Windows 7 is quite effective when it comes to searching your computer – start typing the name of a file or folder into a search dialogue and explorer brings up immediate suggestions from all the indexed locations on your hard drives. However Windows 7 doesn’t include the ability to index network drives, which is a little bit strange given that previous versions did, but there is an option…
The quick and easy solution is to install Google desktop.
To be honest I’m usually pretty keen to avoid installing 3rd party applications to perform tasks that my operating system can do natively. After all, what’s the point of installing another app to search and index files when it’s already happening?
However Google apps are usually pretty lightweight so it shouldn’t bog your computer down, plus we’re talking about search so being a Google product you’d expect it to be pretty good (it is!). Finally you can always configure Windows to stop indexing so your computer isn’t running numerous processes to achieve the same thing.
Installing Google desktop is straight forward – just click the link http://desktop.google.com/ and follow the instructions. Once installed open up the options dialogue, scroll down to ‘search locations’ and add your network path:
Pretty simple. Once added Google with search and index content from your chosen locations which will become available through a Google Desktop Search.