How to Index Windows Explorer

by Erin McManaway

The Windows operating system allows you to index files and folders within Windows Explorer for searches. Indexing folders speeds up the search process because Windows will only search the indexed files rather than all the files on your hard drive during computer-wide searches. However, folders that are not indexed will take longer to search through. You can add new folders from Windows Explorer to your search index at any time.

Click the "Start" button and type "indexing options" in the search text box on the Start menu.

Click "Indexing Options" from the search results. This will open the "Indexing Options" window.

Click the "Modify" button. This will open the "Indexed Locations" window.

Click the arrow next to your main hard drive. A list of folders will appear underneath. You can browse each folder by clicking the arrow icon next to it.

Place a check in the box next to the folders you want to index.

Click the "OK" button to save the changes to the search index. You will now see the indexed folders appear in the "Included Locations" box of the "Indexing Options" window.

Click "Close" to complete the indexing.


  • close Only index folders you really need to search through frequently. If the search index becomes too large, this will slow down the search process.

About the Author

Erin McManaway holds a B.A. in professional writing from Francis Marion University, where she earned the Richard B. Larsen Memorial Award for Business and Technical Writing. She has worked in materials development, media and information technology in the nonprofit sector since 2006. McManaway has also been a writer and editor since 2008.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images