Home Page

Desktop Search



Features Microsoft Copernic Google X1
date (update) 2006-02-26 2007-11-28 2006-12-15 2007-10-18
version 3.1 2.2 5.0.612.7686 6.0 RC
Deskbar/Sidebar/toolbar       toolbar
deskbar functionality shortcuts, + configurable limited  
Mozilla Thunderbird no protocol handler     only 5 accounts?!
index Thunderbird emails in the real time No manual    
Outlook contacts Yes      
Outlook calendar/todo/notes Yes No    
contacts real-time indexing Yes manual    
size of content to index   customizable 10MB 60 MB, customizable
memory consumption (after FreeRAM)   2MB 800 KB app;
1,800 KB index;
900 KB crawl
startup depends (service) fast fast slow
index size MB (compressed) - items

438 (276) MB,
74,085 items

586 (338) MB;
54,280 docs;
1,576,533 keywords
1,321 (558) MB
227,280 items
61 (38) MB
3% of files
index file deletion Yes Yes configurable  
index within archives plugins zip    
PDF plugin      
CHM plugin      
Firefox bookmarks        
Firefox web history No   Yes  
search within a word        
Categories Yes   mail/files/web  
search all categories Yes      
use as program launcher        
index folders (names) Yes part of filename part of filename  
index changes in external drives       paid version only


Note: 2008-06-15, I am currently using Windows Vista with Windows Search V4.



Pro: Customizable. Indexes changes in external (usb) drives. For reindexing the external drive, it needs to be connected before starting CDS.

Con: Does not index CHM files' contents. [No third party plugins (doesn't need them anyway).]

Customization: Increase content indexing to 50MB.

The following extensions need to be added...

Filename only: .exe, .sln, .lnk, .vbproj, (.cmd), .sql, .7z, chm
Document content: .bat, .cmd, .vb, .vbs, .tdl

Query Syntax: @filename=<searchterm>

2006-10-25: 2.01 Installed. Does not index folders (folder names) directly so it is impossible to locate a folder as an item.

2006-09-21, Installed 2.0 final. Deskbar quite improved. Uninstalled because it does not index CHM files.

2006-06-22, The real-time indexing does not index other content, like Thunderbird emails and Outlook contacts. Updating a large index hangs the Windows Explorer for a short time (8 seconds).
Program Files, Documents and Settings (and maybe Windows) folders need to be enabled for indexing.
It is too focused on keywords compared to files, for example. Ignores special characters in search, which makes search for specific character combinations impossible.

2006-06-21, Installed Beta 2.0.

2005-07, Currently, Copernic Desktop Search is still better than GDS.


Google Desktop Search

Pro: Indexes Thunderbird emails in real time.

Con: Poor results display (filtering).

2006-11-15: Version 5. Deskbar improved but still limited in comparison do Desktop Sidebar.

Adjusts index so that recent entries are shown first.

2005-12, Installed GDS again. It searches the Outlook contacts and calendar as well as Thunderbird emails. That's fair enough. A few things to fix and it will be a nice desktop search solution. Removing indexed entries pisses me off now. I don't want to remove them permanently. Only until the next indexing, if they are still at the same place.


  1. Install latest GDS. (desktop.google.com)
  2. Install plugins so that the initial indexing crawler includes all the other file types.
  3. Install IFilters.
  4. Install IFilter GDS plugin
  5. (full text plugin)
  6. (Change xml in registry. - File extensions to skip)


Search Tips

The boolean OR works as expected (e.g. hacks OR snacks), as does negation (e.g.hacks -evil).

A filetype: operator restricts searches to only a particular type of file: filetype:powerpoint or filetype:ppt (.ppt being the PowerPoint file extension) both find only Microsoft PowerPoint files, while filetype:word or filetype:doc (.doc being the Word file extension) both restrict results to Microsoft Word documents.


IFilter Google Desktop Search plugins

After installing IFilter plugins for indexing various types of files, IFilter GDS plugin needs to be installed last. During installation, the list of extensions is entered. The plugin is then registered with GDS engine and GDS reindexes the files with this plugin. IFilter GDS plugin is used as a proxy between GDS and IFilter content plugins (chm, zip, etc.).


Indexing stops

Run regedit and find "HistoricalCapture" folder (CTRL+F), then go to
Crawler folder below. One of the keys there is named CRAWL_FILE. This
is the last file being indexed. It seems google desktop search cannot
cope with some broken files. In my case it stopped on a broken .PNG
file. After deleting it, the indexing went further.



Con: Does not index external drives changes.

Customization required: Add drives to be indexed (C, D). Exclude Outook Express.

File types: See tips below. After reinstalling all these were kept in registry. Maybe it's a result of previous entry, maybe they were added automatically(?).

Filters: CHM(IFilter, Citeknet), OpenOffice, PDF,

Links: Support forumsOfficial add-ins page and one more. Official forum.


2007-03-13: Latest version keeps reindexing on every boot after version upgrade. Uninstalled and then installed 3.01 again. At the same time decided to install Citeknet's Mail protocol handler so I installed 2.6.6, then protocol handler, then uninstalled, then installed 3.01. That trick didn't work as mail plugin does not recognize the v3.01.

2006-11-27: Now I'm confused. Reinstalled WDS because it got stupid and forgot all the settings on every reboot, resetting the values to defaults and then reindexing only the default folders on every run. Anyway, after the reinstallation the hotkey Ctrl+Alt+M does not function anymore. Help file says the search box is accessed through Win+Shift+F key combination. Weird. I used to access the search the search box via ctrl+alt+m hotkey.

2006-10-25: 3.0 final released. It does not index the contents of CHM files (nor PDF for that matter) so I guess it has something to do with reinstalling the add-ins. I'm going to give another chance to Copernic.

2006-10-18: 3.0 Beta 2 does not offer a GUI option to set the hotkey but I accidentally found that Ctrl+Alt+M will set the focus on the taskbar textbox (so Total Commander shortcut for locating an entry in the list does not work).

2006-08-23: Installed 3.0 beta 2. Finally has a GUI. Does not support previous Mozilla Thunderbird protocol handler - in fact - the old protocol handler requires 2.6.5 to be installed first :(.
Need to manually activate certain extension filters.
Full index: .pdf, .vb, .maf, .maff, .tnx

2006-06-20, Installed 2.6.5. Thunderbird protocol plugin does not index emails very well in terms of time. WDS keeps restarting indexing after it indexes all the files. Then it starts all over again.

Manual intervention required:

To start minimized use the parameter "/startup".

To monitor the file system activity of WDS use FileMon with the following filters
CLOSE;DIRECTORY;C:\Documents and Settings\;C:\:KAVICHS;C:\Program Files\Windows Desktop Search\;C:\WINDOWS\;C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Ole DB\oledb32r.dll

and uncheck Log Opens and Log Errors.



Custom extensions required: sql, lnk

Default options require tweaking to index desired file extensions.
Cons: Deskbar is almost useless as it only opens the main application window. Extensions are listed by name (!!) so it's difficult to find the ones, like .sln, .vbproj, etc. Only files and Outlook emails can be indexed in real time.
Indexes only 5 Thunderbird email accounts?! :S