How to query the Microsoft Knowledge Base by using keywords and query words


To quickly find an article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base, you can search by using keywords and query words. This article lists keywords and query words that you can use in your searches. You can also find keywords and query words by looking in the "Keywords" and "Additional query words" sections that are found in some articles. Using the keywords and query words that are listed in one article may help find other articles that have similar content. However, some query words are only used for older content and may not help you find the most current information. Use a variety of search techniques to make sure that you receive the best search result.


The Microsoft Knowledge Base has more than 150,000 articles. These articles were created by thousands of support professionals who have resolved issues for our customers. The Microsoft Knowledge Base is regularly updated, expanded, and refined to help make sure that you have access to the very latest information.

Using keywords and query words in Knowledge Base articles may help you find the content that you are looking for more quickly. This article lists some of the most frequently used keywords and query words in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

More Information

You can use the Microsoft Knowledge Base search options to customize your search. To learn more about these settings, visit the following Microsoft Web site: Some articles have the "Keywords" and "Additional query words" sections. When you use words in either of these sections to search the Knowledge Base, you may find articles that contain similar content. To use these words in your search, select your product from the drop-down list box, and then enter the keyword or query word that is specific to the content you want to find in the Search for box.

If the query words and keywords that you use in your search do not return the results that you expect, also use other keywords and query words.

Using keywords in your searches

Some articles have a "Keywords" section. The Knowledge Base is large, and it is constantly being updated. The team responsible for managing the Knowledge Base regularly adds keywords to Knowledge Base articles to help automate this work. You can use these keywords in your searches to locate articles that are related to your specific issue.

The following is a list of frequently used keywords. However, keep in mind that there are many keywords that are not listed here. Check the articles that you most frequently use to find keywords that may not be listed here, but that may help in your other searches.

Windows keywords

Query wordDescription
kbBackupCreating or restoring backups of the computer system
kbClusteringServer Cluster
kbDefragMicrosoft Defragmenter
kbDisasterRecDisaster recovery
kbDualBootDual booting
kbenableAccessibility: information
kbEnableHearAccessibility: hearing features
kbEnableLearnAccessibility: learning features
kbEnableMoveAccessibility: movement features
kbEnableSightAccessibility: sight features
kbenvEnvironment and configuration information including OS, registry
kbEventEvents, event models, custom events
kbEventLogEvent logging
kbkern32dllKernel 32 issues and errors in Windows
kbKernBaseKernel/Base issues
kbNLBNetwork Load Balancing Cluster, Windows Load Balancing Service (WLBS)
kbRDRemote Desktop
kbRegistryWindows registry
kbRPCRemote procedure calls
kbSafeModSafe Mode
kbScanDiskMicrosoft ScanDisk
kbshellThe Windows shell that lets users group-start and otherwise control applications
kbSysPrepToolMicrosoft Systems Preparation Tool
kbSysSettingsOperating system setup and registry settings
kbTimeServW32 time service
kbVirtualMemVirtual memory
kbwindowsupdateWindows Update
kbWinsockCommunication sockets such as NET Winsock and MFC Socks

Topic of article keywords

Query wordDescription
kbAppCompatibilityApplication compatibility
kbConfigConfiguration after initial setup
kbdisplayDisplaying information on a monitor
kberrmsgError messages and error message follow-up information
kbinteropOperation between applications
kbMobilityMobile Information Server and ActiveSync
kbproofSpelling and grammar checking tools
kbRepairRepair processes and tools
kbuiConfiguring the user interface
kbUpgradeUpgrading or migration
kbUSBUniversal serial bus
kbvirusViruses and macro viruses
kbwizardUsing wizards

Type of article keywords

Query wordDescription
atDownloadContains a software update download
KbqfeContains a hotfix
kbhowtoDescribes a feature or describes how to perform a task
kbtshootDescribes a problem or bug, how to fix a problem or bug, or for content about a virus

Security-related keywords

Query wordDescription
KbSECBulletinSecurity bulletins
KbSECVulnerabilityKnown software vulnerabilities

Internet keywords

Query wordDescription
kbCookieBrowser or operating system cookies
kbFTPFile Transfer Protocol
kbHttpRuntimeHTTP Runtime
kburlContains a link to Internet Web site

Networking keywords

Query wordDescription
kbActiveDirectoryWindows NT Active Directory
kbDCPromoDCPromo.exe (the promotion process on a domain controller)
kbDHCPDynamic Host Configuration Protocol
kbDNSDomain Name System (DNS)
kbGPOGroup Policy objects
kbGRPPOLICYinfoGroup Policy information
kbGRPPOLICYprobGroup Policy problem
kbStorageMgmtStorage management
kbTermServTerminal Server

Messaging keywords

Query wordDescription
kbExchangeOWAOutlook Web Access integrated with Exchange
kbTransportSMTP and MTA
kbaddressbookAddress book issues
kbreceivemailemail receipt issues
kbsendmailemail sending issues
kbemailGeneral email category
kbBTSmessagingMicrosoft Biz Talk Server messaging

Database keywords

Query wordDescription
kbDTCMicrosoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (DTC)
kbJETJET database
kbOracleOracle products and technologies

Developer keywords

Query wordDescription
kbActivexEventsCOM Events
kbActiveXScriptActiveX Scripting
kbAPIApplication Programming Interface (API), must have another keyword in article to specify which API's are discussed
kbCOMPlusLCECOM+ Loosely Coupled Events
kbComPlusQCCOM+ Queued Components
kbCtrlProgramming or use of OCX or Windows controls
kbDCOMContent related to Distributed Component Object Model
kbDirect3dIMDirect3D-Immediate mode
kbDirect3dRMDirect3D-Retained mode
kbDirectDrawDirect Draw APIs
kbideIntegrated Development Environment (IDE)
kbJAFCJava Application Foundation Classes
kbJavaJava programming/usage
kbJavaFAQJava Technologies frequently asked questions
kbJDBCJava Database Connectivity
kbJNativeNative Java method
kbmacroAbout an issue with the macro recorder or includes steps that use the macro recorder to create a macro.
kbMSHTMLMicrosoft HTML Rendering Control
kbRemoting.NET Framework remoting namespace objects and classes
kbSampleContains compilable code samples
kbWebServicesMicrosoft Web services

Using query words in your searches

Some articles have an "Additional query words" section. Over the years, query words have been added to articles to make articles easier to locate quickly. However, many query words represent older content and may not help if you are looking for more current information. The following list contains query words that are frequently found in Knowledge Base articles.

Windows components query words

Query wordDescription
VfwMicrosoft Video for Windows
WpsMicrosoft Windows Printing System
MSCSServer Cluster
WssMicrosoft Windows Sound System
MsvoiceMicrosoft Voice
kbScanDiskMicrosoft ScanDisk
kbDiskMemoryDisk/Memory Management
ISVCompress Third-party disk compression
LFNLong file name
MWAVMicrosoft AntiVirus for Windows
MWBackupMicrosoft Backup for Windows
AWFaxMicrosoft At Work PC Fax
RASRemote Access Services
WinCommWindows communications/serial
WinDrvrWindows driver-related information
WinMemWindows memory
WinShellWindows Shell issues
WinTTFTrueType font issues
WinPNPPlug and Play issues
WinTAPITelephony issues
WinPlusMicrosoft Plus!
DunDial-Up Networking
WinGameGames that are included with Windows
SysInfoMicrosoft System Information Tool issues
MultimonMultiple Monitor issues
WinAPMAdvanced Power Management (APM) issues
WinBatchBatch files
WinBootWindows Startup issues
WinprintMicrosoft Windows Printing issues
NetclientsNetwork client
NLBNetwork Load Balancing Cluster, Windows Load Balancing Service (WLBS)

Error message query words

Query wordDescription
kbGPFGeneral Protection Faults and general crashes
UAEUnrecoverable application error

Miscellaneous component query words

Query wordDescription
3rdPartyNet Third-party network issues
MSNetsMicrosoft network issues
NetUtilsNetwork protocol utilities
NDIS3xNDIS 3.x protocol issues
NDIS2NDIS 2 protocol issues
NETHWNetwork hardware issues
AppsCompApplication compatibility issues

Microsoft Network query words

Query wordDescription
msnsignupSign-up issues
msnconnectConnection modem and access issues
msnbbsBulletin board issues
msnchatChat issues
msnmailE-mail issues
msnnavNavigation issues
msninteropInteraction with Windows 95 issues
msnsetupSetup and upgrade issues
msnaccountCustomer account issues
msninternetInternet issues
msnotherIssues that are not covered by other MSN keywords

Query words that are used for Encarta and Bookshelf articles that apply to MSN

Query wordDescription
msn_encartaInformation that is related to Encarta on MSN
msn_bookshelfInformation that is related to Bookshelf on MSN
Microsoft makes every effort to add appropriate keywords and query words to its Knowledge Base articles. However, keywords and query words should not be interpreted as the sole representation of any topic.