized location for most of its settings. From system settings to creating new users and updating Windows, everything can be done from your System settings crystal.

To access the System Settings, you can use the Windows key + i shortcut or click Start ==> Settings as shown in the following picture:

windows 11 startup settings

Alternatively, you can use the search box on the taskbar and find Settings. Then select to open it.

The Windows settings panel should look similar to the image below. In Windows settings, click Privacy & Securityand select Looking for windows tile on the right panel as shown in the image below.

windows 11 searching windows

About him Looking for windows configuration panel, below Related settings, Select Advanced indexing option.

windows 11 looking for advanced indexing options

About him Indexing options window, select Modify as highlighted below.

modify windows 11 indexing options

Then check (add) the locations you want to index and click okay when finished.

changes to Windows 11 indexed locations

If you are logged in as an administrator, you can also click the Show all locationss to see all available locations.

How to Delete Windows Search Index Locations in Windows 11

If you included a location that is no longer useful, you can reverse the steps above to remove a location from the Windows search index.

Go to the Start Menu ==> Settings ==> Privacy & Security ==> Looking for windows ==> Advanced indexing options ==> Modify.

Then remove a location from the Windows search index and click okay when I finish.

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remove Windows search options

You should do that!


In this tutorial we have seen how to add or remove Windows search index location in Windows 11. If you find any errors above or have something to add, use the comment form below.

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