Stop desktop search engine from indexing contents?
February 11, 2006 12:28 AM   Subscribe

Is there a way to tell those fancy desktop search engines like Google or Copernic, to NOT index the contents of any file on my PC?

I love the features and speed of those products, but I hate with the searing intensity of a thousand suns don't like that much the fact that they spend ages indexing mostly because of doing it inside file types - I don't need it, and it's obnoxious to me. I would rather use them as a glorified windows search. I couldn't find a way to change settings to achieve this, and Copernic tech support even told me it's not possible yet, but they are considering it.In the meantime, is there a hack that could work, or another product that allows it?
Thanks !
posted by Oneirokritikos to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Hmm, I'm just thinking about that in light of this story from the EFF:

Consumers Should Not Use New Google Desktop

San Francisco - Google today announced a new "feature" of its Google Desktop software that greatly increases the risk to consumer privacy. If a consumer chooses to use it, the new "Search Across Computers" feature will store copies of the user's Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets and other text-based documents on Google's own servers, to enable searching from any one of the user's computers. EFF urges consumers not to use this feature, because it will make their personal data more vulnerable to subpoenas from the government and possibly private litigants, while providing a convenient one-stop-shop for hackers who've obtained a user's Google password.

posted by ceri richard at 12:31 AM on February 11, 2006

Yes. In Google Desktop preferences you can check or uncheck any of the file types:

Web history
Media files
Text and other files
Zip files (that's a plugin, you won't have that by default)

You will also see
Do not search files and folders with the following locations or web sites with the following URLs.
which allows you to, well, leave certain files or URLs out of the search all together.

By default google desktop doesn't search everthing, just stuff that has text in it you might want to find later.
posted by tiamat at 1:56 AM on February 11, 2006

Wait, you're saying you don't want it to build an index at all? You do realize that it would no longer be able to function, right? It can only search files that it has previously indexed. If it were to look in every single file without first creating an index it would take hours to do a single search, which would be useless. If that's really what you want then you'll have to use Windows Explorer's search tool, I seriously doubt that you will be able to get that from the Google Desktop Search.

If you just want to exclude certain files or folders there are instructions on how to do that. But you will no longer be able to search those files.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:56 AM on February 11, 2006

Note, Media Files is also there because of a plugin I added for MP3 tags. You won't have that by default either.
posted by tiamat at 1:57 AM on February 11, 2006

Response by poster: To clarify, i want Copernic (or Google, or whatever) to only:

A- index the file names only.
B- give me preview of multimedia content.
C- give me that sweet, sweet warp-speed "find as you type" feeling.

In theory, Copernic, for instance, allows you to set a minimal document size for indexing its contents; I tried it, and it doesn't work at all, I just got some files randomly indexed, no matter their size.
posted by Oneirokritikos at 3:10 AM on February 11, 2006

So you want an index of file names?
posted by delmoi at 10:41 AM on February 11, 2006

Response by poster: Basically, yes, but with the speed of search, bells and whistles and preview capacity of the big desktop search players.
posted by Oneirokritikos at 1:06 PM on February 11, 2006

Response by poster: I don't need the preview for text-type documents, only multimedia, where the indexing doesn't bother me.
posted by Oneirokritikos at 11:46 PM on February 11, 2006

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