Beginning from Windows 10 May 2019 Update version 1903, Windows 10 has further improved the search functions in Windows 10 with more settings and features. In addition to seperating the Cortana digital assistant user interface from Search, the Search now also has the ability to fully index and locate all files on the computer.

Previously, Windows Search only has the ability to index and find files and folders located on the Desktop, various document libraries and locations that you specified, unless you manually include those folders. With the introducation of new “Enhanced” mode, Windows Search can index and search for all files and folders on the entire Windows 10 PC device, regardless of location, including non-standard folder locations, and you have the option to exclude unwanted folders from search.

Despite the introduction of enhanced search in Windows 10, the Classic mode is selected by default. The Classic mode searches only your libraries and Desktop. Follow this tutorial to enable the Enhanced Search mode in Windows 10 to search your entire PC, including your libraries and Desktop.

Note that as Enhanced Search greatly expands the scope of indexing and scope of search, thus when indexing crawl takes place it may slightly affect system performance, increase CPU consumption and reduce the battery life.

How to Enable Enhanced Search in Windows 10 to Find Files on Entire PC

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Go to Search.
  3. Go to Searching Windows.
  4. Under “Find My Files” heading, select radio button of Enhanced to turn on Enhanced Search to locate files on entire device.

    Enhanced Search

    Enabling Enhanced Search essentially instructs Windows 10 operating system to start indexing every locations of the device. You can track the status and progress under “Indexing Status”. If you’re turning on Enhanced mode for the first time, the indexing may take a while to complete. Some files may not appear in the search results before indexing is completed.
  5. Optionally, you can exclude folders that you don’t have the Search to index for faster find in the Excluded Folders section. Some common system, application and app data folders have been added to the exclusion list. If you need them to be included in Enhanced Search indexing, do select them and hit Remove excluded folder to re-include them into search indexing.

If you’re advanced users, you can also check out Advanced Search Indexing Settings which allow you to further configure and fine tune how or where Windows OS should index and search, and which files types Windows should index and search. It’s similar to settings available to classic search.

How to Disable Enhanced Search in Windows 10 to Find Files on Entire PC

Repeat above steps and just select Classic for “Find My Files” setting.