A nice workaround to enhance searching on 64 bit Windows with OneNote

As those of you who use 64 bit versions of Windows with OneNote know, there is a limitation placed on search results. If you use Windows Desktop Search (any version) to find OneNote files, the results are found as expected. The problem is that they are not clickable from the search window. If you try to open one of the found files, nothing happens.

A reader from New Zealand (go All Blacks!) sent me an email with a workaround he discovered. It involves modifying the registry, but when done, you will be able to click the results.

Here are the registry keys to edit (and as always, back up before modifying the registry - or just get ready to use System Restore):


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@="Microsoft Office OneNote Namespace Extension for Windows Desktop Search"






I bold faced that second one since it may need to be changed on your computer. Notice the path - if you installed OneNote or Office somewhere other than the default, this will need to change. And make sure that the path uses the "Program Files" folder, NOT "Program Files (x86)."

To save some time from running using regedit to hand modify these keys, you can copy/paste the information above into notepad, ensure the path is correct, and save as a .REG file (be sure to change the file type dropdown to "All Files.)" Then you can double click that .REG file to add them all at once.

Now when you perform the desktop search, the results will look visibly different - they will have the OneNote icon - and they will be clickable.


Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,


Comments (18)

  1. non tech says:

    can’t MS offer this as a patch?  I am not comfortable making reg edits that come with a "prepare for trouble" warning.

  2. vg300 says:

    Something else that seems to work is: Control Panel/Indexing Options/Advanced/File Types and select the file type "one" for OneNote files.  If you change the radio button to "Index Properties and File Contents" it seems to return notes that include text typed into the WDS search box in the Start menu.  Am I missing something as a downside to this approach?

  3. JohnGuin says:

    Can you double click the .ONE files desktop search finds after a search is completed?  This workaround is designed to make the results clickable.


  4. Olivier says:

    thank you, this was the missing part for me. Great tweak.

  5. Hans says:

    Great! Worked like a charm! It’s a shame Microsoft doesn’t give us this solution for THEIR 64-bit OS…!!!

  6. Het heeft niets met BI te maken, maar ik wil dit ergens kwijt, al is het voor mijzelf. Op mijn laptop

  7. Mark D says:

    Unfortunately the same problem exists for Windows 7 RTM except the registry keys are different so the above fix won’t work.

  8. John says:

    Let me see if I can figure out what the new keys are (or even if they are still working in Win7).

  9. Brad Rokosz says:

    I don’t even pretend to understand this, but on my Win7 Enterprise RTM install the onfilter.dll is registered in several CLSIDs:




    and then the corresponding Wow6432Node CLSIDs:



  10. Brad says:

    Ahh – I see… those are for the file extensions. nvmnd

  11. skyejamie says:


    did you manage to check to see if the registry edit would work on x64 Windows 7? I have the same issue, but I’d rather not edit the registry until I know that it’s not going to bork my system…


  12. John says:

    No, have not had time to check.  Just wanted to let you know I’m not ignoring this.

  13. skyejamie says:

    Thanks! I’ll keep checking in from time to time. Much appreciated!

  14. Assaf says:

    Just did it on Win7 Ultimate RC x64, works fine (still astonished that it didn’t require a reboot + reindexing! 🙂 )

  15. I notice this problem seems to have resurfaced with OneNote 2010 Beta. Running an installation repair did not help. For Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and Office 2010 Beta, I needed to make the following registry changes, instead of the ones you list:


    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


    @="Microsoft OneNote Namespace Extension for Windows Desktop Search"


    @="C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\ONFILTER.DLL"










    Note that in this case I needed to create ALL of these registry keys. The problem is not that the original keys were pointing to the wrong version of the DLL; the correct keys were simply not created by the installer in this case.

    My only gripe now is that the "heading" for the search results in the Start menu still reads "oneindex14–(…" followed by a long code. But the search results are at least clickable now.

  16. Aha! I think I fixed the search heading problem, too. I just navigated to %UserProfile%Searches. Inside that folder will be what looks like files under the heading "Search Connector." If you have the full Office 2010 Beta installed, you’ll probably have one for "Microsoft Outlook," and then in my case I had one with the long code that begins with "oneindex14." I simply renamed that one to "Microsoft OneNote" like I would rename any other file, and now the search results show up under that heading in the Start menu.

  17. skyejamie says:

    In a free moment I tried this out with Win7 x64 with Onenote 2007, and I can also confirm that it works, as does Neil McAllister’s suggestion about the search title. Thanks to everyone – I can’t live without my onenote!

  18. Bill says:

    Thanks for the help on this.  I followed Neil’s advice from his Jan 21 post.  I am not experienced with delicate Registry entries but I think I did it right.  The system is reindexing, 22K entries so far, but there are no OneNote entries at this point in a search where I know OneNote has content.  Maybe I did something wrong??.  

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