Why does my SOLIDWORKS file search come up empty?

Article by Chris Briand, CSWE updated April 15, 2016


I recently had an inquiry from a customer who was disappointed that SOLIDWORKS would not present files that they knew existed in the search results when queried. This result was the same if the user was within SOLIDWORKS or using the file search within the open dialog.

SOLIDWORKS file search

Searching for files in the SOLIDWORKS Open dialog

As it turns out, the SOLIDWORKS file search is closely tied with the regular windows file search — which in-turn is a reflection of the folders and files have been indexed by the windows indexing service.

Modify the folders that are being indexed

You can correct this by modifying the folders within your system that are indexed by Windows. To access the indexing options, navigate through your control panel to find the indexing options icon, or simply type “Indexing” within the windows start menu search.

Indexing Options

Indexing Options

You will then be presented with the various options for configuring the indexing search on the system.

Indexing Locations

Indexing Locations

Once the folders containing your SOLIDWORKS files have been selected for indexing, SOLIDWORKS will be able to populate any of the search windows with files that share the same name or characteristics as your desired search.

Please be aware that adjusting the indexing options to a broad scope (C:\ for example) may have an adverse affect on performance. Exercise caution and plan ahead when getting ready to make these types of adjustments on your system.

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Chris Briand, CSWE

Chris has been educating and supporting Engineers, Designers and IT Personnel within the 3D CAD industry since 2002, and was adopted into the fantastic team of applications experts here at Javelin Technologies in early 2006.  Chris enjoys the continuous learning driven by the ingenuity and challenges Designers bring forward. Innovation using 3D Printing, 3D CAD and other technologies, combined with a diverse background as a technologist, allows Chris to find solutions that accelerate Designers, and take Design Teams to new heights. Chris is currently being held at an undisclosed location, near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.