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By default, Windows uses the index when searching for faster search results. The search index contains only the places you select. These locations can be filtered according to file types (extensions), file properties and the content of the files you want to index.
The index uses the Windows search service and runs as a Searchindexer.exe process in the background. The index is automatically recreated and updated if changes have been made to the included locations since the last index configuration to increase the accuracy of search results. By default, the indexing speed is reduced due to user activity. When the computer is inactive, the indexing speed returns to full speed to complete indexing faster.
Before adding encrypted files to the index, we recommend that you enable Windows BitLocker or a non-Microsoft encryption program on your system drive (the drive where Windows is installed). The index is automatically rebuilt each time this parameter is changed. This can take a long time and make the research incomplete until the process is completed.
Using indexing options
First open the Cortana Search field and search for indexing options.
Click on the appropriate entry – say the Users folder. Now click on the Advanced button.
A new window opens in the thumbnail size. Make sure you are under the Settings tab of the index.
In the File Settings section, select the Encrypted files called as index option and click OK.
This allows encrypted files to be indexed. You can uncheck this box if you want to disable the indexing of these files.
You can cancel the change at any time. Simply open the indexing options again and uncheck the Index encrypted files option. Windows 10 will automatically rebuild the search index to exclude your encrypted files. A warning message is displayed.
To rebuild the index
Normally, you don’t have to do anything to keep the index up to date. However, if you are looking for a file that you know exists in an indexed location (e. g. a library) and does not appear in your search results, try rebuilding the index. This can take several hours, and all searches may be incomplete until the index is completely rebuilt.
Tap or click to open the indexing options.
Tap on or click on Advanced. You may be prompted to enter an administrator password or confirm your choice.
On the Index Settings tab, tap or click Create New.
A workaround solution for encrypted emails
If you have an urgent need to search for encrypted emails and their content, the best solution is to create a search folder that contains only encrypted emails. This way, you always have to manually search for the e-mail, but you can do so without having to search the entire e-mail in your inbox. You can do this by creating a search folder with advanced filters:
- Right-click on Search Folder at the bottom of your email navigation pane.
- Click on New search folder
- Double-click Create a custom search folder at the bottom of the list.
- Click on Criteria… in the window that opens.
- In the Advanced tab, under Define Additional Criteria, click Field > All Message Fields > Message Class.
- Under Condition: Select is (exact)
- Under Value: Enter ipm.note.smime.
- Click on Add to List. It should look like this:
- Click OK, name your folder in the Custom Search Folder window, and then click OK.
We focus on Windows 10 in this manual, but the ability to index encrypted files has been around for a long time, so you can also use this manual on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.
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