Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Start Screen Search Won't search IE Favorites Websites

  1. #1


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8

    Start Screen Search Won't search IE Favorites Websites


    It seems I have to open File Explorer and use the search box there to search the contents of my IE Favorites folder. Is there anyway to add the same capability to the Start Screen Search. So far all I can do is put in the word "favorites" and start screen search finds the Favorites folder but it can't find any of the internet shortcuts (*.url files) within the Favorites folder. Is this normal? If so how can I change the normal behavior so it works like the start button search from Vista and Win7?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 1,320
    Server 2012 / 8.0


    Hello Ronc. Welcome to Eight Forums.

    There are many ways to search favorites.
    Also favorites can be added to the start screen search.

    First, the easiest way is to pin the favorites folder to the start screen.

    Click image for larger version


    Second, is to list favorites (using internet explorer) in metro or desktop views.

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    (Adding favorites to start screen search)
    Third, is to copy your current favorites folder to the metro UI start menu folder ...

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    The following is an example (only a few) of website favorites being listed in the start screen search.

    Click image for larger version

    Still, the easiest way is to pin the favorites folder to the start screen.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8

    Start Screen Search Won't search IE Favorites Websites


    The problem is that although it does search for the odd file that is not an "Internet Shortcut" (i.e. ending in .url) it doesn't search through the hundreds of .url files in that folder. (IE puts .url files in Favorites whenever I save a website.) To search for Internet Favorite websites I must use the search box in file explorer. I specifically checked to make sure that the .url file extension is included in the index as well as the Favorites folder. (As mentioned in the Title to the post.)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 1,320
    Server 2012 / 8.0


    Quote Originally Posted by Ronc View Post
    The problem is that although it does search for the odd file that is not an "Internet Shortcut" (i.e. ending in .url) it doesn't search through the hundreds of .url files in that folder. (IE puts .url files in Favorites whenever I save a website.) To search for Internet Favorite websites I must use the search box in file explorer. I specifically checked to make sure that the .url file extension is included in the index as well as the Favorites folder. (As mentioned in the Title to the post.)
    I cannot imagine having hundreds of favorites but if you do, you can copy your favorites folder to the place specified if you wish to use the start screen search to list them in all apps.



    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 1,320
    Server 2012 / 8.0


    You must identify the search terms using the start screen by the title of the web page not the extension.
    If you want to search in file explorer, then you can use wildcards.

    Still works here... on the start screen

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 1,127
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    search should be working. you should see it on other drives. my drives from c through l can be searched. are you sure you clicked on "Files" after doing your search?

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    and if you want to find *.url, through the Search in the charms bar, you could type "url" (but yeah, for wildcards, it's better to use the search box in the file window0url.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8

    Start Screen Search Won't search IE Favorites for Websites


    OK. I've done some research to better describe what I'm trying to do, which is nothing more than recreate what the Start Button search did in Vista and Windows 7. In my favorites folder I have two files named "Twitter": one is "Twitter.com" the Internet Shortcut and the other is a Notepad file called "Twitter.txt". The File Explorer search finds both easily, just as the Start Button search did in Vista and Windows 7. But the Start Screen search only finds the Notepad file (with the txt extension) not the Internet shortcut file (with the url extension). So it does search the Favorites folder but not for the type of file the folder is usually used for (Favorite websites).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 1,320
    Server 2012 / 8.0


    Quote Originally Posted by Ronc View Post
    OK. I've done some research to better describe what I'm trying to do, which is nothing more
    than recreate what the Start Button search did in Vista and Windows 7.
    You cannot recreate what previous versions of windows did using the 7 start button as a compare and contrast point of reference. 8 has a similar approach but is designed differently and will yield results in a different way.

    The desktop (Win32) exists, in a huge way now, because it is absolutely necessary. The metro (WinRT) has different features and is not the same as the familiar.

    But the Start Screen search only finds the Notepad file (with the txt extension) not the Internet shortcut file (with the url extension)
    Start Screen search results:

    Click image for larger version

    Start Screen search results:

    Click image for larger version

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronc View Post
    But the Start Screen search only finds the Notepad file (with the txt extension) not the Internet shortcut file (with the url extension). So it does search the Favorites folder but not for the type of file the folder is usually used for (Favorite websites).
    Not really sure anymore what you are referring to in start screen search.
    Do you mean the charms files (or apps) search?
    The start screen and apps area are used to list and launch apps and recognized shortcuts.

    Click image for larger version
    Last edited by mdmd; 09 Apr 2013 at 14:24.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 1,320
    Server 2012 / 8.0


    The charms search will not recognize *.url (wildcard) as a search term. File explorer does.
    The charms search will recognize *.html as an extension.

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    In Windows 8, the file explorer is the best device to use to search files.
    The easiest way to access favorites in Windows 8 is to pin the favorites folder to the start screen.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by mdmd View Post
    Not really sure anymore what you are referring to in start screen search.
    Do you mean the charms files (or apps) search?
    The start screen and apps area are used to list and launch apps and recognized shortcuts.
    The magnifying glass icon in the charms bar that pops out of the right side of the start screen or the desktop for that matter. Call it the charms search. My charms bar search has a breakdown of Apps, Settings, and Files. An Internet Shortcut is a type of file known as a "url" file, just as a text file is known as a "txt" file. It would be great if the search had a fourth category called "Favorites" that included "url" files but I can't get a "favorites" breakdown category to show up on my system. (In file Explorer I pinned the c:\users\<username>\Favorites folder to the start screen.) It would be impractical to pin hundreds of urls to the start screen; besides, I don't see an option to pin even one.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Start Screen Search Won't search IE Favorites Websites
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