On one of our older Windows 2003 Servers we need to run the Indexing Service and Windows Search. The problem is that the windows.edb file has grown quite large.

I want to move these and related files to D:\IndexService. To do this you can change the index location using the Advanced Options of the Indexing Options control panel applet:

enter image description here

(via: Old New Thing http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2009/11/18/9923996.aspx)

I did the following:

  1. Stopped Index Service then stopped Windows Search.

  2. Copied the contents of C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Search to D:\IndexService\Search.

  3. Updated the Index Service Advanced Options -> New Location and pointed at the D:\IndexService path and OK'd my way out back to the control panel (see image above).

  4. I restarted the Index Service and Windows Search

This seems not have worked and from the time stamps on the windows.edb file I can see that it is still being updated in it's original location on the C: drive.

I also notice that if I open the Indexing Options control panel applet and click on Advanced Options, it still says that the current location is on C: and that the new location (d:\IndexService) will be used after the service is restarted. However restarting the service hasn't made any difference.

Can anyone point out where I've taken a wrong turn?

  • 3
    Try it without copying the contents of C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Search. Microsoft's instructions on how to do this don't mention copying the files manually: windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/…
    – cmorse
    Jan 25, 2013 at 20:59
  • 2
    As far as I am aware you need to rebuild the index anytime it's moved to a different location.
    – Hugh
    Mar 26, 2013 at 12:53
  • Aternatively, try whacking the rebuild button and see what happens to the modified / accessed timestamps to the files on your D volume.
    – Snellgrove
    Apr 3, 2013 at 17:13
  • 1
    The directory that you are pointing to must already be empty when you start the windows search service back up or it will not take.
    – user292635
    Jun 5, 2015 at 14:49
  • 1
    @cmorse Exactly! You have just saved my day. The key was to change index location to an empty directory! Thanks..
    – trejder
    Jan 18, 2016 at 12:44

2 Answers 2


Alternatively you can use a junction link to re-point the folder to another drive. On Server 2003 you can use Sysinternal's Junction" or linkd from the Microsoft resource kit. This might prevent rebuilding it.

First create a directory, for example: "d:\Search". Then run the following command:

junction "d:\Search" "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Search"
  • So obvious now :)
    – Kev
    Jun 5, 2015 at 15:33

Access the Index Service's configuration options in the Computer Management console.

Navigate to Computer Management (Local) | Services and Applications | Indexing Service.

There will probably be two catalogs currently. One of the catalogs indexes the local system and the other catalog indexes the server’s default IIS Web site.

You can delete those catalogs and then create new ones. To delete them, simply right-click on the catalog and select the Delete command from the resulting shortcut menu.

To create a new catalog, right click on the Indexing Service container in the Computer Management console and select the New | Catalog commands from the resulting shortcut menu.


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