How to Hide Folders from Windows Search in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to hide specific folders from Windows search results in Windows 11. Windows has a built in search feature that allows you to search for documents from a particular folder or the entire PC.

Windows Search service indexes content for faster results when searching for files and other content from defined locations. 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.

With Enhanced indexing option, Windows indexes your computer’s entire contents, all hard drives, and partitions, including your libraries and desktop by default.

Whatever indexing options you’re using, you can hide specific folders you don’t want Windows searching through. Content that you don’t want included in your search results, which may bog down your systems, can be hidden from Windows Search service.

Below is how to do that in Windows 11

How to hide content from Windows Search results in Windows 11

As mentioned above, one can hide content in specific folders they don’t want included in Windows search results.

For example, if you don’t want Windows including web content in its search results, you can prevent Windows from including content from the web in its search results.

To start hiding specific folders from Windows Search, continue 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 Exclude folders from enhanced search, select These folders won't be included when searching your PC.

Then click the Add an excluded folder button.

Next, browse to the location and select the folder you want to exclude from Windows Search.

All the folder you exclude will be listed under Excluded folders from enhanced search.

If you like to remove a folder from the excluded folders list, simply click on the vertical ellipse (three dots) and select Remove.

You can now close the Windows Settings app if you like.

That should do it!


This post showed you how to add specific folders to Windows Search exclusion list. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.