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Rebuilding Your Search Index In Vista



Indexing1After installing Vista SP1 I reported that one of the things that didn’t seem to work as quickly as pre-SP1 was opening Outlook. In an attempt to try and track that down, I decided to do a little Outlook house-keeping and see if that would improve things.

I typically have far too many emails in my InBox and about once a month or so I’ll go through and file things away appropriately. No, I’m not a Getting Things Done follower, and yes, I’m a filer. So, anyway, while doing some filing, I noticed that I couldn’t get any search results to materialize after awhile. No real problem, I figured I was just taxing things as I was moving  quite a few emails around, so I decided to rebuild the Search Index. Only problem was the Search Index was not reporting any locations, nor would it let me add any. So, I knew I had a problem. A reboot fixed that. (Remember the days when we used to blog ‘a quick reboot fixed that.’ Those days are gone, just like $2.00 a gallon gasoline here in the states.)

Indexing2Once the reboot was accomplished, I was able to do the rebuild. The result? Outlook is running a little faster and Search is a little quicker, but not enough to say it isn’t because my InBox is a little cleaner. I will say this though, in the short period (less than a day) after doing this, I notice that there is much less disk-thrashing going on behind the scenes than there was previously. Again, far too early to really tell as to why or what that really means, but it is very noticeable. Makes me wonder if rebuilding the Search Index isn’t something we should do every few months or so.

In case you’re wondering, or haven’t already figured it out for yourselves, here’s a quick how-to on rebuilding your Search Index in Vista.



If you want your Outlook and OneNote files indexed make sure those programs are open and running.

  • Go to Control Panel.
  • Choose Indexing Options
  • Choose Advanced
  • Choose Rebulid
  • Go do something else. Depending on the size of your data, this could take awhile. If you’ve got a lot of data to re-index, you might want to do this overnight. 

Note also this is where you can change the location of your Index File.


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