This post shows students and new users the steps to rebuild the Windows search index in Windows 11. The Windows search index is enabled by default. Allows faster results when searching for files and other content.

Windows Index will automatically rebuild when you include additional locations to search and include in the results. The index will rebuild and update for the changes made to include the additional locations. Content stored in those locations will be included with Windows Search.

The index will also rebuild when you switch from classic to enhanced mode or vice versa. Once the index database is up to date, the correct results should appear when you search.

If you are in situations where you do not get the correct results or some locations are not included, you may need to force a search index update to detect the new changes that are included.

How to force Windows Search to rebuild its index

As mentioned above, you can force Windows Search to rebuild its index for troubleshooting. If Windows Search does not return the correct results or all locations are not included, you may be able to rebuild the index to include new changes.

Here’s how to do it.

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:

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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 Advanced as highlighted below.

windows 11 advanced indexing options

In the Advanced Options window, click the Rebuild button to force Windows to rebuild its search index.

rebuilding windows 11 advanced options

Commit to rebuild the index.

Windows 11 rebuild index confirm

Depending on the size of the index and the speed of your computer, this may take a while. If necessary, you can click Pause to stop rebuilding the index.

Windows 11 rebuild index pause

Once the rebuild is complete, you can close the windows.

You should do that!


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

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