Include OneNote in Start menu search results – WDS OneNote

If you are using Vista you might have fallen in love with the new start menu which automatically includes Windows Desktop Search results when you search for something.  This enables you to search for programs, files and emails all from the same place.  The other day the OneNote PMs where in a meeting and someone said that they didn't see OneNote hits in the search menu results and I told them that this wasn't the case as I use it all of the time.  We I found the difference, I had changed a start menu search option which included the OneNote files and by default the option was set differently.  I wanted to share this with you all, here is how to set this up:

Include OneNote hits in Vista start menu search results:

  1. Right-click on the taskbar and choose properties:
  2. Start Menu tab and then the “Customize..” button
  3. Scroll down to “Search files” and set it to “Search entire index”
  4. Click Ok & Ok.
  5. Success!

For example I have an ING Direct account and I never remember my account number so I just type this into the search results and hit enter:



Comments (9)

  1. Feralboy says:

    Excellent!!! Thank you very much, but this really brings up an interesting problem. Features like this remain hidden to most users. There are so many little niceities that go undiscovered because Windows (and OneNote) come with little or no documentation in the box. The help system is great, but how do you expect a customer to look up a feature, such as this one, that the customer doesn’t even know he/she is missing? It’s a pitty too, because most people will just assume the feature doesn’t exist and chalk it up as a dificiency. All that hard work gone to waste! We’ve come a long way since most documentation went online, it’s time to take a step back and decide whether or not we’ve gone too far.

  2. Do you use the Windows Desktop Search from the Start Menu in Vista? Wondering how to get OneNote data

  3. It’s getting hard to keep blogging about OneNote in detail now that I am no longer on the team, but I

  4. It's getting hard to keep blogging about OneNote in detail now that I am no longer on the team, but

  5. It's getting hard to keep blogging about OneNote in detail now that I am no longer on the team, but

  6. Andy Bryant says:

    Is there an equivalent to solve this issue with WDS 3.01 on XP?  I’m only getting Outlook showing up in my WDS search from the desktop (although WDS seems to be indexing OneNote fine as I can search for OneNote stuff from within OneNote.  Just not from the desktop search bar.

    I just posted a question to microsoft.public.onenote, to see if anyone has the answer…


  7. Nick says:

    Thanks for posting this, I wonder why "search entire index" isn’t a default setting in vista?



  8. Scott says:

    Aha! That’s it! I was wondering why searching from the Start menu didn’t bring up obvious results when searching for, say, an mp3 file. I always had to select "Search everywhere" in order to get search to bring up these sorts of results. This little change makes all the difference in the world.

  9. reva says:

    Well, I do not know if this is a closed issue.

    The start menu search on my Vista Home Premium is not finding all the pages in OneNote. It finds the pages that are under the tabs that OneNote came with. It seems to be blind to only those pages under the tabs created by me. I am the only user and also administrator on the computer. The "Search Files" in Customization under the Start Menu properties is set to "search this user's files". So what could be wrong?

    Thanks for any help.

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