News and Notes

General Help and How-to

Download FAQ Release Notes Google's Privacy Policy Getting Started Guide Help! Make GDS Better! Other Helpful Web Sites On with the tips... In the current release it will index files from these applications: If you share your computer (one log in shared with others), be aware that the other users may stumble across information that you would rather not have them find.
If users use separate Windows accounts you can install Google Desktop on each account. One user will not be able to access another user's Desktop index.
Some preferences you should set
Make sure your GDS is up to date

Move index file to a different drive
Some people don't want the index taking up lots of space on their main drive. Once again a registry hacking expedition is avoided by the wonderful TweakGDS. Seriously, get this tool. You'll use it sooner or later.
Files on Mapped Network Drives
In the previous versions this was a lengthy process that involved hacking around in your registry. Thankfully, this is now part of the preferences. Simply go to the preference page and look for the section called "Search These Locations". Click the "Add drive or folder to search" link and you will be able to navigate to one of your mapped drives. After you select a drive and save your preferences it will appear in your list as \\servername\share\path

The really cool part of this, if you have a laptop, is you have the Google cache local on your computer. So if you need some info from a file you accessed on the network at an earlier point, you may be able to get that info from your cache.
Large Text files
There currently seems to be a limitation as to the size of the file that GDS will index. According to this page at Google's support, the limit is 10,000 words. And sometimes less to save space.

What GDS Does Not Index
When you do an install of GDS with out any plugins or other modifications, the following file types are not indexed: Along with the following directories: Deskbars Sidebar Finding a File by Part of the Name
Let's say you want to find file called "U2-All That You Can't Leave Behind-Beautiful day.mp3"
In your search field type (no quotes) "Beautiful filetype:mp3"
Your results will come back: U2-All That You Can't Leave Behind-Beautiful day.mp3
Also, when you get your results back, clicking "Sort by Relevance" helps out quite a bit as well.

Password Protected Word File
GDS will index password protected word files. There is now a preference to turn this on and off. If you have it on (meaning you have the preference checked) then if you create a word file and put in a password and save it, GDS will index it and the file will be viewable via that Google Cache by anyone who uses your computer. You need to weigh the security risk for yourself.

What to do if you have installed Firefox or Thunderbird after GDS How to force a clean re-index without reinstalling
If you have been to this site before you may remember this section contained several steps that involved hacking around in your Windows registry. Thankfully, there is a new utility that is available to make this much, much easier. The tool is called TweakGDS. Among other things, you can use TweakGDS to force a complete reindexing of your conputer. Download it today!

Note: Even though there is now a nice tool to make it easier, it still involves modifying you registry so proceed with caution and read the instructions carefully.

How to manually uninstall Google Desktop Search
You can easily uninstall Google Desktop Search by going to Start > Programs > Google Desktop Search > Uninstall Google Desktop Search. If that didn't work, you may need to manually uninstall the program. Here is how:
As you may know, editing the Windows registry is a fairly advanced process. If you're not comfortable doing it yourself, you may want to contact your system administrator. That said, you should be able to solve the problem by deleting the following registry keys:


You'll need to restart your machine in order for this change to take
effect. Once you've done this, you can remove the program files for
Desktop Search. Here's how:

Open C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME-THAT-NO-LONGER-EXISTS\Local
Settings\Application Data\Google\Google Desktop Search. Delete all the
files in this directory.

You should now be able to successfully install and use Google Desktop

Make GDS one of Firefox's search engines

Third Party Tools

Developers have started to make plug-ins for GDS. You can find a list here.
Currently, you'll find plug-ins that add support for OpenOffice and StarOffice files, any text file and also help files.
Have a look at that page frequently because people will be building cool stuff.

Index Word Perfect Files
Trivex has a new plugin for indexing Word Perfect files. At the moment, Google hasn't added it to the plug-ins page so you can find it here for now.

Index .ZIP Compressed Archives
Airbear software has a plug-in that lets GDS index the names of the files within RAR, JAR, and ZIP compressed archives.
You can find it here.

Index your data CDs and DVDs
CD / DVD Spindle Search is a tool that lets you catalog your disks and then sends the information to Google's search tool. Then, when you do the usual search with GDS, your archived files will turn up as well.
This tool does require the .NET framework 1.1.
Note: As of 4/2/05, there is a new version of SpindleSearch out that fixed some bugs related to invalid search results. Go get version 1.2.1.

Search Networked Computers with DNKA - remote desktop search tool
So, you have a small network at home and each machine is running GDS. Wouldn't it be cool if you could reach out and search one of the other machines on your network? I think so. Now it must be said that this does run the usual security risks and will need precautions. If you index all sorts of private files on one machine and open it up to the rest of the computers, perhaps your son will find your email to your wife. Then again, you could search his AOL chats so perhaps this is good. You decide.
To do all this you'll need a third party software called DNKA - remote desktop search tool. Rather than take up more space here I'll point you to a blog entry I wrote on this topic here.

gdSuite 2.1
AirBear software has updated their gdSuite product to version 2.1.3. Here is a screenshot. gdSuite provides an interface on top of GDS to make it more user friendly to build the query you need and get the results you want. Go check it out here.
Google Desktop Search Plug-In for Windows Explorer
Google Desktop Search Plug-In for Windows Explorer lets you simply do a Windows Key + F and pop up GDS as your search tool instead of the lame Windows search dog. They also have a similar plug-in for Outlook.

With TweakGDS, you can move your Google Desktop Search index, change the drives or subfolders that are indexed (including mapped network drives and attached USB/Firewire drives), and force a complete re- indexing of your drives or subfolders.