How To Fix PDF Search In Windows 7 and Windows 8 64-Bit

How To Fix PDF Search In Windows 7 and Windows 8 64-Bit

One of the best things about modern operating systems like Mac OS X and Windows 7 and 8 is that search, particularly PDF search, is built right in. You don’t need to have a third party tool to search the contents of a searchable PDF – the OS will do it for you.

That is, unless you are running the 64-bit version of Windows 7 or Windows 8.

It is fairly common for DocumentSnap readers to write in with questions/problems, but it is pretty handy when a reader writes in with both the problem and the solution, which is exactly what superstar DocumentSnap reader Matt did recently.

Matt had a problem: He was scanning all these OCR’ed PDFs, but Windows Search was not finding them when he typed a keyword in the document. It would only find it if he typed in the name of a file, which pretty much defeats the purpose of Optical Character Recognition. Not having a Windows machine at the time I was flying blind, but we went back and forth and eventually he figured out what the issue was: an iFilter (but I am getting ahead of myself here).

What Is 64 Bit Windows And Do I Have It?

There are basically two types of Windows: 32-bit and 64-bit. I’ll let Microsoft describe the difference:

The terms 32-bit and 64-bit refer to the way a computer’s processor (also called a CPU), handles information. The 64-bit version of Windows handles large amounts of random access memory (RAM) more effectively than a 32-bit system.

It used to be that only high-end computers were 64-bit, but that has changed. This cheap Acer laptop I am writing this on is 64-bit, for example. How can you tell which kind of Windows you have?

On Windows 7:

  • Click the Start button.
  • Right-click on Computer, choose Properties.
  • You will see an entry for System Type which will give you the information that you need.

windows 7 properties

On Windows 8:

  • Open the Control Panel.
  • Click/Tap System/Security
  • Click/Tab System
  • There’ll be an entry for System type that will say 64 or 32 bits

If you are having problems with PDF search and your System type says 32-bit, you can probably stop reading. This post likely won’t help you.

What Is The Problem?

Windows 7 and 8’s search capabilities are pretty good, but for some reason the 64-bit has a problem indexing PDF files. Windows Search uses something called an iFilter to help it index files, and the PDF iFilter for 64-bit Windows is missing. (This probably applies to 64-bit Vista and 64-bit XP too).

Here is how to tell if you have the problem:

  • Click on the Start Menu and choose Control Panel
  • Change View By to Small Icons and click on Indexing Options
  • Click on the Advanced button
  • Click on the File Types tab
  • Scroll way down to pdf and you will probably see Registered IFilter Is Not Found

Registered IFilter Is Not Found

If you see that message, you have the iFilter problem.

As an additional test, download or scan a searchable PDF. You can see here that I am searching for the word “Westminster” in Acrobat Reader and it is finding it. When I search using the search box under the Start menu, it doesn’t find it.


Replace The Missing IFilter

To fix the problem, you need to download the missing iFilter.

Download Adobe PDF iFilter 9 for 64-bit platforms here

Once you download it, unzip it and run the installer.

When the installer completes, go back and look at the file types list from above. It should now say “PDF Filter” instead of the “Registered IFilter Is Not Found” message. Yeah!

Test The New iFilter

Download or scan a new searchable PDF and find a word that is in the text and search on it in Acrobat Reader. For example, here I searched for the word “idyll”.


Now I will search for it in Windows Search, and it looks like it found it. Double Yeah!


Now lets search for Westminster again:


Looks like it still didn’t find it. No!

It turns out that fixing the iFilter will only fix new documents, not the one that Windows Search has already indexed.

Do A Re-Index

In order to fix this problem, we’ll need to tell Windows 7 or Windows 8 to do a re-index. If you have a large hard drive, this could take a long time, so do it before you are going to bed or something.

  • Click on the Start Menu and choose Control Panel
  • Change View By to Small Icons and click on Indexing Options
  • Click the Advanced button
  • On the Indexing Settings tab, hit Rebuild

Once this is done, let’s try searching for Westminster again. Hopefully third time’s the charm?


It’s there!

I’m On Windows 8 And This Still Doesn’t Work

Believe it or not, in some cases there is a bug with Adobe Acrobat that breaks search in Windows 8. These guys.

The fix involves changing the Registry, so only do this if you know what you are doing. I don’t have Windows 8 so I have not tried this myself, but here are the Windows 8 Adobe Acrobat fix instructions.

This Should Get You Going

Thanks again to Matt for doing the detective work on this one. Hopefully it will help one of you if you find that your 64-bit Windows isn’t finding your documents.

This article was originally written in December 2010, but was updated in September 2014 for Windows 8.

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 171 comments

hoanganh - May 29, 2020 Reply

Thanks for your detailed step-by-step fix

RJL - June 24, 2019 Reply

didn’t work for me.

bàn học thông minh - January 23, 2019 Reply

This windows search method seems to ONLY for indexed files? For searching pdf:s in a location that you do not wish to index (i.e. corporate or home server) this solution seem to give little help?

Anyone with a solution for true runtime inline-search that includes also (and not only) pdf:s?

Elizabeth Fry - December 27, 2018 Reply

Very helpful. Well written step-by-step directions. Thank you.

KhuongNguyen - January 31, 2018 Reply

Thanks for the solution to searching pdf files. Works great now!

imran - January 3, 2018 Reply

sorry bro, but the problem for is not solved. my system is windows 7 professional and in my search for indexing it shows File Properties Filter as ok. Nothing sort of “Registered Ifilter not found”.
can you help. still some documents are not searched by PDF.

    Elad Blau - January 23, 2018 Reply

    It doesn’t work for me either.
    If you find any solution, please let me know.

Kien truc Kata - December 17, 2017 Reply

I would like to apply for my upcoming project at the architectural firm that designs the prestigious castle villas. Have a nice day!

Amy - December 11, 2017 Reply

It solved my problem. It is so easy to follow the instruction, thank you so much!

kien truc ac - December 6, 2017 Reply

Hello everyone, it’s my first visit at this website,
and post is genuinely fruitful designed for me, keep up
posting these types of articles or reviews.

Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod - September 5, 2017 Reply

Awesome – uninstalled Acrobat, installed Acrobat Pro, but files were mysteriously still unsearchable and I could not figure this out on my own. Thanks for your help!

Jeevan S - August 10, 2017 Reply


I have yet to try the tips but information is really amazing.

A question – does a similar thing exist on non-windows platform – such as Android and iOS?
(search through files – all types – xml/ pdf/ etc.)

Any pointers would be appreciated.


ICT bedrijven Almere - July 23, 2017 Reply

Thank yoᥙ for the informatіon. It helped alot!

Raj - April 22, 2017 Reply

worked like a charm, thank you!!

Dave - April 11, 2017 Reply

I don’t have the ifilter problem (Win7 64) but it’s still not searching the keywords I add to a scanned pdf or even the actual text if I OCR a scanned pdf. It works fine on a pdf created from InDesign, Illustrator, Word, etc.

    Dave - April 11, 2017 Reply

    I did notice that “Index Properties Only” is checked. Do I need to have “Index Properties and File Contents” checked?

Carlo Martini - January 2, 2017 Reply

Fixed my problem – thank you very much for the help! (Windows 7 Professional, 64bit)

Bob - December 19, 2016 Reply

When I searched through the files to index I found that .pdf was unchecked and the filter description was fine. After checking the box and starting a re-index all is fine. Many thanks for a simple solution. I have no idea how the .pdf box came to be unchecked

nina - November 20, 2016 Reply

Worked for a single word search (thanks to you!), but doesn’t work “when I search a complete sentence like that”

mike - September 29, 2016 Reply

bit late to the party but thanks for this advice, it worked a treat.

Benny - September 7, 2016 Reply

It took me a bit of digging and research to find this article. I use Nitro PDF as I find it’s a lot better and easier to use than Adobe. I followed the above instructions hoping it would work. I let my PC index overnight so that it wouldn’t slow down by me working on my computer (I noticed before I left work that my working on my computer slowed the indexing process down). When I came in to work this morning, I tried the search process. In my Outlook account, I am now able to find items that may have been on a PDF attachment on not in the body of the email. IT WORKS GREAT!!! THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS!!!

barryk desteve - August 21, 2016 Reply

Do not worry if you want to remove the blocked files or too long path files from your system, here I suggest a smooth way. Use “Long path tool” software and keep yourself cool.

Arby - August 18, 2016 Reply

Maybe the PDF file reader I have is lame. It doesn’t include a top of page search field like the reader shown in this guide. Also, My list looks different than what this guide says. Under PDF it just says “File properties filter.” That seems like a ‘yes’ to me. I’m on a 64 bit, Windows 7 professional, Toshiba Satellite. The website is:

I am willing to buy a pdf reader, rather than use a freebie that comes bundled with the pup crap.

    stian - August 19, 2016 Reply

    Hi i think every program has this in some form. try the shortcut Ctrl + F and it should popp up somwhere.


Zayd - August 8, 2016 Reply

Thank you. I have just followed the instructions as laid out on your article I can witness that it works.

Was ready to cry - June 18, 2016 Reply

Thank you! Five years after you wrote this, it solved my problem. I have a folder of over 700 PDFs and was getting so frustrated that search wasn’t working!

Fuad Assi - April 1, 2016 Reply

I tried all the options, the index options that includes the file property with file contents but without success. it’s not the operating system problem.
The only way is to install acrobat writer that solve searching the contents inside a PDF file.

M!Y@N - March 16, 2016 Reply

I feel it being mean not to come here and thank the author for this post.

    Lamar - March 26, 2016 Reply

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about try here. Regards

Julianich - January 12, 2016 Reply

have you tried KrojamSoft FilesSearch? it can help

João - December 8, 2015 Reply


ER-DR - November 14, 2015 Reply

Well, looks like it’s time to unsubscribe the notifications of new posts to this topic. Spammers win again.

Waldo - November 5, 2015 Reply

What a fantastic article. Not only does it offer a perfect solution, but it is also very well written and explained, unlike many other tech-help articles. Great work; thank you very much.

Fitsum - October 29, 2015 Reply

Thanks a lot for the article. I had the same problem with Windows10 (upgraded from Windows8). The fix you described works just fine in my case.

MARCO VENTURA - September 24, 2015 Reply

Thank you very much!

Jacob Paul - September 23, 2015 Reply

Googbox is capable of finding matching text inside thousands of files and get you the link to download it.
features.Search can be done with regular expressions, include or exclude certain search patterns. is capable of searching within folders and subfolders.
features.Search is performed on the server, hence it will not affect your PC / Laptops performance

Gavin - September 20, 2015 Reply

Thank you very much for the help!

mark - September 16, 2015 Reply

Good article, fixed the PDF search in windows 7 64 bit for me, but one complaint.

Your article is not printable.

Chrome has the best print feature of all browsers and when it can’t render the page properly for a print, then the webpage is not properly setup for it.

I am among many who keep copies of pages like these for quick reference on a personal drives, because web pages disappear over time (link dies). I print my copies to PDF, so I had to make alterations to this page to be able to print it.

Its always a good idea to provide printable formats. Since this is a WordPress CMS, there are plugins that provide the print capability of these blog posts.

Just a FYI

ROBERT FREEBURN - September 9, 2015 Reply

I am running Windows 7 Professional and have the same problem. But when i run the file I get a Windows Installer error “The system administrator has set policies to prevent this installation” …. I have searched this problem on google and tried various fixes but not luck …. Please help !!!

    ROBERT FREEBURN - September 9, 2015 Reply

    I think Garth below fixed my problem.

richard - August 7, 2015 Reply

Windows 10 – can’t find any pdf files when I search for them 🙁

Anyone have a fix?

    Brooks Duncan - August 7, 2015 Reply

    Is this a new installation? I wonder if Windows 10 still suffers from the issues that Windows 7 and Windows 8 do. Read more about that here:

      Paulann - June 26, 2017 Reply

      Yes. I’m on Windows 10, and cannot fix it.

    Robin - August 25, 2015 Reply

    Same here, Windows 10 and searching inside OCR PDF does not work. Searching text inside PDF reader is possible. But Windows Search did not find anything :(, Any idea?

Anders - August 5, 2015 Reply

Fixed my problem – thank you very much for the help! 🙂 (Windows 8, 64bit)

Seth - June 26, 2015 Reply

Still a problem on Windows 8.1. I have been frustrated for a long time, wondering why my searchable PDFs weren’t returning in Windows search. I finally checked the PDF file type in the advanced options of the indexing options window and found the error, which via Google led me here. Thanks for the information on fixing the error.

Joshua Rios - June 18, 2015 Reply

Thank you so much! This fix worked perfectly.

Tim Tafoya - April 16, 2015 Reply

AWESOME!!! Saved by this solution….Thanks!

Colin - April 8, 2015 Reply

And of course if the Acrobat Reader update doesn’t solve the indexing problem and the user is reluctant to edit the registry then simply:-
Empty your wast bin (trash can)
go to the top level user directory normally c:\User.
in the search box type *.pdf
give the system a few moments to find them all
select them all [ctrl + A]
delete them all [right click] and [delete] or pick them all up and bin them
Go to the waste bin
Select them all – that’s why you emptied it first 🙂
and [right click] RESTORE
Job done – the Windows search indexer will then just re-index the recoveries instead of the entire user partition.

Prashant Serai - March 30, 2015 Reply

Thanks..this works!

5T3F4N - March 15, 2015 Reply

Thanks . You did a great job, fix one worked almost instantly. Currently I can use the win search without third party software. A tool which is called lookeen has bridged the time between the start of the weak performance and your problem solving.

Bruce - March 11, 2015 Reply

Thank you for the solution and clear instructions.

Andrew - February 25, 2015 Reply

Brilliant – so useful. Many thanks for publishing this. Nearly five years on and users are still having to fix this!

Marcos - February 15, 2015 Reply

Thank you for the tip. It is really useful.
However, I would like to clarify that the PDF search issue in 64-bit Windows is not a problem in Windows due to some reason. Adobe clearly states in the iFilter download page that “Adobe currently bundles a 32-bit PDF iFilter with Adobe Acrobat® 11 as well as the free Adobe Reader® 11 software. It uses the Microsoft iFilter interface and allows third-party indexing tools to extract text from Adobe PDF files.”.
So, the problem is that Adobe does not bundle iFilter in 64-bit Adobe Reader, so it is required to download iFilter manually.

B - February 14, 2015 Reply

Thanks so much! Would never have found this otherwise.

Liz - February 11, 2015 Reply

Thank you! Simple and it worked 🙂

The Top 10 Paperless Posts Of 2014 - January 29, 2015 Reply

[…] How To Fix PDF Search In Windows 7 and Windows 8 64-Bit […]

Jon - January 14, 2015 Reply

Thanks so much. Brilliantly clear solution.

Filip - January 3, 2015 Reply

Great! Thank you very much!
Excellent tutorial, too!

jcy - December 31, 2014 Reply


Martyh - December 29, 2014 Reply

I followed your steps to the letter, including re-indexing (over 20K files!), but my problem persists. When I do a search, it pulls up the first instance immediately, and then after scanning the entire document, that very same instance is repeated, in this example, about 70 some times: it actually finds one instance for **every single character (including spaces!)** in the phrase I am searching for. I can run the exact same search on my Win7 32-bit laptop and the search function works perfectly. On my new Win7 64-bit desktop, it sucks big time. I use my desktop for all of my publishing work, and not having the ability to search properly in PDFs is a real hazard in my line of work.

Thanks for your detailed step-by-step fix, I just wish it had worked in my case.

    Martyh - December 31, 2014 Reply

    Follow-up comment: Your step-by-step, I believe, is for Adobe 9. We’re now up to version 11 — and I’m guessing somewhere between the 10 through 11 update something else changed such that your step-by-step doesn’t work for Win 7 64-bit machines. Ah, well…

    I have, however, found a free-use application: FoxIt Reader — which does exactly the type of search that I need (and that Adobe Reader use to do). So my problem is solved, so to speak. It would just be nice if the Adobe search functioned correctly.

      June L - January 2, 2015 Reply

      Foxit is no longer free for network users. They require an upgrade that costs around $800 to enable content search.

        Martyh - January 2, 2015 Reply

        I can’t speak to network users — but, I’m *not* using FoxIt Editor, just the Reader, which so far is free to install and there doesn’t even seem to be a trial period. Regardless, I desperately need a PDF search tool that works, and FoxIt does, so I guess I’ll see what happens going forward.

        mateoosh12 - January 30, 2016 Reply

        I don’t think so, it is free: , the same like very good PDF X-Change Viewer (,Program,Windows,15117.html)

        Paddy - June 4, 2016 Reply

        Maybe I have misunderstood something here (in which case my apologies up front) but I can find any PDF anywhere in my office (PC, Synology NAS (Network Attached Server)) without having to pay anyone $800.

        I use ScanSnap ix500, Foxit PhantomPDF for editing PDFs, and Copernic Desktop Search for searching my systems. I’ve been using Copernic for years and, for my purposes, it is superb. Unlike some other desktop searching software it doesn’t (to the best of my knowledge) invade my privacy by uploading my content to some data-hijacking server in the Cloud. If its indexing places a load on my computer resources I don’t notice it. It just runs in the background.

        I’m in no way financially involved with Copernic or otherwise beholden to them.

Name - November 28, 2014 Reply

Fantastic work. Three cheers to the Auther.

Chief Minnechuk - November 24, 2014 Reply

Excellent article. Solved my problem. Complete and comprehensive right down to the rebuild step. Good work sir.

erkme73 - November 17, 2014 Reply

None of these steps worked for me UNTIL I deleted the c:\index folder. Of course, you can’t do that unless you’re in safe mode.

Once it’s gone, and you reboot into normal mode, the “file types” menu is completely blank. It causes a bit of panic, but after it gets done rebuilding the index (over 600k items in my case), they all return. And, from then on every PDF is searchable.

StefanS - November 6, 2014 Reply

Sounds like a good solution but i use annother alternative which is called Lookeen. I use it daily and in my opinion the add-on is faster than the built-in version. U can try it on

best regards
Rear: I work for the company which developed Lookeen.

Sola - October 8, 2014 Reply

Thanks a lot. i wish i found this tutorial earlier. Good job!

FOXIT vs. Adobe PDF IFilter [ 32-bit only ] – Filter Central – Site Home … | free pdf download - October 5, 2014 Reply

[…] Thank you. I'd already found the 'Registered Ifilter not found' problem and was about to tear my hair out. I've just finished writing a PhD thesis. more… […]

Murali - September 10, 2014 Reply

Awesome. Thanks!

peter - September 6, 2014 Reply

Thanks. Great tip. This worked for me.

Jerry - August 28, 2014 Reply

The link for the iFilter download is broken. Even if go to Adobe’s website and use the search function, it lists it in the results but if you click on it the site returns

      June L - December 16, 2014 Reply

      We use Foxit Reader on a remote access network (Windows 8 server). All of the tips worked perfectly on our local workstations, but not on the network. Foxit says we have to pay $800 plus to be able to use their ifilter to search contents on the network. We are currently on 30-day free trial and it works, but is there a cheaper alternative?

    ROBERT FREEBURN - September 9, 2015 Reply


    I don’t know why but the first link would not work for me but it appears the 2nd link did so thank you for your help .

Kurt - July 23, 2014 Reply

Thanks! Life saver….

James - July 18, 2014 Reply

Wow, this is magical!

I have to sort out couple hundred thousand PDFs based on content, was going to dig in writing a scraper.

Glad there is a MUCH easier way to do it!


    faux montre cartier ballon bleu homme - December 23, 2017 Reply

    You are doing the right thing! Have strength and may he get hid

François - June 8, 2014 Reply

Thank you very much ! Was seaching seaching for 3 days (on and off) the reason why was not able to find text in pdf created with Ocr an my new S1300i scanner… Finally it is working.

    Brooks Duncan - June 9, 2014 Reply

    No problem François. It’s definitely a tricky issue. Glad it helped.

Harris - May 22, 2014 Reply

Wow, awesome – you solved my problem too, thanks a ton!

    Brooks Duncan - May 22, 2014 Reply

    Great Harris, glad it helped!

Peter Andersen - May 12, 2014 Reply

Super advice. I am disappointed that neither Microsoft nor Adobe could ease this trouble shooting. Thank you.

Donna - May 5, 2014 Reply

This worked great for solving the problem of searching my local drive for OCR based PDF files. I was having trouble with searching on a network drive and found the solution:

To summarize: Go to my computer then go to organize on the top left and select folder and search options. The only option I needed to change was the top one “Always search file name and contents” and I could then searched network drives.

    Brooks Duncan - May 5, 2014 Reply

    Awesome thanks Donna!

Eric Weimer - May 1, 2014 Reply

Just search for IFilter

There is an version 11.0.01 ifilter for 64-bit windows at:

    Brooks Duncan - May 1, 2014 Reply

    Thanks Eric!

Adam - March 27, 2014 Reply

Thanks a ton. This was one of the many annoyances switching to Win 7 from XP. Works like it should now!

Search For Documents In Lucion FileCenter • Tips To Learn How To Go Paperless | DocumentSnap Paperless Blog - March 25, 2014 Reply

[…] this blog post about fixing Windows PDF Search, which will likely […]

shaggy7up - March 2, 2014 Reply

I found a solution to this problem, just install the iFilter from this link.

    Geno - March 2, 2014 Reply

    Thanks, but tried that previously and it did not solve my problem. 🙁

Debbie - February 24, 2014 Reply

Thank you so much–I never would have figured this out on my own and it worked perfectly!

David - February 8, 2014 Reply

Brooks – thanks!! This fixed it. Awesome!

AC - January 28, 2014 Reply

This worked perfectly, thanks so much!!!

Geno - January 22, 2014 Reply

Hi, hope someone has a solution for me.

iX500… got the windows search in organizer to finally work with Fujitsu tech. Windows 7, had to reindex etc etc.

What we could not get to work is if I pick Adobe instead of Windows Search in the organizer. When I use that option in the search, adobe acrobat/reader opens, then quickly closes and I get (0) search results.

Anyone know whats up? I do have the iFilter v9 installed. I also have Acrobat X Pro and Reader 11 installed.


    Brooks Duncan - January 24, 2014 Reply

    Interesting. Does search work from within Acrobat X?

      Geno - January 24, 2014 Reply


        Geno - January 24, 2014 Reply

        I reinstalled scansnap, I reinstalled acrobat X pro, no diff. Then uninstalled X and installed XI which came with the scanner. No dif. Fujitsu tech has no answer at this time.

        I figure, this must have happened to someone else…

saidijack - January 9, 2014 Reply

Your PDF Search fix for Windows 7 64-bit is great! However, I have another issue. I have PDF files that were created with keywords in file properties and I need to search for those keywords using Explorer. Open .pdf file and select File > Properties ‘Keywords’. Can you help?

Jeffry - December 29, 2013 Reply

I had the same problem on windows 8 – 64 bit. Spent a lot of frustrating time coming to the same conclusions as I see here – Went through all the normal troubleshooting attempts as well. I just installed version 11 of the ifilter, changed the patch statement and after a reboot and the reindex all my tests work!! Brooks had sent me the link to this post – it was right on the money! I wish that it was mentioned somewhere it the installation instructions for scansnap. Thanks again Brooks!


    Brooks Duncan - December 29, 2013 Reply

    Glad it helped Jeffry! Interesting that Windows 8 has it too.

VMD - December 22, 2013 Reply

You are great. Thank you much!

Heather - December 17, 2013 Reply

Worked like a charm. Thanks

    Brooks Duncan - December 17, 2013 Reply

    Great Heather, glad it helped!

Synthelectric - December 9, 2013 Reply

Just what I needed! Thank you!

Fine Scotch - December 2, 2013 Reply

You are a gentleman and a scholar!

Esteban - September 26, 2013 Reply

Thanks!! you saved my life

Jason - September 19, 2013 Reply

Thanks Very helpful with Windows 8

WinAP - August 28, 2013 Reply

thanks for the guidance- simple and accurate

@zarchasmpgmr - July 30, 2013 Reply

Thank you! And Adobe now marks the PDF iFilter as tested for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008.

Dave - July 24, 2013 Reply

Brilliant! Thank you for such a well explained direct solution. Worked perfectly.

andy - June 14, 2013 Reply

Worked great. Today, I put it on 2 macs in the Windows partition, and worked great. Thanks!

PDF Search fix for Windows 7 64-bit | Diary of the Scan Man - June 14, 2013 Reply

[…] you see that message, you have the iFilter problem.  Visit the DocumentSnap website for the complete instructions for installing the Adobe IFilter.  The process takes about 4 minutes and is very […]

Gill - May 29, 2013 Reply

Finally a solution that works! It was driving me insane.
Thanks a million!!! 🙂

Gabriel Avăcăriţei - May 14, 2013 Reply

Many Thanks!

Charis - April 2, 2013 Reply

Thank you, that is a lifesaver. I'm currently working on my literature review for my dissertation proposal and have been going nuts trying to find PDF files using the search feature on my new computer, which is Windows 7. I could search and find them on the old computer using XP but it is slow and clunky and doesn't have all the resources.

By the way there is a iFilter for Acrobat Pro XI available.….

lost - March 27, 2013 Reply

didn't work for me – I DON'T have the message " registered ifilter is not found" under filter description. downloaded anyway. changed path in systems control panel.

Stuart - March 15, 2013 Reply

Thanks for helping me fix a problem I didn't know I had!

When I downloaded the Adobe file the operating environments listed now include:

"Windows Search on Microsoft Windows 7® x64"

Calvin - March 8, 2013 Reply

This worked, thanks!

Miz Lola - February 27, 2013 Reply


smith - February 11, 2013 Reply

i have the new ix500 which came with the adobe x to work with my windows 7 64 bit laptop. i do not have the iFilter yet.

do i download the one for adobe 9? will there be any issues? there is no update iFilter for adobe x that i could find.


    smith - February 11, 2013 Reply

    oh! i found Adobe PDF iFilter 11 for 64-bit platforms. it seems to be for the adobe 11 vs 10 ( i have the 10) which one is better for the adobe 10?

Mike - February 4, 2013 Reply


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[…] How To Fix PDF Search In Windows 7 64-Bit This is still a huge problem for many Windows 7 users. If you use Windows and have troubles searching for PDFs, check this out. […]

sophia - October 11, 2012 Reply

Many thanks for this extremely helpful and clear post. Have great days!

Kevin - October 4, 2012 Reply

Fantastic Guide! Thank you so much.

    Brooks Duncan - October 4, 2012 Reply

    Thanks Kevin! Glad it helped.

huz_akh - September 16, 2012 Reply

Worked Perfect, Thanks !

    Brooks Duncan - September 16, 2012 Reply

    Great! Glad it helped!

Jeff - August 10, 2012 Reply

Thanks a million!

Avinash Hirekerur - August 5, 2012 Reply

Thank you… perfect solution to the problem.

Supabitra - July 3, 2012 Reply

Great! the problem in my computer has been resolved. Thanks a lot.

Kazan interpreter - March 23, 2012 Reply

Awesomely explained! Thank you so much, I did in 10 minutes what I needed to do already three weeks!

Micah Jamison - March 20, 2012 Reply

Hey there, are you able to recommend any good free pdfhosting services? Best of luck

airportjohn - March 12, 2012 Reply

Wow. That indexing problem drove me crazy yesterday. Spent hours trying to fix it. Thanks to Brooks and Matt, it took 3 minutes to fix today. I'm sold. Thanks, guys. I thought it was a ScanSnap issue. Turned out to be a Windows 64 bit problem.

Bobbie - February 28, 2012 Reply

Thanks for the solution to searching pdf files. Works great now!

Now my problem is that I also can't search vsd files. These are my visio drawings and, since graphics is my main function, I need this desperately. Have you come across this problem before? Thanks for any help you can offer.

Joshua - February 8, 2012 Reply

Sounds like a great solution. Seems very simple. Problem now is that any and all links to the Adobe download all lead to the same URL ( However, that URL goes only to a blank page. Even navigating to it through the Adobe website leads to the same blank page. Any suggestions?

    Brooks Duncan - February 8, 2012 Reply

    Weird, just tried on my iPad and it seems to work for me. Try this link: that doesn't work let me know and I will try to get you the file another way.

Kit - December 27, 2011 Reply

Thank you. I'd already found the 'Registered Ifilter not found' problem and was about to tear my hair out. I've just finished writing a PhD thesis. I have thousands of references and had been remiss in storing some (OK a lot) of them in EndNote. The thought of wading through each pdf file was enough to make me walk away from the whole thing. I couldn't believe it when I googled the problem and there you were with the solution. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Brooks Duncan - December 27, 2011 Reply

    Thanks Kit, you made my day!

Chee - December 14, 2011 Reply

well done guys. Worked for me like a treat.

DocumentSnap Time Machine | Tips To Learn How To Go Paperless | DocumentSnap Paperless Blog - December 11, 2011 Reply

[…] How To Fix PDF Search In Windows 7 64-Bit One of the biggest posts on DocumentSnap, it turns out that 64-bit Windows 7 has PDF contents search broken by default. Oops! Here’s how to fix it. […]

David - October 25, 2011 Reply

Another alternative I've been using for a year or two on my Win7 64 setup is Foxit iFilter. I was reluctant to go back to Acrobat for pdf (I use NitroPDF Reader) so was pleased when I found Foxit had an iFilter. The server version costs several hundred dollars but you can sign up for the Basic Desktop Version via the free trial page. Its more like free than free trial.

    Brooks Duncan - October 25, 2011 Reply

    Thanks for the tip David.

Ronen - October 25, 2011 Reply

Works like a charm, thanks a lot, BrooksD!

    Brooks Duncan - October 25, 2011 Reply

    Great, thanks for letting me now Ronen!

Tony - July 7, 2011 Reply

Just great, ty.
There is, however, a problem I'm facing with it. When I search for a all (complete) word, windows search does find it inside the pdf file…but it misses it when a search for, lets say, just part of that same word…like the last 6 chars …or the first 5…or some 4 chars in the middle of the word.
And I'm sure that those same searchs did work fine in the past, before I got my W7 box.
Any tips about how to fix this?
Thank you in advance 🙂

    Brooks Duncan - July 7, 2011 Reply

    Hmm. What happens if you use wildcards? Like search for Mac* to find both Mac and MacBook. Does that work?

marc - April 1, 2011 Reply

and is there also a solution for 32-bit ?

    Brooks Duncan - April 1, 2011 Reply

    Hi Marc,

    I believe that the iFilter for 32 bit is supplied in the latest Adobe Reader. Do you have the same "Registered IFilter is not found" in the File Types tab?

Nate - March 27, 2011 Reply

Awesome job!!!

    Brooks Duncan - March 30, 2011 Reply

    No problem Name, glad it helped.

Brooks Duncan - February 22, 2011 Reply

Glad it helped. Good tip about using Locate though if someone just can't get Windows Search working.

Aroaldo Veneu - January 29, 2011 Reply

This tip worked perfectly and got me out of serious search troubles! :))

Thanks a lot guys!

    Brooks Duncan - January 30, 2011 Reply

    Glad it helped Aroaldo. It's a pretty annoying and widespread problem.

Brooks Duncan - December 7, 2010 Reply

@smallbizdoer @Tom Glad it helped and I'm glad Matt let me know about a problem I didn't even know I had yet. I have a feeling this is pretty widespread now that 64-bit Windows 7 is all over the place. Hope this post spreads far and wide to help people.

Tom Murin - December 7, 2010 Reply

I'm re-indexing as I type this…..I just started going paperless this week (with a scansnap S1300 I got on eBay for just over $200) and was puzzled by the inability of search to function the way I expected it to. Well, problem solved! I am glad I subscribed to the RSS feed.

smallbizdoer - December 7, 2010 Reply

Awesome! That was my problem. I was getting quite disappointed that it wouldn't work for me. Great find, worked like a charm!

    Colin - April 8, 2015 Reply

    Sorry for “hijacking” your post but I thought the following tip would be useful and doubt too many people will read all the way to the end to read my original. Hope you’re not offended.
    And of course if the Acrobat Reader update doesn’t solve the indexing problem and the user is reluctant to edit the registry then simply:-
    Empty your wast bin (trash can)
    go to the top level user directory normally c:\User.
    in the search box type *.pdf
    give the system a few moments to find them all
    select them all [ctrl + A]
    delete them all [right click] and [delete] or pick them all up and bin them
    Go to the waste bin
    Select them all – that’s why you emptied it first 🙂
    and [right click] RESTORE
    Job done – the Windows search indexer will then just re-index the recoveries instead of the entire user partition.

      Tracy - April 29, 2015 Reply

      One word of warning about this trick: Don’t do that if you are working off a company server. I just did, forgetting momentarily that items deleted off the server do not go into my recycle bin! Our IT techs are restoring it, but ouch. I have determined, however, that copying the files from the server to your local c drive will accomplish the same end. Thanks for the tip!

        Ebat - May 11, 2015 Reply

        No kidding! Doesn’t anyone else see a potential problem with DELETING hundreds of files, and then depending on a system’s stability to restore them from a trash bin successfully?
        I would expect perhaps MOVING all the file to another folder/flash drive/backup drive, then copying them back to the usual place, would effect the same result without this sort of risk, but hey, I’m just paranoid and distrustful of computers, which is why I’ve not lost important things for quite a few years. Re-indexing seems like a far safer concept, and likely exactly the same time involved either way for the system to re-scan. Don’t make things more risky or complicated than necessary, please.

          Colin - May 12, 2015 Reply

          Ebat, If a system can’t recover 100s of files from the waste bin ( probably at least half a million files on a modern computer) you have more than just an indexing problem. If you doubt the speed advantages of simply re-indexing the 100s of recovered or copied files you might want to try googling “my computer has spent 2 days rebuilding the search index” then you may realise why re-indexing everything is not such a good idea.
          I accept that moving the files to an alternate location is a feasible alternative but can anybody put their hand on their heart and say ” My CD,DVD,Memory Stick, Smart Card is more reliable than my computer’s hard disk”? If they can, then they probably have inferior hard disks in the first place. Simply check the manufacturers’ figures for MTBF (mean time between failures) for any storage device and compare the results.

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