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Content Search Does Not Search All File Types for the Specified String

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

When you use the Search All Files and Folders feature to perform a content search, or you search for a string of text in a file, not all file types are searched for the specified string.
This change was designed to return common document types such as Microsoft Office, MIME, HTML, and plain-text files. The search functionality in earlier versions of Windows searches all files for the specified string and may return a large number of irrelevant files such as program and configuration files.

As a result of this change, the search functionality can find the same set of files if the Content Index service is turned on or off. In previous versions of Windows, the computer exhibited different behavior if you turned on the Content Index service.

The set of files includes all of the common document types that users create including digital media file types such as picture, music, and video file types. For these file types, you can search the text properties. For example, you can search for the artist field in .wma or .mp3 files, or comment strings in .jpg files. This behavior is a new feature that is not found in previous versions of Windows.
To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows XP. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in theMicrosoft Knowledge Base:
322389 How to Obtain the Latest Windows XP Service Pack
An update is available on the Microsoft Windows Update Web site that corrects this problem for the following file types:
Download the "Windows XP Application Compatibility Update, October 25, 2001" from the following Microsoft Web site:Release Date: October 25, 2001

For additional information about how to download Microsoft Support files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
119591 How to Obtain Microsoft Support Files from Online Services
Microsoft scanned this file for viruses. Microsoft used the most current virus-detection software that was available on the date that the file was posted. The file is stored on security-enhanced servers that help to prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.

For additional information about how to resolve this issue for file types not listed above, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
309173 The A Word or Phrase in the File Search Criterion May Not Work
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article. This problem was first corrected in Windows XP Service Pack 1.

Article ID: 309447 - Last Review: 06/19/2014 13:54:00 - Revision: 3.0

  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
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