Searching Your Source Code – Getting Results From Vista File Indexing

About a week ago I needed to search all my source code to find a value contained within one or more files.  The search never returned any results.  So it was either turn the thing off or figure out the problem.

I feel like the last guy to figure out how to get the most from the Vista File Indexing feature, but just in case you don’t know about this, here we go.

Desired Result

Want to be able to enter a search string in the Windows Explorer Search Box and have it list all my code files that contain that search string.


  • Open Control Panel
  • Click on Indexing Options
    • You can modify file locations if desired.  I’m using the default as it works for me.
  • Click on the Advanced button
  • Click on the File Types tab
    • (continued below …)


Important Step

Below the dialog displays a list of file types on your system and how the Indexer indexes that file type.  You can also add any missing file extensions.

You’ll notice that for each file type you can select to index just the file properties or the file properties and the content.

Notice that I’ve changed the indexing behavior for my .vb files so that the content is indexed along with the file properties.  How simple is this?

I also have changed the .xaml and .cs files to index like the .vb files.

Now I have instant access to all my source code content.


At your option you can now switch back to the Index Settings tab and press the Rebuild button to have you’re source code indexed immediately.

Have a great day!

Just a grain of sand on the worlds beaches.

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