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Windows Desktop Search 2.6.5 has shipped!

by Brandon on April 13th, 2006

The final version of WDS 2.6.5 is now available!  If you are running the 2.6.5 Beta or WDS 2.6.0, this update will be provided via Windows Update later this month.

WDS 2.6.5 Download

KB Article

If you are running the 2.6.5 Beta release from last month, upgrading to the final version will NOT require your index to be rebuilt.

However, if you are upgrading from an older version, your old index will need to be recreated automatically after the upgrade.

Unofficial list of changes since the beta:

-Image previews were broken if the containing folder also had a certain number of other images in it.  Fixed.

-Fixed an issue where WDS would not function properly if the wordbreaker for the current language was not properly registered.  It would switch to a fallback method, but due to a bug the fallback would fail.

-Fixed a situation where Outlook indexing could become broken (and cause WindowsSearchFilter.exe crashes) which usually occured if the user had previously used WDS 2.5 and didn’t reboot when asked to after uninstall/upgrade.

-Fixed an issue that could cause the message “Run-time error. This application has requested the Runtime to terminate in an unusual way” that would usually only manifest itself when the WDS UI was hosted in another application (like Outlook).

-Lots of internationalization work.

For completeness, the original unofficial list of updates from 2.6.0 follows:

-All the features of the 2.6 Enterprise version (Search Pane on XP/2003, Outlook Integrated Results when used with the MSN/WinLive Toolbar).

-WDS can now be installed over the MSN Toolbar Suite 2.5.  This will remove your MSN Toolbar, but preserve your settings.  You can then install the standalone toolbar or the 3.0 Beta and it will remember your settings from the 2.5 installation.  Alternatively, you can upgrade to the Toolbar 3.0 Beta (which includes WDS 2.6.5 as an optional component).

-The WDS Indexer has undergone some major changes to reduce disk I/O while indexing.

-Shutdown times have been improved significantly  (we think we’ve nailed the “End Now” dialog problem).

-New group policies.

-Bug fixes and other general improvements (such as a cleaner Deskbar loading mechanism).

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  1. W00t! Congrats on getting it out the door.

  2. dhan permalink

    I have a suggestion. There are few places on my computer which I have set to “not index”. When I invoke search on right-click on those particular folders, it opens WDS and I have to click on that stupid dog to get to normal XP search. Is there any option where it would automatically forward to XP search in such cases ?
    I would have posted this on Neowin but sadly it seems the site is facing some issues right now.

    Also on a lighter note, the download page you linked is messed up 😀

    First it says “Download files below” and when I scroll down, it says “Click the Download button in the upper right-hand corner of this page ”

    The download link happens to be at very bottom 😉

  3. Hi dhan –

    We’re aware of the Download Center issue. They told us yesterday they were going to fix it, guess I’ll have to ping them again!

    As for your question/suggestion – that’s a great idea. Unfortunately we’re limited a bit by the initial design of the Search companion, which prevented us from providing that kind of “smart” functionality. Also there were concerns that users would be confused if sometimes they got the Search companion and sometimes they got WDS.

    We’re always looking for new ways to improve the user experience with Desktop Search, and dealing with Indexed versus Non-indexed data is definitely one area where we thing we can improve a lot going forward.

    You can, of course, disable the WDS Search Pane entirely (so that you always see the Search Companion) in the WDS control panel.

    Thanks again for your input, I hope you’re enjoying the new release! Even though it looks the same on the surface, this one took a *LOT* of work!


  4. John Fiala permalink

    Looking around, it seems I’ve got version 2.5 of the desktop search – shall I just install 2.6.5 on top of this?

  5. Hi John,

    2.5 is the newest version of the MSN Toolbar Suite (which includes WDS 2.5). If you install WDS 2.6.5, it will inform you that it must uninstall the MSN Toolbar Suite to proceed. It will preserve your settings, but you’ll lose the MSN Toolbar functionality unless you download and install the standalone toolbar package afterward.

    Another option is to install the *beta* version of the 3.0 Toolbar (now called the Windows Live toolbar). It includes the latest version of WDS as an optional component.

    Another option is to keep using what you have until the 3.0 Toolbar is finished. That will be the simplest upgrade mechanism for users that are running the 2.5 Toolbar Suite right now.

    Unfortunately the out-of-band nature of these two products (and the fact that we use completely different installer technologies) makes it difficult to have the bundled versions always in sync with the standalone installers.

  6. Janson permalink

    Hi Brandon, Congrats on getting this out the door. Is there any news about an X64 release? Is one being worked on or is this being saved for Vista?



  7. Joanne permalink

    Hi Brandon,

    I come across your blog today, note you are an expert on desktop
    search….may i ask you to take a look of this new software
    of enterprise search and give me your comments? The download is



  8. Joanne permalink

    sorry…forgot to give you the website:



  9. Question regarding the issue where Outlook indexing becomes broken and causes the WindowsSearchFilter.exe crashes. I’m getting those error messages by the dozens when WDS 2.6.5 is indexing and Outlook (I have ver. 2003) is open. I don’t get the error messages if I let WDS index without opening Outlook. I went from MSN Toolbar with WDS (I think version 2.5) to WDS 2.6.5. It prompted me to uninstall the MSN Toolbar. I don’t remember whether it prompted me to reboot, however whenever I install/uninstall software and I’m asked to reboot, I reboot. Since I lost my MSN Toolbar, I decided to give the Windows Live Toolbar a try, so I downloaded that after installing WDS. I immediately started getting the WindowsSearchFilter.exe crashes. I’ve since uninstalled and reinstalled WDS and the Live Toolbar three or four times (most recently today) trying to experiment with ways to get the error messages to go away. The only thing I can do is set WDS to not index Outlook, which defeats some of the benefit gained by using WDS. I submitted a query to the MSDN Forum for WDS and got the suggestion I let the indexing finish completely before opening Outlook. That didn’t help. From reading your post, it seems like this release of WDS should have fixed this problem. Any suggestions on how I can fix this (or completely remove WDS and start over). Thanks!!

  10. Robert –

    Are you running the BETA of WDS 2.6.5? Or the final version?

    The final version number should end with 5378.

  11. My version number ends in 5378 – so I should have the final version number. I most recently uninstalled and reinstalled WDS two days ago. I downloaded and reinstalled WDS directly from the Microsoft website (from the WDS website). You mentioned that Toolbar 3.0 Beta includes WDS as an option. Do you mean the Live Toolbar? I checked that out last night considering another uninstall and reinstall but couldn’t see where WDS is included. I also didn’t see anything when I downloaded the Live Toolbar and installed it.

  12. I figured out the answer to one of my questions above. Since I downloaded the Live Toolbar after installing WDS, I never saw WDS as an installable option from the list of available downloads within the Live Toolbar. I tried again to uninstall and reinstall WDS leaving the Live Toolbar alone. After uninstalling and rebooting, and after deleting the remaining Windows Desktop Search folder under …Local Settigs, Application Data, Microsoft, (I was hoping to remove any remaining trace of WDS from my computer and start from scratch – I didn’t look at the Registry) and rebooting again, I downloaded WDS from the list of available downloads displayed in the Live Toolbar and re-installed and rebooted. The error messages promptly returned.

    I wanted to do another uninstall/reinstall because I couldn’t remember with certainty whether I rebooted. After going through the uninstall one more time, the reboot prompt is pretty obvious, so now I’m convinced I did it the first time. I know better to not reboot when prompted prior to installing new software.

  13. I might have an answer for unexplained WindowsSearchFilter.exe crashes. With Outlook 2003, I’m also running the separate Microsoft add-on “Business Contact Manager,” which integrates with Outlook but resides in a separate SQL database. (Sorry I didn’t mention it earlier.) While watching WDS index my hard drive and crash every time it tried to index something from the Outlook /Person Folders/, I noticed it indexed from my Outlook /Archive/ folder without crashing. That made me think about the WDS default settings. While digging through the various menus and windows of WDS 2.6.5, I noticed WDS by default tries to index every database I open with Outlook (eg. a “checkmark” is next to each of my databases), and this includes the Business Contact Manager (BCM) database. I also noticed when searching with the previous version of WDS, which didn’t crash while indexing my computer, that the BCM entries were not indexed. (I never looked through the various windows and checked what the default settings were with the previous version I had installed. I also don’t know the version number. It’s whatever came with the MSN Toolbar about two months ago.) I assumed no BCM entries were being indexed due to these entries being stored in an SQL database, which is different than the Outlook .PST file and which was confirmed with a post I made to the MSDN Windows Desktop Search Development Forum. (See Now to my point … since my Outlook Archive seemed to be indexing properly, it made me wonder why my Outlook Personal Folders were causing problems. This train of thought then made me wonder why the BCM database was selected to be indexed if it couldn’t be indexed and whether that may be causing problems. (I have no idea what made me jump to that conclusion!) So, I unselected the BCM database and now WDS has been indexing without a problem for well over half an hour. I can see it index Outlook Personal Folders without crashing. After days of experimenting, I think I found my answer! If I have any problems, I’ll post something else, but this is the first time in days WDS hasn’t generated an error message within seconds of starting to index. I’m optimistic this is the fix!!

    Now, I have just one more question. When WDS started reindexing, I actually had a NEGATIVE number of “Items indexed so far.” The negative number went down until it reached zero and then took off in a positive direction. I thought that was kinda weird.

    Thanks again for any time you spent researching this problem!!

  14. Interesting – I’ll have to follow up with someone more knowledgeable about BCM to see what we can do about that.

    As for the negative number, that’s actually a known issue if you index and then let the count go back to 0.
    It’s a purely cosmetic issue, but I think should be fixed in the 3.0 release.

  15. Maybe an intermediate fix is to ensure WDS default settings exclude the Business Contact Manager database. I’m glad there is at least a solution. (BTW – I’m several hours into the indexing and still no errors. Yeah!!) You may know Paul Nystrom. I’ve corresponded with him through the MSDN Windows Desktop Search Forum. He’s asked me to do some stuff and send him the results. If you and he are colleagues, maybe you can confer with his findings and determine a solution.

  16. WillieRam permalink

    So…I’ve upgraded to wds 2.6.5 (have the latest from may 30th). Now I cannot enjoy using google for search engine from the deskbar… why is that??????? I _can_ set it up on the msn toolbar (which I reinstalled _after_ wds 2.6.5 and veryfied that wds remained at
    Cheers, Willie.

  17. WillieRam –

    The standalone WDS versions use your default browser and its default search engine.

    So if you change IE’s autosearch provider to be Google, it will work!

  18. WillieRam permalink

    Ok, did that and works.. only that I like to use firefox also so are there any suggestions, comments, tips, places to look for the info to have the wonderful wds work with my preferred browser (not to say that I am giving ie + msn toolbar a try, as I did with maxthon, but firefox keeps emerging after a while).
    btw: I am getting acquainted to the world of desktop search and sound pretty exciting. So I wonder, if there are “command line” commands, like . xxx for opening folder containing best match for xxxx or sth like “ctrl-enter” instead of enter, to open the folder instead of the doc.. just a few random thoughts about it.

  19. I know it worked with Firefox pre-1.5 versions (it defaulted to Google “I’m Feeling Lucky”
    but could be changed). Unfortunately I think they broke their support
    for the common “? ” search syntax in 1.5 – looked to me like a bug on their part.

    It should work with Maxthon, although Maxthon seems to behave differently in that regard
    depending on whether you currently have it running or not.

    I’m not sure what other browsers work, but WDS simply launches the default browser with the
    “? ” parameter which I believe was an agreed-upon standard among several browsers.

    You might want to check out the “Deskbar Shortcuts” feature. It gives you the basics if you
    type the @ symbol into the Windows Deskbar.

  20. Donna permalink

    I installed the deskbar (without the msn toolbar) recently, and then upgraded my computer to Vista Beta. The deskbar seems to conflict and I don’t really need it now, since Vista has a perfectly fine search. But I can’t find anywhere how to uninstall the thing (or even get it out of startup). It isn’t listed in either add/remove programs or in startup. Is there any way for me to uninstall it?

  21. Hmm, Vista includes a newer version of Windows Desktop Search and should handle upgrade/migration for you.

    However some users have encountered bugs in this scenario using some of the beta versions.

    I would recommend at the very least removing the Windows Desktop Search shortcut from your “Startup” group in the Start menu, if it’s there, since it’s possible the WDS 2.x tray icon and/or indexer is trying to run if it was left behind mistakenly.

  22. Donna permalink

    Yeah, that’s part of the problem – it’s not listed in the startup. Is there a file folder where it lives? Is there no way to just uninstall it?

  23. Normally you can uninstall it from Add/Remove Programs.

    It shows up as “Windows Desktop Search.”

    However, the Vista beta may have broken that.

    If it’s not in the start-up group, what do you believe is conflicting? What sort of problems are you seeing?

  24. Donna permalink

    Even though it’s not in startup, it still tries to start up on boot up. It comes up with a message that searchindexer.exe is not functioning (or something to that effect). Sometimes it stalls the system at that point, and sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, I can just click ok, and move along.

  25. Donna permalink

    I’ve disabled it in Admin Tools / Services. Hopefully, that will stop the problem.

  26. Ah, SearchIndexer.exe is part of WDS 3.0 and Vista, and should not be causing you problems.

    However it’s possible that something got leftover in the registry from WDS 2.x that is causing you problems.

    Are you running Vista Beta 2? Or the more recent build?

  27. Donna permalink

    Vista Beta 2. When you say SearchIndexer.exe is part of WDS 3.0 and Vista, are you saying then that now my Vista search functions won’t work?, since I’ve disabled the service? Just checked, and search is still working well. Maybe it won’t continue to index new items?

  28. Donna permalink

    Well, I’ve discovered for myself that indeed, turning off the SearchIndexer service prevents Vista from indexing anymore. So, now I’m stuck. Can’t use WDS 2 and can’t use WDS 3. Can’t search at all. Sigh…

  29. Sizzaro permalink

    Brandon, I am running Windows Desktop Search version 2.05.0001.1119 (as part of the MSN Deskbar version 2.05.0000.1082). Recently, I noticed that Windows Desktop Search no longer starts up when Windows starts, even though I have that option checked (Automatically run Windows Desktop Search when I log on to Windows). Any thoughts?

  30. Gary permalink

    I have just installed the latest version (02.06.5000.5378) of WDS and find that it will not do a web search. When I attempt this, it sends me
    to the following broken link:

    Any advice you may be able to provide would be appreciated.

  31. Marc Roussel permalink

    What is the service for searchindexer.exe

  32. Hey brandon. I ahve the beta version of WLMB or WDS. whenever i try to install it, a pop up messages apears which says that i need XP SP2 or higher to run it. I am using Windows XP Professional. Can’t i use WDS with XP Professional. Please help me.

  33. Hi Dwayne,

    What is WLMB?

    What version of WDS are you trying to install? The WDS 3.0 Engine Preview? (which Office 2007 asks you to install?)

    Have you tried this forum?

  34. Craig permalink


    I have downloaded wds to test it out. I set it up using custom option to index selected folders. The problem I am realizing is that there are many times when I want to search the whole computer for something I have misplaced. WDS makes it hard to get to search companion and the search companion now is removed from the start menu.

    Can the two coexist on the start menu? It is a big hassle to get to the search companion when I need it . . . all I have figured is to open wds, and make sure the explorer bar is open in it and then click on the link in the bottom of the explorer bar.

    It would be convenient if there were two buttons on the search bar that lies next to the quick launch tray, one for search companion and one for wds.

    Also, I am not clear if wds indexes every filetype. Does it exclude some files by default?

    Can wds search subsets of an index? In other words, could I have different wds shortcuts that use different command line arguments that act as filters? Or perhaps one argument that refers to an .ini file with filters? (for example, one that would search all files on the computer, one that would search only document files on the d: drive and the e:\wordperfectdoc\ directory, and one that would search pictures on the d: drive and on the e:\pics directory)

    I like its power and speed, btw. Keep up the good work.



  35. Craig permalink

    p.s., I am using wds 2.6.5 on winxp

  36. Rosanna Pearson permalink

    I have installed MS Desktop Search and love it. However, I’ve noticed new problems with Microsoft File Explorer and also while in Word, using open command. Some files I know I’ve deleted are still showing up and new files I’ve created don’t show up until I reboot. Help!

  37. lex permalink

    Using WDS and want to uninstall but it does not show up in my add/remove programs. How can I remove it

  38. Robert, thank you for your blog posts that helped me determine my WDS crashes were also due to BCM searching.

    I was migrating to a new desktop and decided to ditch Google Desktop for Windows Desktop but was disappointed that it was crashing every five seconds when Outlook was open.

    Hopefully they will fix the BCM indexing issue because most of my contacts are in that database.


  39. Got this pop-up that says,”Windows Desktop Search Tool Tray Admin has encountered a problem and needs to close”. I can understand this and I’m ok with that. But it asks me to Send Error Report or Don’t Send.
    That’s fine too except it will send. Nor will the pop-up leave the screen. Can’t even click and move it out of the way, just leaves another in its place. I had installed Windows Toolbar 7 which worked fine, and then replaced it with 7 Beta. The whole toolbar dissapeared. Uninstalled & beta and reinstalled. Now I have no MSN search at all and can’t get it back, just this blasted pop-up window. Question: how do I get rid of the pop-up?

  40. Sorry, I ment to say ‘It will NOT send the error report’.

  41. Steve permalink


    Could you enlighten us on how WDS calculates the hash value of a Store.EntryID in the mapi URLs? For instance, if I have a url like mapi://LocalHost/Default/Personal Folders ($11c1)/Development/H00˺൸匿ሃ싉倰闦琔b. How does WDS get 11c1 from the Store.EntryID?

    I need to replicate this algorithm so I can differentiate between multiple stores named “Personal Folders”. If you could expose the code that does this hashing that would be a godsend!


  42. Brian permalink


    I have been using desktop search for a while. I go a popup from the application that said there was an update available. I clicked to install it and now I no longer have the desktop search installed and I have the windows live search toolbar for IE. Where did the desktop search go? Why was it removed? It looks like all ability to search my desktop is gone.


  43. samtran permalink

    IS Windws Desktop Search 2.6.5 compatible withh office2007?

  44. Harold permalink

    I am looking for the older MSN toolbar before it became that “live” one…I do not
    want all the tabs and junk that goes if the new one….I had 2.5 and it worked fine.
    Till I had to re-load windows…and lost it…thought I had it saved…but can not find it
    Any help would be great…e-mail me anytime

  45. robert permalink

    i have installed wds 3.01 on two ts servers running server 2003, one install has worked fine, but the server, when you search the desktop wds closes down, also when use the live search toolbar in outlook, it causes outlook to close down. have unistalled and re-intalled but no luck,
    any idea how to solve this, or what is cuasing it


  46. Jason permalink

    I installed a version I found that seems different and basic to that of the previous version I had. This version only shows an option to choose what you want to attach to search, and there is no “About” to get the version number, and it doesn’t show up in Add/Remove Programs to remove it. Did I get a “wanderer” beta version? I use Windows Server 2003 for my PC (Dev, etc.).

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