How-To Geek

How to Make Windows 8 Index Encrypted Files

If you have files that are encrypted with the Encrypting File System, you will probably have noticed that they don’t get indexed by Windows, and therefore don’t show up in search results. Here’s how to fix that.

Make Windows 8 Index Encrypted Files

Right click in the bottom left hand corner of your screen and select System from the context menu.


When the System Window opens, in the bottom left hand corner you will see a Performance Information and Tools link, click on it.


This will take you to the performance section of the Control Panel, click on the Adjust indexing options link.


When the Indexing Settings open,  go ahead and click on the Advanced button.


Here you will need to check the Index encrypted files checkbox.


You will get a warning telling you that since you will be indexing encrypted files, the volume on which your search index resides should have some kind of full volume encryption as well, this is a security measure and isn’t required but is recommended. So when you ready go ahead and click on the continue button.


Then you can click on OK, that’s all there is to it.


Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 11/1/12

Comments (4)

  1. Keith

    Windows 7.

    -Start / Search
    -Indexing Options
    -File settings
    -Index encrypted files

    Bit strange. Every new version of the OS that comes out, someone’s touting an older feature as being new.

  2. Taylor Gibb

    Its not a new feature, we never said it was. However, we havent shown you how to do this at all. And since Windows 8 is the lastest OS we writing articles on that.

  3. Iszi

    Does Windows encrypt the index, or is it stored in the clear? Based on the warning suggesting full volume encryption, I’m guessing it’s stored in the clear on whatever volume the index applies to?

  4. Anji

    on which basis it encrypts a file….????

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