News and Notes
: Google Desktop is now part of the Google Pack. Google Pack is a set of utilities that Google has packaged together into a single download. When you go to download the pack you can select all or just a single application. Even if all you use the pack for is Google Desktop it is a nice way to get it because Google Pack notifies you when there are updates available.
- Or you can get Google Desktop Search here.
- As of December 13, 2005, there are international versions you may want if you are not in the USA. Here are the links: Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese/Brazilian, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish
- Read Google's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) here.
- To find out what version of GDS you have go to the GDS home page and click the 'About' link at the bottom of the page.
- Information about each version is available here.
- Lots of tips to what GDS is all about and how to do searches of your computer are here.
- Google's GDS support page is here.
- To make a suggestion, report a problem, get help or for general feedback go here.
- Need help? Ask the forum: Google-Desktop-Search group. Be sure to search the forum for your answer first!
- Article on O'Reilly Network: Google Your Desktop has lots of screen shots and tips on searching.
- Interesting interview with Marrissa Mayer, Google's director of consumer web products.
- Inside Google Desktop: The official source for information about Google Desktop
- Outlook 2000+
- Outlook Express 5+
- Netscape Mail 7.1+
- Mozilla Mail 1.4+
- Web Browser History
- Internet Explorer 5+
- Netscape 7.1+
- Mozilla 1.4+
- AOL 7+
- AOL Instant Messenger 5+
- MSN Messenger
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
- To change your preferences, right click on the GDS icon in your task tray and then click 'Preferences'
- Deselect "Include secure pages (HTTPS) in web history" HTTPS are secured web pages. If you want to keep things like your online bank info private, don't index these kinds of pages.
- While in the preferences, add the following sites to your list of sites NOT to index
- 127.0.0.1 is the location that GDS returns your local results to. Preventing indexing on this location will keep you from having results returned in a circlular fashion. That is, if you look something up and it returns 1 hit your result page then gets indexed and you'll have 2 hits the next time and on and on in a circular fashion. I don't know about IE but this is a problem with Slogger. If you use Slogger, you can also use it's settings to prevent this kind of logging as well. That may be preferable.
- Any folder you do not want indexed should be entered here as well (eg. c:\My Stuff)
- Google Integration
- Some people freak out when they see local results appear when they do a search on the web. This is easily fixed by deselecting "Show Desktop Search results on Google Web Search result pages"
- You may also want to increase the number of results you want to see per page. Simply change the number in the Number of Results section near the bottom of the Preferences page.
Make sure your GDS is up to date
- Right click on the GDS icon in your task tray and then click 'About'. This will show you what version you have loaded.
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.
- FYI, by default the index is stored in:
C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Google Desktop Search
where USERNAME is your username on the computer.
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:
- .tmp, .temp, .pst, .dat, .pf, .obj
- Recycler, System Volume Information, AppData, Cache, Cookies, History, Local AppData, Local Settings, PrintHood, Recent, SendTo, Startup, Templates
- Your system root folder. In most cases, this is C:\Windows\ or C:\winnt
- GDS now has in integrated deskbar. The desk bar can be part of your windows task bar or it can float around your screen. More details can be found here.
- GDS now comes with a sidebar that runs up the side of your screen and provides all kinds of information at a glance. Personally, I haven't really found that I like this thing all that much. I don't like wasting screen real estate.
- You can find more information about the side bar here.
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.
- Again, Google Desktop Search was meant for a single user PC. You created the file and it's password. You should know what it contains.
- Another thing you can do for added security is create a "Do Not Index" folder and add it to Google's Preferences like I mentioned above.
What to do if you have installed Firefox or Thunderbird after GDS
- If you install Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla, and/or Thunderbird after you install Google Desktop Search, Desktop Search may not be able to find your web history or email. Google has instructions for fixing this here.
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:
TO EDIT THE WINDOWS SYSTEM REGISTRY:
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:
TO REMOVE GOOGLE DESKTOP SEARCH:
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
- If you use Firefox, you'll want this plugin to allow you to add GDS as one of the search engines.
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.
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.