How to Use the Adobe IFilter

By Andrew Meer

Adobe IFilter is an indexing service that allows you to search for content within PDF (Portable Document Format) files when searching for files and other content through the Windows Search Service. Adobe IFilter is a background service, so you cannot interact with it directly. Before you can use the Windows Search Service to look for content within PDF files through Adobe IFilter, you must index the PDF file format though the "Indexing Options" dialog box.

Download and install Adobe IFilter through the Adobe website (see "Resources").

Restart your computer after installing Adobe IFilter.

Click "Start," type "Index" (without quotes) and press "Enter" to open the "Indexing Options" dialog box.

Click the button labeled "Advanced," and then click the tab labeled "File Types."

Type "PDF" (without) quotes into the "Add new extension" field and click "Add."

Click the radio button next to "Index Properties and File Contents" and click "OK."

Close the "Indexing Options" dialog box. Adobe IFilter will automatically scan the content within any PDF documents on your computer and will bring up relevant search results the next time you use the Windows Search Service.