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New Windows Search SDK is live!

by Brandon on March 13th, 2007

The new Windows Search SDK for Windows Vista and Windows Desktop Search 3.x is now available on MSDN!

We’ve also released a new set of code samples to go along with it.

I’ll be digging in and writing more about building on the SDK very soon!

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  1. BillD permalink

    I found a bug in Vista’s Instant Search: when you have a file named like this
    “filename[1].doc” and you rename it to filename.doc, the Instant Search
    always displays the previuos name “filename[1].doc” in the start menu search
    results, although that file has been renamed to “filename.doc” a week ago
    (and so when you click on “filename[1].doc” the file is not found).

  2. Soum permalink

    Hey, how do I configure WDS to index all folders in the root of a drive except so and so folders – basically specifying an exclusion list.

    Thanks in advance.

  3. InnerSwirl permalink

    Hi Brandon,

    It’s possible to interact with search-ms protocol from C#? I seek a way to retrieve the Favorites and History result that we can get from the Start Search Box. And actually, the only way I’ve found it’s by using the search-ms protocol. And again by using the same way, we can grab any folder data including system folders. I know, that we can add some folders to the search engine… But, I don’t want to index those files, only search outside of the already defined search locations.

    Thanks in advance,

  4. Eric permalink

    Does the new .NET interop mean that we can create property handlers in c# or is that still not allowed?

  5. Terabyte permalink


    Vista’s search engine just doesn’t quite cut it. For example, we cannot find a way to stop it from indexing Outlook 2007. Since Instant Search doesn’t work well for many people, based on the number of complaints in the Partner Groups, we want it to stop even looking at pst files. I can find e-mails in Eudora in 1/2 the time it takes Vista’s engine to find them in Outlook and don’t even get me started on Lotus Organizer 6’s search performance over Outlook 2007. Organizer 6 can find every instance of “Microsoft” in 1/10th the time that Outlook’s instant search can (if it even finds it at all, which is the bigger problem). Our customers are complaining and we are to the point of moving everyone to Thunderbird or waiting for Eudora’s open source engine for e-mail and looking far and wide for an Outlook contact management replacement, all because search is pitiful.

  6. “Terabyte” –

    Sounds like you might be hitting a compatibility issue, as searching via Windows Search should be far faster than any non-indexed search. If the search is taking more than a couple seconds on a reasonably modern machine, then something is probably going wrong.

    As for stopping Vista from indexing Outlook 2007, that’s quite easy. Open the Indexing Options control panel, click “Modify”, and uncheck Microsoft Outlook. It can also be controlled via Group Policy in a managed environment.

    Or you could turn it off via Outlook – by clicking Tools -> Options -> Search Options.

    You also said “if it even finds it at all” – have you encountered a case where a mail item was not being returned by a query when it should have been? If so, please report it as that should never happen (unless of course you’re searching before the initial indexing has completed).

  7. Leaver of a Tip permalink

    I was having trouble on Vista with adding directory locations. The checkboxes to add the directories were grayed out. I would click a checkbox and it would do nothing.

    I went to Start | Search | Advanced | Locations | Choose Locations and added my additional directories. After that I got an option to add them to the index, which I took.

    Problem fixed. Just leaving a tip.

    With that SDK out, I know I won’t be the only one looking for cool new things coming out. Thanks.

  8. Mark Eckert permalink


    I am a little stumped, I love Windows Search, but it seems to loose track of files, almost as if it only indexes initially, and does not regularly scan to see if a file has been deleted or moved or renamed, etc. Here are two examples:
    #1. I have a 250G external usb drive being searched. I often do large amounts of file management (moving files and folders to noe locations). Long after moving files or folders I will do a search (i.e. returning a standard pdf file with the search term in the file name) and Windows Search will provide the old name and or old file location with no reference to the new. (If I click on the search reference I get a message that the “file cannot be found”)
    #2. I have 6 large .PST files loaded in Outlook. When mail is POPed from my 8+ accounts rules move the mail to one of the .PST files. (The files are always open.) When I run a search with Window Search on Email, it returns the original inbox location of the email, not the moved location. This I was able to solve by “re-indexing” a couple weeks ago, but already that “refresh” is getting stale.
    Any thoughts?

  9. james permalink

    Hey there,
    Can anyone help me by showing me how to query wds 3.01 programmatically via I’ve had a look at the sdk and since I don’t code in c# or c++ I can’t seem to make head nor tail of it. maybe I’m missing something.

  10. stefan permalink


    i encountered a small problem with the search function in 2007. even with everything indexed, when i enter a name to search on, outlook says ‘nothing found’ … while it’s visible ….

    any suggestions …. i tried ms helpdesk but without any news ….

    many thanks

  11. Jennifer permalink

    Hi Brandon,

    You said: “You also said “if it even finds it at all” – have you encountered a case where a mail item was not being returned by a query when it should have been? If so, please report it as that should never happen (unless of course you’re searching before the initial indexing has completed).”

    Well, that’s how I found you. My desktop search works fine for files, but doesn’t find emails and search within Outlook 2007 does not work, at all. No matter what term I use I get 0 results, on things I should have results on. I’ve tried all the hints I’ve found, re-indexed, nothing helps.

    I live and die by my search function. Please help!!!!!!

    I’m running Office 2007 on a Windows XP SP2 machine.

  12. Rami permalink

    No search results here as well.

    Initially, I had Oultook 2003 on XP SP2 with Lookout for searching emails. I hate WDS because it slows down the PC (resource greedy). For searching files, I use Locate32 (a great freeware!).

    I upgraded to Oultook 2007 and I was forced to use Instant Search as Lookout is replaced with WDS. Anyway, it worked fine (of course, moving emails became terribly slow).

    I fresh insatlled Vista Ultimate and Office 2007, neither Instant Search nor the built-in Advanced Find (Ctrl+Shift+F) work! Of course, I let Vista index emails all night long, but in vain 🙁

  13. Stan Vonog permalink

    Hi Brandon

    We are implementing a custom property handler which exposes several properties computed from text files. We need these files to be searchable by these properties.

    We have based our property handler on Recipe Property Handler sample included in Windows SDK. It works fine with the shell – we are able to see the new property, sort, group, etc. but the search never works :(( We have not been able to search by the new property. Seems like crawler never picks up our property handler.

    NEITHER it works for the Recipe Property Handler sample itself! (as many folks in this thread have already pointed out) Our property schema resembles that of the sample and of course includes searchInfo elements, etc. etc.

    We have been desperately looking for a solution on the Internet and the general words information is:

    include search info in property description schema and PSRegisterPropertySchema should do the trick both for the shell and the crawler
    Yes, it does work for the shell, NO IT DOES NOT WORK FOR THE CRAWLER.

    We have tried lots of possible tricks (putting files into system32, editing Indexer’s internal files, trying all sorts of queries with .search-ms files) but all in vain.

    We are really desperate and almost hopeless :((( Is there a way to get it working?? Please help us. Forums and MS empolyees are our last hope.

    I posted this question in MSDN Forums as well. If you have an answer please also post it in this thread

    There is a bunch of other folks who can not solve this problem as well

    Looking forward to hearing from you


  14. André permalink

    Hi Brandon,

    I’m trying to set and make wds crawl a location programatically, but using the documentation at MSDN I couldn’t make my code work properlly yet. I think I have to define a CrawlScopeRule in the CrawlScopeManager, am I correct? But it’s not clear to me how can I do this, even looking at the MSDN.

    I hope you can help me with some tip or example on that,

    Thanks a lot,


  15. Rod Whiteley permalink

    Hey Brandon,
    After the initial glow, I too am frustrated with Vista search functionality within Outlook 2007. A few weeks back, it simply stopped working. At about the same time the machine started giving me a blue screen on attempting to shutdown (so it restarts).
    I have rebuilt the windows index 6 (count ’em) times now, and carefully ensured that both .pst and .ost files were being indexed (file properties and contents chosen, although it didn’t seem to make a difference). I also tried moving the location of the search index hoping this would somehow force the creation of a new, working index. Unfortunately no good there as well.
    In desperation I installed google desktop search to only index mails (which it did fine) until one suggestion for fixing the shutdown-reboot issue was to remove GDS – which I did, and no it didn’t help anything and now I have no email indexing features.
    The only non-Microsoft Outlook Addins I have are Plaxo plug-in (been there since first install) and Outlook Shutdown (that hasn’t helped the shutdown reboot issue either).
    I’ve archived old items and made the .pst as small as I can by permanently deleting all old emails, again this is no good.
    Currently rebuilding the index yet again, but would dearly love to know why this isn’t working, and more importantly a fix for this ridiculously frustrating glitch.

  16. Joe Lafferty permalink

    Hi Rod,
    i have had the same problem – i know there is an email or document in there but the search does not find it.
    one word (vodafone) was also in onenote but it didn’t show up there either!
    i’ve tried rebuilding index a number of times also…
    VERY frustrating!
    Brandon-i know this is your blog, can you direct me to a person who can help me with this?
    kind regards,

  17. Michael Betz permalink

    All: Add me to the list of frustrated users. I’m trying to search my contacts to create a list of every one I have with ‘gulfstream’ in the contact. It tells me ‘No matches found for “gulfstream”. I can scroll to my own entry, search for “betz” and I can’t find myself. I’ve reindexed a couple of time, and there is no change.

  18. I had the same problem for a month on my new HP Laptop. I
    reinstalled Ms Office Proffesional 2007, there was no change. I
    finally did a upgrade reinstall of Vista Ultimate
    and everything is working fine now. After MS Outlook
    reindexed, my search box started working again.
    I hope this helps somebody.

  19. hi
    hellllllllllp! my search function isn’t working in outlook. i have vista. i’m too stressed to read all the blog items in detail as so busy with work – i don’t know how to redindex?!!?!

    if anyone could please explain to me how it can be done simply, i’ll give it a go, but i’m no IT guru!

  20. Nat here again…….it’s outook 2007 i can’t seem to search anything in. it’s driving me nuts. i run my own business from home and have over 2,000 emails in my inbox and i can’t find anything if I can’t search for key words! 🙁

  21. I too am getting fristrated with WDS. I am trying to integrate WDS into some applications.
    I really need more information for using with managed code (.net 7 years old now).

    Search results vary on XP with 3.01 installed.

  22. Andy Thornton permalink

    Has anyone noticed Brandon disappeared on 2nd April 2007. We all seem to have this ongoing problem with Outlook 2007 and instant search. Can anyone out there point us to a solution….

    Hello!!! Microsoft!!!! Are you there??? We’re just your customers with a bit of trouble; any chance of a bit of help as we all seem to have followed the stock answers of rebuilding this index and that index and running fixmapi.exe and jumped through all the hoops in an effort to fix this…

    or is Outlook 2007 just not up to it?

  23. Andy – this post is very old. I haven’t “disappeared” which should be evident by the fact that I still post to this blog regularly.

    I try to help when I can, but this isn’t my job. I maintain this blog in my free time, which I have little of. So… Have you looked at the FAQ on this site? If that doesn’t help, you’re going to need to do a better job explaining the problem you have. My psychic debugging powers simply aren’t that strong.

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