OneDrive indexing for WIndows Search
I am not sure I am at the right place to post this, but since some Microsoft engineer said here would be a more appropriate place for my post in Microsoft Community, here it goes (don't shoot me if this is considered cross posting):
Prior to installing the Fall Creators Update on my Windows 10 machine last week, all my files stored in any of my OneDrive subfolders were indexed and fully searchable through Windows Search. For example, entering ‘content:management‘ in the upper right search box would return all the documents (PDF, Word, etc.) that contained the word ‘management’.
Right after the installation of the Fall Creators Update, none of my files were found when using Windows Search. Either the index was deleted or, to paraphrase Microsoft support people, the option was removed ‘by design’.
However, as I continued to use my machine, I would try to search occasionally to see if perhaps the indexed had been rebuilt. Windows Search would slowly return more and more results as the days went by. I thought the index could not be rebuilt so slowly, one file at a time over the span of several days. At this pace, it would take months to index my 50 GB of files in my OneDrive folder! Today, I discovered as I open files from my OneDrive folders, they are indexed on the fly and thus made searchable by Windows Search.
Is this the new way OneDrive files are supposed to be indexed? Who thought one would only be interested in searching files he or she had previously opened, disregarding the others? While I do understand that the indexing engine cannot index a file not kept on the device (ie. on demand files), is there a way to force the indexing engine to ‘pick up’ all the files that are always kept on the device without the need to open them one by one?
Amit Bansal commented
Search is seriously a headache. It simply wont show results of documents that I know are there in various folder. Further, searching documents from onedrive seems to be another special **** altogether. Note that these are documents that are on my local machine, but search still wont find them. I'm not even expecting search to find stuff that's on the cloud and not synced, just the ones that are already there. Such a frustrating experience.
I absolutely HATE not being able to search my OneDrive Business folder! I HATE it! It is costing me time and money! I have a full sync copy of OneDrive on my computer, and I do NOT have Files On-Demand turned on. The files reside on my computer, and I cannot search them.
Is it true that Microsoft did this on purpose? I have 59,452 files in 3,262 folders. What am I supposed to do now??
Rob Nicholson commented
After posting that, I've discovered there are still problems with search and on-demand. When I search for LAPTOP001 in this folder, it finds them:
As shown here:
But if I then go up a folder to the root of my OneDrive, it finds one other file but not the above. The files found above are in "Helios Scripts":
But searching LAPTOP001 doesn't find them:
So basically Windows search can be trusted with on-demand :-( About to try PowerShell - how retro!
Rob Nicholson commented
I've got the latest version of OneDrive and April update for Windows 10 and this is partially fixed. I came on here to post a uservoice saying "Windows 10 search doesn't work with on-demand" because I was trying to find a batch of recently downloaded files with LAPTOP001 in the title. Search didn't find any at first. I then check "Always on this device" for one file and search found that one but not the others. An obvious problem with on-demand.
However, I started getting some screenshots together for here but by the time I'd grabbed them and prepared my response, search had started working.
So it looks like this has partially been fixed. Of course, it can't search the contents of the files but most of the time all we want is the file name.
So partially fixed??
PS. My laptop has just got a very recent version of OneDrive (with Office 365) that has the new "Autosave" or known folders new fix. That's caused a lot of debate on the blog.
Salem Korayem commented
I understand that indexing needs file content to be downloaded first which onedrive doesnt do now unless you disable it or download a specific file.
What's beautiful is OneDrive web interface search actually indexes ALL your files with its content, in the CLOUD
wouldnt it be beautiful to have Windows Search pass my query over to the web through APIs to search through my indexed files?
this will also save precious local storage which is used by search index
I have two computers that sync to my OneDrive. On one I use files-on-demand, the other I don't. They might be different builds; one seems to be on the business cycle, the other on the consumer cycle. The business one is the one that uses files-on-demand and it has many problems with both search indexing and syncing to OneDrive. Indexing gets stuck and OneDrive is always processing changes. I have O365 syncing turned off. It seems like O365 files cause a lot of problems. They constantly show up as pending sync (on-demand). I just don't think this thing really works reliably yet (sigh).
For those using OneDrive for Business/SharePoint Online and needing fast indexed searches you could try Zee Drive. Zee Drive maps network drives to OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online and provides a fast indexed search feature directly from the File Explorer context menu.
You can find our more here http://www.thinkscape.com/Map-Network-Drives-To-Office-365-OneDrive/#Search
Disclosure: I work for the company that develops Zee Drive.
Travis B commented
This is absolutely ridiculous. Once again, Microsoft had an opportunity to take things two steps forward and instead they chose to take a step back.
Why would I NOT want to search my files, just because I only have a placeholder for those files on my local drive, with the content downloading on demand? Even worse, when I DO have those files fully stored on my machine, Windows' indexer still won't even consider them - every search results in nothing found, and I can't even point the indexer to my OneDrive folder by browsing to it.
The only way to search my files is by going to OneDrive online. However, that searches EVERYTHING (which is horribly unuseful). I know exactly the folder which has the course and lesson subfolders containing the few hundred files with a few thousand pages I need to search through. I don't want the thousands of other documents in my cloud storage that also contain "tech".
Here's how MS could have done things right from the very beginning. OneDrive online ALREADY has those files indexed, it just needs to sync that index onto any local machine where I've set the desktop app to "sync" my files. The local machine never needs to index those files/folders, because the cloud servers are already doing it, all the time. And even if they want to farm the indexing load out to my local machine as it uploads files for the first time, I don't care. As a programmer, I'm just so sick of mediocre design missing the obvious right thing to do.
"The solution is ---------> Uncheck "Files On-Demand", in onedrive settings, and OneDrive will be shown in Indexing Options"
This hasn't worked for me....does it require a reboot inbetween?
The solution is ---------> Uncheck "Files On-Demand", in onedrive settings, and OneDrive will be shown in Indexing Options
Mateja Kovač commented
Yep, this is definitely due to the "File On-Demand" feature. I think that Windows Indexer, when this option is turned on, does not look at all of these files.
Some show up, some show up when searching with other keywords but not their filenames, some never show up. I'm talking about files that are already downloaded to my PC, not the one that have the cloud icon. Some files will show up with the location tag "OneDrive", but those open OneDrive web interface, which is silly.
I've enabled indexing for the whole HDD where my OneDrive folder is, and looking at the folder tree all of the folders are present except for the whole OneDrive folder.
This is detrimental to the feature of syncing local folders to OneDrive. Files and folders you search for most cannot be searched for at all. So, the whole feature becomes useless. You end up keeping everything on your PC and not on OneDrive.
Geoff Atkins commented
I encountered a problem of impossibly slow OneDrive updates that were preventing me from using OneDrive. MS Support eventually told me to disable indexing of One Drive. I assumed this was a temporary workaround, however, I also now see that the option has been removed. It used to work fine so presumably it can be fixed but I echo everyone's frustration. I have nearly 400GB of data on my OneDrive and individual searches run for ever. Not good enough Microsoft - get a grip!!!
Been trying to work out for ages why I cant search for files....tried all the trouble shooting I could find online, only to find that MS has designed one drive files to be non-indexable? I recently moved all my files from dropbox (where they are indexed) to one drive so cannot believe this WTF? Is there anyone with any common sense at MS?
Looks like I will simply have to move everything over to dropbox....
This is absolutely stupid, you hold your documents in your OneDrive folder, because you TRUST Microsoft and their cloud service and they don't allow files indexing there.
What a mess of an operating system this is!
Im having the same problem, indexing seems messed up in latest windows update. Tried un linking re linking and rebuilding index, no luck. Is there a fix?:
Philippe Bruno commented
UPDATE: After investigating a bit more, I also found out another difference that turned out to be the trigger for showing/not showing "OneDrive" in Indexing Options. In OneDrive Settings, when enabling "Files On-Demand", OneDrive disappears from Indexing Options. When unchecking "Files On-Demand", OneDrive is shown in Indexing Options. Hope this helps.
Philippe Bruno commented
For some obscure reason, OneDrive appears in "Indexing Options" on *one* (and only one) of the Windows 10 (Fall Creators Update) machines I manage. Machines are identical HP desktops... The only difference I can think of is the one where OneDrive appears in "Indexing Options" was upgraded to Fall Creators Update at a later time. How stranger could this get?
Jedidja Bourgeois commented
It would be great to get some kind of explanation why this feature was removed..
Josh Calais Burt commented "You do realise you can edit what gets indexed in explorer." - that is not true for local OneDrive forlder.
Also, tried re-indexing of index, OneDrive files (Iocal or not) are still not indexed. Also, tried resetting file properties ("Allow this file to have contents indexed in addition to file"), no results.
I cannot understand how it is possible to ***** up so many things by MS all the time... and then not fix it on months end ...
Tayfun Dagdelen commented
That is the worst thing I faced since our enterprise jumped into onedrive environment. I have synced about 100 gb files with thousands of items to search through regularly during the work day. However, I simply can not!! Please add this feature asap to make onedrive even more useful. Hope the responsibles in MS pay attention enough to this issue