Google Desktop - Indexing files on the computer

October 2016

Google Desktop automatically creates an index after installation. Google Desktop indexing might take a long time depending on the size of the hard disk. To speed up the indexing process, the computer should not be used for several hours. Alternatively, Google Desktop indexing can be configured to start whenever the computer is inactive for more than 30 seconds. As soon as the indexing of the files and mails is completed by Google Desktop, any file handling will be automatically reflected in the index of Google Desktop. Although indexing files on the computer is a one-off process,re-indexing may be required in some cases.

After installing Google Desktop the index is automatically created. This means that the software is currently examining the content of hard disks in your computer.

Getting Started

If you want the initial indexing to end quickly, do not use your PC for several hours (depending on the size of the hard disk). In the other cases, Google Desktop will resume indexing whenever the computer is inactive for more than 30 seconds.

Note that

You must open the mail client Outlook for emails (already received/sent) to be taken into account. If it was already open when you install Google Desktop, restart it at the beginning of the initial indexing. If you find that emails are not being indexed, please go to :

This procedure takes much time, but it will happen only once. As soon as the contents of the PC are fully analyzed, subsequent updates of the index will be transparent. Any file handling (creating, opening, recording or displacement) will be automatically saved in the index in real time.

To monitor the progress of the indexing, click the Google Desktop icon visible in the taskbar. In the menu that appears, choose the "Indexing/ Index Status". A window opens immediately in your web browser.

You get a brief summary of items indexed (files, chats, emails and web history) and the percentage of indexing already done. Large files (documents) are partially indexed, only the first ten thousand words are taken into account.

As we have said, the initial indexing takes place only once. However, it may be necessary to perform this procedure again, on your computer in the following cases:
  • You have disabled Google Desktop for a period of time.
  • The indexing is damaged.
  • You have suddenly and radically revised the contents of your hard drive.
  • Your old emails have not been taken into consideration and you want to remedy to this.

For a simple re-indexing (the results are not up to date), click the Google Desktop icon visible in the taskbar. In the menu that appears, choose the "Indexing> Re-indexing."

To remove the index (if the software malfunctions), you have no other choice but to remove and then reinstall Google Desktop. This is not too annoying in that the installation is really fast.

Warning: during the uninstall (option 'Remove completely for all users "), remember to uncheck the box Keep indexes and gadgets to install Google Desktop again later.

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