How to turn on or off Enhanced Mode for search indexer on Windows 10?

By ivan.diskin | November 11, 2018 |

greater than 6 minutes

Microsoft released the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18627 in October 2018. All categories of users on the Fast Ring and Skip Ahead Ring probably got the update. As far as we know, this recent build of Windows has been equipped with input and accessibility improvements. A relatively small amount of bug fixes and patches were included, though.

Nevertheless, there is one new feature of vital importance—the Enhanced mode. Unsurprisingly, it stands out well enough. We believe many users have had their struggles with the use of the Windows Search feature when they really had to find something on their device.

You too definitely must have tried locating an item or file on your PC through the Search feature—which you most likely accessed through the Windows Start menu on your desktop screen—but you were disappointed when your system displayed Bing search results. Of course, such results were neither relevant nor useful, since you wanted to locate an item stored on your PC locally in the first place.

You might be glad to know that the new feature could be a game changer.

What is Enhanced Mode for Search Indexer in Windows 10 Build 18267?

When a vast majority of users want to perform a search, they do so through the Windows Start menu, or with the help of the taskbar search function usually present on their desktop screens. Unfortunately, the reliability of searches performed this way pales in comparison to the convenience afforded.

Although users are allowed to search for applications, utilities, files, and folders, Windows only goes through the items located in the desktop folder and similar library locations (Documents, Pictures, and so on). It is easy to figure out why things are this way.

Windows 10, by default, is set up to index only data folders which include contents of the Pictures, Documents, Video, and Desktop directories. Therefore, if you want the Search Indexer to index all the files available on your computer, you must enable the Enhanced Mode.

With the Enhanced Mode turn on, Windows will be forced to search through every folder or directory on your drive to locate and index any data that is accessible to your system. Typically, users always had to add new locations manually for Windows to index to improve the reliability or accuracy of the search results they get.

With the introduction of the new feature, we can only hope such laborious operations become a thing of the past. Once you turn on the Enhanced Mode, Windows will act fast to index the entirety of your PC’s drive, and this way, through the Start or Taskbar search screen, you will be able to find any app, file, or item irrespective on its location on your computer’s disk.

It is time we moved on to show you how to turn on the feature. We want you to take note of a couple of things, though.

  • You must be logged in your system as an administrator to take advantage of the Enhanced Mode for Search Indexer feature on Windows 10. Regular or standard accounts lack the privileges or rights to perform operations involving the functionality in view.
  • Your PC’s battery life might suffer once the Enhanced Mode feature becomes active. You might also see a significant increase in CPU consumption. In case you are wondering why, then we have to spell out that Windows will end up using more system resources for more extended periods if it has to go through all the folders or directories on your computer’s drive.

How to turn on Enhanced Mode for Search Indexer in Windows 10?

Go through these steps:

  • First, you must open the Settings app. You can do this by using a specific combination of buttons on your keyboard. Press (and hold) the Windows key, then continue by giving the letter I key a tap.

We believe you have the Settings program window up by now. Click on Cortana. In the next menu or list of options you see, click on Searching Windows. You will end up in the section where you get to control the Windows Search feature using the Enhanced Mode functionality for Search Indexer.

  • Under the Find my file section, you must click on the radio button for Enhanced (Recommended) to select it. You have just turned on Enhanced mode.

If you did everything correctly, Windows would launch the one-time indexing process (usually an intensive one). You have to be patient as the operations involved might require considerable time for completion. The volume of files on your computer, the speed of your drive, and some other minor specifications make up the factors that determine how long the indexing process will take.

  • As we already stated that this indexing process is intensive (in terms of resources or anything that matters), you might want to plug in your laptop to power (if you use a laptop). This way, Windows will be able to operate without limitations.

Microsoft stated that users would have to wait for roughly 15 minutes before they start seeing the results from the indexed items in the Start Menu search. Fortunately, after Windows is done with the one-time indexing process, your system, in theory, is supposed to keep the indexing up to date automatically (without any input from you).

The automatic index setup should appear even better in your eyes once you come to realize it will not consume as many resources as the one-time indexing operations. After all, Windows is only supposed to scan for changes that have occurred since the last indexing activity.

Furthermore, the Enhanced mode for Search Indexer is equipped with a backdoor you can take advantage of to prevent Windows from going into folders or locations you would prefer it ignores. Of course, we understand that you do not want to see the contents of some folders appearing in the search results. In that case, Windows is better off not indexing such folders.

How to exclude a folder or location from the Search Indexer activity on Windows 10 computers?

If you want to exclude a folder, you must continue with the instructions below:

  • You can get the job done in the Windows Search Menu in the Settings app you launched earlier. Go to the next step and continue with things from there.
  • Otherwise (if you closed the Settings program window), you must do a quick search. Press the Windows button on your keyboard, then input the following keywords into the text field present: Windows Search settings
  • Click on the first result on the list that comes up.
  • Check under the Find My Files menu, you should see the Add an excluded folder button. Click on it. Now, you must select the directory you want to exclude; navigate through the necessary path, choose the right folder, and you are done.

How to turn off Enhanced mode for Search Indexer in Windows 10?

There is no turn-off switch or button for the Enhanced mode for Search Indexer. If you ever decide to disable Enhanced mode, you will have to make do with the alternative option (or the default setup for the Search Indexer on Windows 10). You are more or less going to revert to the Classic option.

Do this:

Open the Settings app, navigate through the necessary options or menus to get to the screen for Windows Search. You can also arrive at the required destination by doing a quick search through the Windows Start menu or Taskbar for the following keywords (and selecting the appropriate result): Windows Search Settings

Look under the Find My Files section. You will see the two options that determine the operations of the Windows Indexer functionality. This time, you have to click on the radio button for Classic to select it.

As expected, with the Classic option or setup becoming active, Windows will limit Search Indexer operations to the contents within the libraries directory and the Desktop folder.


Since you ended up on this page to find out how to carry out certain operations involving the Enhanced mode for Search Indexer on Windows 10, we believe you are likely to be interested in improvements to the general capabilities or all-around functioning of your computer.

To this end, we encourage you to download and run Auslogics BoostSpeed. It is an excellent program capable of running specific operations that bring about changes to help your PC operate at its optimum level.

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