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Win8.1 Search is broken

windows search win8 win8.1

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#1 ZeroSeven



  • Joined: 23-July 02

Posted 07 July 2013 - 11:52

Hi all


So far overall I must say the experience with Win8.1 has been pretty good here, its certainly a big improvement over 8 where it actually matters. The upgrade went flawlessly, impressively so in fact. My biggest gripe and I'll be honest, its been my gripe with Windows for a long time, is the search. Its broken, to put it bluntly.


Ok so lets look at it. The main problem I find in 8.1 is the fact that search, as others have mentioned on here, is now non-contextual by default meaning that if Im in an app and bring up the search charm the search is set to 'Everywhere' and not just for that app. Now this is fine, except that the opposite was true in Win8 and thus thats what app devs are working with. Why Microsoft decides to almost completely change direction on something like that after their big push with Windows 8 is beyond me. Its as if they're trying to **** everyone off. It'd be so easy to fix too... have it so that if your in a metro app, the search charm searches that app by default. If your on the desktop or start screen, search everywhere. Simple.


The next problem Im seeing, and this is almost a show stopper, is the fact that search itself doesnt seem to work properly, if at all. Now this is most likely and hopefully due to the beta nature of 8.1, so I'll hold off too much judgement until final release. But basically the problem is this: If I search for something, anything in fact, sometimes the search brings up the results almost instantly and it works fine. But most of the time, nothing happens. A lot of disk thrashing, a lot of CPU activity from explorer.exe, but nothing on screen at all. The search charm does nothing. Is anyone else seeing this? Also when it does work, the results arent exactly presented in a format thats highly usable, particularly for files on the local machine. For example it didnt find a contact I searched for, a contact which is present in the People app I might add. The funny part is if I use the Start menu search in Stardock's Start8 (which puts back a Win7-like Start Menu), search works fine from there... well a darn site better than the charm thats for sure.


To be honest Ive often found Windows search fairly lacking compared to the likes of Spotlight on OSX for example. Windows is better at finding the obscure stuff, but for quickly bringing up a Contact, images, music etc OSX's Spotlight is where its at. I dont understand why Windows is so bad at making that kind of stuff quickly accessible.


Anyway feedback from you guys would be great, I'd like to know if anyone has experienced all this or if its just me.



#2 articuno1au


    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 4
  • Joined: 20-March 11
  • Location: Brisbane, Australia

Posted 07 July 2013 - 11:54

I haven't encountered that to date.


My search is lovely :D

#3 Eric


    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 21
  • Joined: 02-August 06
  • Location: Greenville, SC

Posted 07 July 2013 - 12:13

It seems that upgrading can screw up the search index. If you open the control panel and search in it for "Indexing Options" and click Advanced on the indexing control panel there is an option to rebuild the index. That fixed it for me. (Also check to make sure there aren't any locations that don't exist anymore being indexed.)

#4 articuno1au


    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 4
  • Joined: 20-March 11
  • Location: Brisbane, Australia

Posted 07 July 2013 - 12:16

I did a clean install, so that might explain the difference there :)

#5 jEN0VA



  • Joined: 05-November 12

Posted 23 July 2013 - 02:02

I like Windows 8.1, but I also have encountered non-functional searching on my secondary hard drive (my D drive). Searches on my C drive seem to work just fine, but any search on my D drive produces no results after lengthy periods of searching. I don't know if it is an indexing issue or what, but I can't even add the D drive to the index, Windows 8.1 doesn't detect it in the list, but as no problem showing it in the This PC view.