Windows Tip: How To Full-Text Index Search Files on a Network Mapped Drive

Windows has a pretty robust and powerful full-text search engine built-in since Windows 7. Any non-binary files in a folder that’s been indexed by Windows Search service can be full-text searched in Windows Explorer (File Explorer on Windows 10), which means they can be found not only by the file name but through the content of the file as well. It works mostly for files stored on your local computer but do you know you can also index files on a network location or a network-mapped drive as well to make them full-text searchable?

Here is how you can do it.

First of all, open Indexing Options from Control Panel and make sure Offline Files is listed as one of the locations for indexing. The easiest way to open Indexing Options is to click Start button and type “index options” to search and find the app and click to open it.

Then, right-click the folder that needs to be indexed on a network-mapped drive and select “Always available offline” from the context menu. Basically what it does is to make all files in that folder available offline on your local computer. And because all offline files are already included in the index option, making the network folder offline puts all these files in the index option as well.

Now you will just need to wait for a bit until the indexing is completed before performing a new search to see if it finds anything by the file content.