How to Enable Enhanced Search Indexing in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to turn On Enhanced Search Indexer in Windows 11. By default, Windows uses Classic indexing to index and return search results. The Classic indexing option will index content found in the user profile folders, including Documents, Pictures, Music and the Desktop.

Users can add additional locations using the Classic indexing option to include additional content.

The Enhanced indexing option indexes your computer’s entire contents, all hard drives, and partitions, including your libraries and desktop by default. Choosing the Enhanced indexing options may reduce your battery life and increase CPU consumption. That’s why the PC must be plugged in for initial indexing.

After you change the setting to Enhanced, the search indexer begins indexing the additional files. The indexing status is updated on the Settings page.

Below we will show you how to switch to Enhanced indexing option in Windows 11.

How to switch to enhanced indexing mode Windows 11

As mentioned above, users can use Windows enhanced indexing option to include additional content to index and return for user for user’s searches.

To switch to enhanced indexing mode, follow the steps below.

Windows 11 has a centralized location for majority of its settings. From system configurations to creating new users and updating Windows, all can be done from its System Settings pane.

To get to System Settings, you can use the Windows key + i shortcut or click on Start ==> Settings as shown in the image below:

Alternatively, you can use the search box on the taskbar and search for Settings. Then select to open it.

Windows Settings pane should look similar to the image below. In Windows Settings, click Privacy & security, and select Searching Windows tile on the right pane as shown in the image below.

windows 11 searching windows

On the Searching Windows settings pane, under Find my files, select Enhanced.

You can now close the Settings app if you like.

How to switch to Classic Search indexing mode in Windows 11

If you don’t like the enhanced Search Indexing experience, you can return the the Classic mode by reversing the steps above.

Go to the Start menu ==> Windows Settings ==> Privacy & security ==> Searching Windows ==>, under Find my files, choose Classic.

That should do it!


This post showed you how to enable or disable the enhanced search indexing mode in Windows 11. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.