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Windows Search does not show results from Winzip files

    Question

  • I have copied Winzip files from a previous Win/XP system to Windows 7. They appear as a normal folder when used with Explorer. However, when I search for a term, neither the files nor the contents of the files in the Winzip folder show up in the GLOBAL search. The file names do show up when I seach the parent directory of Winzip folders, however not the content. Please help. I use Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit)
    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 3:15 PM

Answers

  • We can find the zip files via Windows Search, however we cannot find the contents inside the zipped files.
    You're saying that if I create a zip file and place a goose.txt file containing the words "golden egg", and type in the word "golden" into the search box, it will not find the file.  However, if I type "goose" it will find it.

    You may be wrong about this...  On my system it actually does find the file by contents inside the zip file.  Today at least.



    I have permanently disabled Search Indexing.  That could be helping here.  Also, here are my search options:



    For those of you for whom it is not finding the expected file(s)...  Can you do the above experiment with a simple text file and report whether the search turns the file up in both cases.

    -Noel
    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 11:23 PM

All replies

  • To get Windows 7 to search .zip files you need to go into the Search Tab under Folder Options and check the box next to Include compressed files.

    I agree that the search feature in Win7 doesn’t appear to be as friendly as the previous versions.


    I want to be a MVP! | Computer Technician
    • Proposed as answer by banmenau Tuesday, February 23, 2010 10:00 PM
    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 10:00 PM
  • Search Compressed Files was enabled. Still, search results do not show the file names and contents of files in zip files. Since the post, I have done more tests.

    1. This issue is COMMON to Microsoft Compressed files as well as Winzip files (Previous post indicated that the issue is with Winzip).
    2. Compressed Files seach action seems to be limited to finding file names only. (I wish it were more but will live with it if it works)!
    3. When the search is initiated in the directory where the compressed/winzip files are located, the search does list the file names but not the contents
    3. Seach will not even list the file names if the search is started at the computer level or even at the parent diretcory of the directory where the zip files reside.

    This is a serious problem for me and I hope somebody in Microsoft or otherwise can help solve

    Thanks

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 4:29 PM
  • We can find the zip files via Windows Search, however we cannot find the contents inside the zipped files.
    You're saying that if I create a zip file and place a goose.txt file containing the words "golden egg", and type in the word "golden" into the search box, it will not find the file.  However, if I type "goose" it will find it.

    You may be wrong about this...  On my system it actually does find the file by contents inside the zip file.  Today at least.



    I have permanently disabled Search Indexing.  That could be helping here.  Also, here are my search options:



    For those of you for whom it is not finding the expected file(s)...  Can you do the above experiment with a simple text file and report whether the search turns the file up in both cases.

    -Noel
    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 11:23 PM
  • Changing the option to "always search" did not help in any way relative to the indexed search. The problem remains the same: Irrespective of Winzip or MSFT Compressed files:

    1. I can not list even the file names if the search is initiated at a different directory level than the directory where the zipped files are located.
    2. If the search is initiated in the directory, where the compressed files reside, then the file names are listed but NOT the contents.

    When I look at the file search filters (in Advanced Indexing Options), I see only a "plain text filter" for zipped files. BTW, I did enable "index properties and file contents" option in Advanced Indexing Options for zipped files.

    Sorry, the above solution does not work
    Thursday, February 25, 2010 4:05 AM
  • Any reason you haven't tried disabling indexing?

    -Noel
    Thursday, February 25, 2010 4:46 AM
  • Sorry, I should have been clearer. Disabling index did not give me different results compared to enabling index. Both behaved exactly same except for performance issue
    Saturday, February 27, 2010 4:34 AM
  • Are you searching using the following syntax?

    filename:*partialfilename*

    or

    filename:fullfilename.ext

    Note that you must specify the filename: portion of the search term to explicitly search for a filename, and the wildcards are necessary, I've found, to ensure it will always match a partial filename.  Try finding that documented.

    I've just tested it again.  Not only can I find files by name inside zip archives, but also by contents inside them.  Do you have any software on your system, such as WinZip, that does special things with zip files?  I do not.

    -Noel
    Saturday, February 27, 2010 5:55 AM
  • Irrespective of the syntax, the result is the same. I have searched just with words with no qualifying filters, I have used filename:part-file-name, filename:*part-file-name*.ppt and filename:filename.ppt

    Search is not finding the file (let alone the contents) in the zipped folder (unless seach begins in the same folder where the zipped file resides). In no case, it is finding the contents.

    As I mentioned, I am using Windows 7 Home Premium. And in my system, I am not able to select any alternates to ""plain text filter" for zipped files even after enabling indexing of contents.
    Sunday, February 28, 2010 6:12 AM
  • Good point...  I have Windows 7 Ultimate, you have Home Premium.  You don't suppose they chose THAT as a differentiator...  Where are you finding these filters (e.g., "'plain text filter' for zipped files")?  Is that something to do with indexing?

    By the way, I just embedded a .ppt file into a zip file, and Windows Search found it both by name and contents, no matter where I started the search from.  However, at one point while I was trying to enter the search term Explorer became unresponsive for a long while.  Why does Microsoft think it needs to take off on the search before the user has finished entering what to search for?  Does anyone besides me find that irritating?  And yes, it was just as irritating when I had indexing on, except at that time it would return bogus results as well, tending to make the more important problem (inaccurate results) the focus of one's frustration.

    I sound like I'm really promoting Windows Search, but rest assured I'm not.  I've got Word (.doc) files it won't find by contents, and the (incorrect) result is repeatable.  Perhaps there is a bug that manifests differently on different systems.

    So at this point, assuming you're not missing anything obious Subbu61, there's no solution currently available that consistently finds things inside .zip files.

    -Noel
    Sunday, February 28, 2010 8:35 PM
  • Disabling index did not give me different results compared to enabling index
    Not to belabor this, but how did you disable indexing?  Just curious.  I've actually stopped the Windows Search service using the Services portion of the computer management console (i.e., Right-click on Computer, choose Manage, then Services and Applications, then Services).  Seems like I cleared the index somewhere along the way, but I'll be damned if I remember where.

    I wish I could help you get at least to the level of results I'm seeing.

    -Noel
    Sunday, February 28, 2010 8:41 PM
  • I find the filter settings in
    indexing options -> Advanced -> File Types

    Yes, if I use the search bar in the explorer window, it pauses before searching - and seems to search all over again (even with indexing).

    I have used Google Desktop (GDS) earlier. I find that's faster and more complete at least from a zipped file perspective. I have two workarounds - one go back to GDS. Another, unzip all files (but something that I am hoping to avoid as the compressed files are close to 6GB).

    You can choose to disable indexing in MSFT search by going through the Folder Properties.

    How do we get to MSFT team for this support?
    Monday, March 01, 2010 2:09 PM
  • Microsoft makes it practically impossible to contact them.  It's barely possible to get help with activation issues, I honestly don't know how to contact them to report bona fide bugs in Windows 7.

    You've gone about disabling indexing in the wrong way; by changing the folder properties you are telling the indexing service to avoid looking in the folders, but the indexing service is still running.

    Try disabling indexing in a more thorough manner:

    - Stop the Windows Search service via Computer Management Console and set it to Disabled.
    - Delete the index via the Indexing Options.
    - Reboot.

    You could find this gives you the ability to actually find things, as I have.

    -Noel
    Monday, March 01, 2010 3:51 PM
  • Thanks. It does find things. The one pending issue is search performance. I have three choices;

    1. (Low probability) help from MSFT
    2. Unzip and live with more disk usage
    3. Go for Google Desktop.

    I prefer the last if somebody can vouch for GDS performance on Windows 7. I had used GDS on XP with very good results. But, I doubt GDS is tuned for Windows 7.

    Regards
    Thursday, March 04, 2010 8:25 AM
  • I did some plugin development for Google Desktop.  Frankly I found Google Desktop to be more like an infection on the computer than a useful tool.

    How long does it take you to search files?  Is this a mainstream part of what you do?  How many files do you search?

    For better performance you could get better storage hardware...  I prefer a Raid 0 with two fast WD drives.  More software doesn't seem to be the answer.

    P.S., as I have mentioned elsewhere re: searching:  A nice freeware tool called grepWin seems to be a good answer for searching all but zip files.   http://tools.tortoisesvn.net/grepWin

    -Noel
    Thursday, March 04, 2010 2:29 PM
  • Not sure what you meant by GDS being an infection. But, it's integration with Windows is questionable and it does slow down the pc. On the other hand, as you did, several developed plug-ins so it is very versatile. Yet, for now, I will stick with Windows Search.

    When I seach (without indexing), the search can take several minutes. I do have a 7200 rpm disk with my laptop. I do not use a PC and rely on the laptop exclusively. Hence, Raid disks are a chalenge.

    I will check out the search tool. Thanks for staying engaged in the disc. I wish Windows team solves the zipped search problem

    Sunday, March 07, 2010 6:46 AM
  • Noel,

    I followed your instructions, am still not able to find my search term within a compressed file.

    Am running Win 7 Enterprise.

    thanks,

    Dawn

    Friday, February 18, 2011 3:54 PM