Windows 7 Search Catalog

The catalog contains the results of the indexing process running on your local computer.  Your Windows 7 computer has a single catalog located in the Search subfolder under %SystemDrive%\ProgramData\Microsoft folder. Remember to make hidden files visible in order to view the ProgramData folder and its contents. The location of the catalog can be changed using either Indexing Options in Control Panel or Local Group Policy. The catalog contains three type of information:

  • The full-text index of all content that has been crawled by the indexer
  • The property store, which is a Jet database that contains the properties of files that have been indexed
  • Configuration files that control how the indexer works

Although the catalog indexes items for all users using your computer, the property store contains security descriptors for each item. Therefore, the indexer can security-trim the results of queries against the index so that the results returned include only items that the user who is performing the query can access.

You can change the location of the catalog from Advanced tab in Indexing Options from Control Panel. Then, click Select New button and choose a new volume or folder as shown below:

You need to restart the Windows Search service on your computer.

Also, you can change the location of the catalog using Local Group Policy by typing gpedit.msc in the Start search text box and pressing enter. Go to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Search node and enable Indexer Data Location. The directory typed must be located on a local fixed drive and using a maximum of 128 characters.