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Searches, Recently Changed etc

    Question

  • I am trying to find out what to do with the folder contents under searches which are, recent Doc, email, music, pic, shared by me, and the recently changed folders just wondering can the content of these folders be deleted or are they for use in the fast search or indexing part of vista.
    Monday, April 02, 2007 10:03 PM

All replies

  • These are not required by search. You can removed/customize this pane and select "Remove Link" on these folder. This will remove the item from this pane, but also leave the folders on the harddrive.
    Thursday, April 05, 2007 11:46 PM
  • I just cannot find some one with the right answer i am looking for but it looks like to me it is used for the indexing service in Vista  and it is not bothering me just the fact I want to no more about the folders and in Vista I cannot find much info about it either or even on the Vista Technet web page not much info
    Friday, April 06, 2007 4:30 AM
  • Well your not going to find anyone else who knows about this, other then myself since I own the development of this feature for Vista. These items does not have a direct impact on the indexer. These items are your "Saved Searches". You can create common queries that is used often and save them. The saved search queries are displayed in this left-hand pane. The one you see are preconfigured search that are installed by default. You can modify or delete these with out effecting indexing. Hope that helps.
    Saturday, April 14, 2007 4:09 PM
  • Here is the kicker when you say ,delete something that is in the recently changed folder guess what it deletes it in the original  folder also, so this is not right what you are saying, if i delete this recently changed folder it is going to delete everything in the other folders on my system which I do not want to do, is this another glitch in Vista. I will give you an example all my pictures that I download from my SD cards I store in my pictures folder and they also are in the recently changed folder and if I delete the recently changed folder of a picture it is gone from in my pictures.
    Saturday, April 14, 2007 8:47 PM
  • This is not a file folder. This is a search (the icon has a search magnify glass) folder. The results are the actual files on your hard drive that was recently modified. Deleting these is the same as deleting the files in their respective folders.
    Tuesday, April 17, 2007 12:00 AM
  • I am starting to understand but you know most people do not even know this  feature in Vista or what it is for or how it works. Glad I didn't take one persons advice and just delete the folder and lose a bunch of photos or what ever I had on the drive Thanks for the help.
    Wednesday, April 18, 2007 12:10 AM
  • I understand.So you're telling me that i can't delete anything from the recently changed folder.If i don't will it take away any disk space memory.What would you recommend me to do with this recently changed folder?
    Thursday, May 17, 2007 5:02 PM
  • i too would like to know what their purpose is and why they contain a copy (well they seem to be copies)of every single email ive ever opened in outlook, every single file ive changed etc etc... why can we not delete the information stored within these folders? or is it actually possible and my delete key is taking a break. any help with this subject would be great, it just seems to be a very odd way to monitor everything a user has opened or looked at.. thanks guys.
    Monday, May 21, 2007 8:42 PM
  • I'm not sure if I'm understanding the concern completely, or if you are all even asking the same question.  Let me try to clarify the Recently Changed feature.

     

    • Recently Changed is a saved search.  Sometimes they're called "Search Folders" or "Smart Folders" or some other name.  However, it is just a file that triggers a specific search query.  It does not contain items, and is not a folder.  You can't put things into it, and deleting it will not delete the results of the search query.
    • This means that when you click on Recently Changed, you see a list of all items that were recently changed, just as if you had used the Search function and searched for items with a "Date Modified" date within the last week or month.
    • The items you see in Recently Changed are search results.  They are not copies of the actual items, they are the original items.  If you look at Recently Changed items, select one, and press Delete - you will be deleting that original item.  This is how Search always works.  Searching does not create copies.
    • The Recently Changed saved search can be deleted safely.  Deleting a saved search does not affect the results of that search.  It is not a folder.  It does not contain copies of your items (or any items at all).  It's just a saved search query.
    • The "Searches" folder contains some additional Saved Searches to get you started using Vista's new search functionality.  For example, the "Recent E-mail" search will show you e-mail messages received recently.  Again, this are searches and are not actual folders.  They do not contain any data.
    • Both the Recently Changed and the Searches items can be safely removed from the Favorites pane, if you do not find them useful.  If you right-click them and click "Remove Link" you won't even be deleting the saved search, you'll just be removing the link from the Favorite Links list. 
    • If you choose Delete, you can also safely delete the Recently Changed saved search.  It's just a file.  Deleting it won't affect your items or the indexer.
    • I would advise against deleting the Searches folder.  As I said above, you can use the "Remove Link" option to remove it from the Favorite Links list.  But an item in the folder is used when you click Start -> Search, and deleting it isn't going to gain you anything (saved searches take up virtually zero space).

    I hope that helps address the concerns in this thread.  If you have further questions, please post them.

    Wednesday, May 30, 2007 6:20 PM
  • <P align=left><FONT face=Arial size=2>I use Windows Vista. I by mistake happen to delete my recently changed folder. Its no more in the Recycle bin.Now can I get that kind of folder created again? Pls Answer</FONT></P>
    Monday, July 30, 2007 12:49 PM
  •  Brandon Paddock MSFT wrote:

    I'm not sure if I'm understanding the concern completely, or if you are all even asking the same question.  Let me try to clarify the Recently Changed feature.

     

    • Recently Changed is a saved search.  Sometimes they're called "Search Folders" or "Smart Folders" or some other name.  However, it is just a file that triggers a specific search query.  It does not contain items, and is not a folder.  You can't put things into it, and deleting it will not delete the results of the search query.
    • This means that when you click on Recently Changed, you see a list of all items that were recently changed, just as if you had used the Search function and searched for items with a "Date Modified" date within the last week or month.
    • The items you see in Recently Changed are search results.  They are not copies of the actual items, they are the original items.  If you look at Recently Changed items, select one, and press Delete - you will be deleting that original item.  This is how Search always works.  Searching does not create copies.
    • The Recently Changed saved search can be deleted safely.  Deleting a saved search does not affect the results of that search.  It is not a folder.  It does not contain copies of your items (or any items at all).  It's just a saved search query.
    • The "Searches" folder contains some additional Saved Searches to get you started using Vista's new search functionality.  For example, the "Recent E-mail" search will show you e-mail messages received recently.  Again, this are searches and are not actual folders.  They do not contain any data.
    • Both the Recently Changed and the Searches items can be safely removed from the Favorites pane, if you do not find them useful.  If you right-click them and click "Remove Link" you won't even be deleting the saved search, you'll just be removing the link from the Favorite Links list. 
    • If you choose Delete, you can also safely delete the Recently Changed saved search.  It's just a file.  Deleting it won't affect your items or the indexer.
    • I would advise against deleting the Searches folder.  As I said above, you can use the "Remove Link" option to remove it from the Favorite Links list.  But an item in the folder is used when you click Start -> Search, and deleting it isn't going to gain you anything (saved searches take up virtually zero space).

    I hope that helps address the concerns in this thread.  If you have further questions, please post them.

    All you have to do is tell us, with great specificity, how to deactivate/eleminate/ disable the "Recently Changed" "FEATURE" (NOT)
    Sunday, September 30, 2007 3:11 PM
  • Ok, I understand that deleting any files in the recently changed folder deletes the actual file. A lot of us get that, please tell us why vista has this feature and why it cannot be disabled?

    I have a new dell with vista pre-installed, this feature has taken control away from me on "MY" personal computer. I do not want this, do not need it. I know where I save files and do not need a recent searches or recent anything to show me where "MY" own files are.

    This is serious enough for me to totally abandon Vista and go back to XP.

    So, please, please tell me why this feature was implemented and why I cannot disable it on my own computer?
    Wednesday, October 24, 2007 3:12 AM
  • I found out how to stop the recently changed folder from showing recent documents in microsoft vista. I'm not sure why anyone at microsoft just didn't post the answer but, there is a way to get it to stop indexing.

    First, this a folder that searches your computer and shows the actual documents on your computer, hence when you delete them from the recent changed folder it deletes the actual file. The way to stop this folder from indexing them is Control Panel - Indexing Options (search for index) - Advanced - File types-......Here you can remove every type of file you want from indexing or all of them. I personally just removed the file types that were appearing though you have the choice to remove every type.

    I hope this helps, it was driving me nuts and I was considering switching back to XP. Here is the answer and hope everyone who is searching for the answer can find it.
    Friday, October 26, 2007 6:24 PM
  • What you have given above is greatly appreciated. What I would like to know is: After I have deleted the "Recently Changed" folder, is there any way of getting it back? According to your statement above it doesn't seem to hurt deleting it, but how do you restore it after you have deleted it? Also, what does it do if you go into the indexing file and uncheck all the items? It what way will this be bad for Vista? Also, when I right click on the folders there is no selection, "Remove Link". Why would this be?
    Thanks for your help.
    Tuesday, December 18, 2007 8:01 AM

  • I just found out that my roomate has been surfing the internet for porn and that he tried to hide it by deleting the files.  But when I open the Search - Recently Changed folder, I found the photos that he has been viewing.  Needless to say, I was unable to delete the files because Windows Vista says that it cannot locate the original file (in order to delete the copied image in the Recently Changed folder).  I verified that the files were actually deleted (also removed from the Recycled Bin) but the photo images were still in the Recently Changed folder.  I had no choice but to delete the Recently Changed folder.  Is this a bug in Windows Vista or is deleting these folders the only solution to removing the deleted files?  I hope it is a bug because I would hate to go through this chaos everyday.


    Wednesday, December 26, 2007 5:11 PM
  • What you have given above is greatly appreciated. What I would like to know is: After I have deleted the "Recently Changed" folder, is there any way of getting it back? According to your statement above it doesn't seem to hurt deleting it, but how do you restore it after you have deleted it? Also, what does it do if you go into the indexing file and uncheck all the items? In what way will this be bad for Vista? Also, when I right click on the folders there is no selection, "Remove Link". Why would this be?
    Thanks for your help.

    Wednesday, December 26, 2007 5:50 PM
  • Like previous versions of Windows, Vista maintains a list of your recently opened files on the Start Menu. This is supposed to give you quick access to the files that you most recently opened. Some users however, may not want others knowing what files they are working on and feel it is a breach of privacy. Vista does give you the option of disabling this feature so users can maintain their privacy.

    To disable the list of recently opened files:

    1. Right click the Taskbar and click Properties.
    2. Click the Start Menu tab.
    3. Under the Privacy section, uncheck the Store and display a list of recently opened files.
    4. Click OK.

    Note: You can also disable the list of recently opened programs by removing the check beside the Store and display a list of recently opened programs option

    Friday, January 11, 2008 4:09 PM
  • HI

    Did u ever get an answer to this? I have online banking statements for last year that i printed off and then deleted the files from my pc, and needless to say, they are all in this "recently changed folder".

    If this is supposed to show results of searches, why are my non-search items showing in here and why can't they be deleted?  Help!!

     

    Spook

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008 12:22 PM
  • The best way to describe it is, it "indexes" all the files you've had open on your computer. The recently changed folder is a compiled folder of all the documents you've had open. I lost several important documents trying to delete items out of here, because when you delete files in this folder, it deletes the actual files themselves.

    To get files to stop "indexing" in the recently changed folder is to go here:

    Control Panel - Indexing Options (search for index) - Advanced - File types-......Here you can remove every type of file you want from indexing or all of them. I personally just removed the file types that were appearing though you have the choice to remove every type.
    Thursday, January 17, 2008 12:08 AM
  • Cheers Blurb

     

    That's me sorted now.....

     

    Friday, January 18, 2008 8:09 AM
  • Boy I will tell you this recently changed forum a has gone a long way since I started it awhile back and by the looks a lot of people still do no understand the way it works I have figured it out a long time ago. I have no file or folder in the recently changed spot anymore because I have uncheck the ext's that I do not want being sayed to this folder. Good Luck
    Monday, January 28, 2008 3:07 AM
  • You can remove file extensions from the indexer if you want but I wouldn't recommend it. The problem with doing that is you are going to stop a lot of the search functionality on your machine working, not just the Recently Changed feature. Personally if I wanted to remove the Recently Changed link I would right-click on it and select "Remove Link". If I wanted to remove the other searches I would delete the .search-ms files from the Searches folder {in c:\users\<username>\Searches - although once they are gone they are gone so keeping a copy somewhere might be useful if you ever want them back}.

     

    Although personally I would just leave everything the way it is. Having fast search of your documents is a handy feature. I don't see any security or privacy issue myself - anyone who has access to your machine could access all your files anyhow regardless of whether the "Recently Changed" folder is there or not.

     

    Dave Wood

     

    Wednesday, January 30, 2008 2:11 AM
  • hello all

    i read all ur posts

    i am very confusing reg this search option in vista.hope someone will kindly help me out.the problem is the recently viewed adn changed docs are being shown in the search folder and when i am deleting the files the original files are getting delete.some shortcuts are being created and they are unable to get delete as the original file is not there in the system.if i delete this recently change d nad recently documnets folders, how to again get back them???what is the use of these?

    kindly post me a detial reply as i am getting frsutation.help me out friends.....

    thanks!!!!!

    Wednesday, February 06, 2008 5:10 AM
  • The best thing to do like the previous poster has said is leave this folder alone if you do not know what you are doing. If you deleated some folders or files you may be able to do a system restore back before you deleted these folder or if you can find a shadow copy of the folder or files you deleted. I have found one issue with this recently changed folder say you visit some x rated sites which people do and you have a 11 or what ever old daughter or son who alos uses your computer he or she could see something he or she should not of not seen. I talked to one such person who did not know about this folder and in it was a lot of the Porn he looked at in the past. I started this thread because i found this recently changed folder and even MS could not tell me what it was about at first and finally the information can to light and in my case I have just adjusted what i wanted indexed by this system and now all is well. Good luck getting your folder or files back . Oh ya yoou can go into the folder and check properties and see if ther e is a shodow copy created before you deleted the files  but I do not think you will find the deleted files or folder.
    Wednesday, February 06, 2008 5:22 PM
  • Thank you thank you, thank you! I am pleased I read this area first, otherwise I would have deleted all my files. I also cleared the check marks in the control panel | Indexing. Thank you everyone for your help. Does anyone know if the files have been rerouted to this area. I know it is not a copy, and not a shortcut.  

     

    Thursday, March 13, 2008 1:19 PM
  • Having waded through this thread, twice, I have as yet, not found a definition of "recently".
    Is this perhaps similar to the most recently country to be invaded by the US, in which case "recently" is at least five years old.
    Vista is not that old, if urban rumour is to be believed, it will disappear shortly. Does Windows 7 also include this annoying feature?

    Grumpy OldFart#1
    Sunday, May 11, 2008 10:49 PM
  • Hi Eric,

     

    I understand better now after reading the notes about the Recent Search folder.  I would like to disengage this feature as I don't need or want to save a trace of every move I make on the puter.  How do I accomplish?  Thanks. CJ

     

    Friday, June 06, 2008 4:02 PM
  • seems to me that whether it is "recent" or not is academic.

    the point is that items are indexed and cannot easily be deleted from this readily accessible Index.

    Lets say I have a horrendous Doughnut addiction, so I have a picture of a doughnut on my desktop called "doughnut.jpeg"

    I confront my addiction and clear up my life, deleting all pictures from desktop and recycle bin...

    HOWEVER the index reference on my PC lives on and whenever I type "dou"... into the search I see links and references to my deleted "Doughnuts"

    I try to delete, but the file cannot be found, I try to rename, but to no avail.

    I wish these MS people would stop congratulating themselves and saying how good this is. The web is littered with people al asking the same question

    "HOW CAN I GET RID OF THESE REFERENCES ON VISTA?!?" (recently changed or not)

    Please can you tell us straight? HOW CAN I REMOVE ALL READILY ACCESSIBLE RECORDS OF THE DOUGHNUT??

    this is bloody annoying...
    Tuesday, July 01, 2008 9:39 AM
  •  

    The indexer doesn't work the way you describe - once a file is deleted the indexer should automatically update itself and remove any references and data about that file. This can take a little while if there are a lot of file changes to be processed but the indexer will catch up. Is that not the behavior you are seeing?

     

    Dave Wood

     

    Tuesday, July 01, 2008 4:45 PM
  • No - I have  not seen the indexer catch up - I gave it a few days but no sign.

    sounds similar to NoNonsense's email above " just found out that my roomate has been surfing the internet for porn" etc...

    I have now deselected the relevant file types from the indexing settings and see nothing when I search... I am anticipating a slightlly more limited index turning up in due course (maybe I will then try adding the file types back in to see what happens)

    a little confusing this, but does seem to me alot of people are trying to address the same problem online

    thanks for educated views & thoughts
    Thursday, July 03, 2008 3:31 PM
  • If privacy is your concern I recommend just creating a Guest account and logging off when you are not using your computer. I doubt very much that the recently changed 'saved searches' are shared between profiles.

    This is a safe practice anyway, after all you wouldn't want him installing all sorts of nasty spyware from those dodgy sites now, would you? GUEST ACCOUNT! It does what it says on the box. And if it's his computer, you can hardly complain.

    I personally think that this 'Default Set of Recently Changed Shortcuts' can be a useful tool for those who do not really know how to use a computer properly and want to learn. But then again, If they don't know or want to learn how to use a computer properly, they should be having a 'Mac Attack' instead.

    I found this post wanting to know how to add or remove these 'Time-Delimited Saved Searches'. To no avail. I worked out that one can right click in the search window and choose to save the search results, but the Advanced Search options do not seem to offer the user an option such as 'In The Last Month/Week/Year etc'. What a shame. Please update the Advanced Search feature ASAP if you guys at MSN are serious about getting people to use this tool effectively.

    Cheers.
    (^_^)v
    Friday, July 18, 2008 1:59 AM
  • I found this post wanting to know how to add or remove these 'Time-Delimited Saved Searches'. To no avail. I worked out that one can right click in the search window and choose to save the search results, but the Advanced Search options do not seem to offer the user an option such as 'In The Last Month/Week/Year etc'. What a shame. Please update the Advanced Search feature ASAP if you guys at MSN are serious about getting people to use this tool effectively.

    Thanks for all of your efforts.
    Cheers.
    (^_^)v

    PS This reply form (& whole site?) looks and performs absurdly using Safari on Vista 64
    PPS I am not doing these format changes!!!
    Friday, July 18, 2008 2:05 AM
  • You can do time-based searches by typing things like this into the explorer search box:

    modified:this week

    modified last month
    modified:today

     

     

    In fact those kinds of queries are exactly what the default Saved Searches are doing. There's some more details on this sort of syntax here: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/desktopsearch/technicalresources/advquery.mspx

     

    Dave Wood

     

    Friday, July 25, 2008 11:04 PM
  • I would like to thank "Blurb1234" for posting this resolution to what was a very clearly stated serious issue.    I believe the otherwise "bright" people at Microsoft understood perfectly from the very beginning of this thread precisely what everyone was complaining about and precisely what everyone was asking to have turned off.     The responses from Microsoft may have been honest attempts at clarification but the responses were murky at best and only resulted in further unnecessary confusion when none was needed.    It is not only sad but "revealing" that Microsoft seems to have attempted to pretend they didn't understand.    They had to have understood.   Could it be they just didn't want to "go there".

     

    Thus, the real question becomes "Why?".    I believe such a  blatantly obvious security leak had to have been crafted not by accident but by design.   Microsoft will no doubt argue that they were merely trying to provide a helpful search feature.   However, even a blind person could see that this so-called "helpful" feature was clearly allowing ANYBODY who picked up the keyboard to readily see every image, document, file, etc. that you've recently opened or worked on simply by pushing this "Recently Changed" button!    The very name of "Recently Changed" is also deceptive as you do NOT have to have actually changed something for it to show up here.

     

    It is laughable that Microsoft spends billions on "so-called" security under the pretense of truly wanting to protect its end users from prying eyes (which I think and hope they do) . . . yet Microsoft itself would at the same time PROVIDE right up front a simple button that allows EVERYBODY & ANYBODY to see what you've been doing with your computer . . . AND . . . provide the owner of said computer no obvious path to turning this feature off!

     

    So, I thank you for posting the path.    It may not be a perfect resolution but it is a workable one.   I personally selected every single item on the list to prevent others from intruding into the privacy of my work.   It may well cripple my search ability but I (like so many of us with functional Grey matter between our ears) learned long ago where we put our files and therefore we rarely (if ever) need to use the search function to find our stuff!    Mostly new-bee's with brand new computers and zero experience are the ones who download things into their computers with no clue as to where those items went!

     

    There are truly intelligent people at Microsoft for sure.   I have spoken to  a good number of them.   Sometimes, well intentioned people get so bogged down in writing code for their company that they totally forget some very obvious items right in front of their faces.   Incredibly, even intensive Beta testing doesn't catch some things.   Multiple people in this thread were explaining this with great simplicity and clarity but unfortunately (actually fortunately) an end-user provided a working resolution.    Like I said, it's not perfect but it is workable.

     

    Finally, one has to ask . . . did Microsoft just mistakenly have this slip by them or was this done by intentional design for some purpose?   In a world of unwanted government/corporate intrusion into our lives at every level . . . I'm beginning to wonder .  . . as should a lot more people.   George Orwell (1984 author) was correct . . . we are indeed being watched at every level of our lives.    However, when we buy a computer WE hope and expect to be able to control what it does.   When fundamental things are suddenly taken (hidden) from our control . . . look out!     A perfect example is the whole horrendous U.A.C. madness.    Mine has been shut off since day one.   People need to learn to use computers correctly and wisely and the "dummying down" of features lately and the total removal of control of some key things are steps in a dangerous direction.    I only hope Windows 7 sparks a return to the end-user having the ability for real control of their own computer.

    Saturday, July 26, 2008 5:26 PM
  •  

    Hi "DarkCobra",

     

    The problem with your line of thinking is that anyone who has access to your computer can ALREADY see every document you have recently been working on, with or without the search feature. There are numerous ways within Windows {and any other OS} to see which files have recently been modified, and this is perfectly normal and an expected behavior of the OS. I firmly believe turning off indexed search in the way you are suggesting will not give you any additional security, and I would NOT recommend doing this.

     

    Instead, if you are concerned about this sort of threat you need to prevent unauthorized users from getting access to your documents on your machine. For example, having a user account with a strong password, and always locking the machine when you are not present at it. And making sure that each user on the machine {if multiple users share this machine} has a separate user account with their own password. In addition, if you are concerned about a machine getting stolen then a full-drive encryption program {such as Bitlocker available in certain versions of Vista} may offer additional security.

     

    I'm sorry if any advice I or other people from Microsoft have given on this issue has been unclear. I'd really be happy to explain anything in more detail if necessary. But as I say, my advice is that there is not a security risk from the "Recently Changed" feature or the indexed search, and I would not recommend trying to disable any of these features. I'm not sure what else I can say - if you perceive that there is a security risk I'd love to hear about it in more detail, but it's important to distinguish between features that give a malicious user additional access to data on the machine; and features which are a 'convenience' and provide no such additional access.

     

    Dave Wood,

    Windows Search

     

    Monday, July 28, 2008 7:38 PM
  • Hi Dave:

     

    I thank you for your observations but I again I think the point others are correctly making is being missed or misunderstood.   This is NOT so much a "security" issue as you are characterizing it but a "privacy" issue.     Yes, there are indeed backdoor ways to probe into a lot of things if one is determined to do so.   However, what the end-user doesn't need is a such a simple visible button that reveals everything you've been viewing to anyone who comes along and presses a highly visible button.    Sure, people can password encode their session and log-off every time you get up for a few minutes.   However, it is indeed an uncessary pain for people to have to constantly log-off their computer just because they stepped away from it for a brief period of time.   That is a very poor solution to this issue . . . an issue that shouldn't exist in the first place because Microsoft itself created it by design!

     

    All that is needed is a simple path to turn this feature off if one doesn't want it.   Microsoft provided none.   This is correctable.   However, readily simple issues like this will never be corrected so long as Microsoft continues its usual ostrich-like behavior and pretends it doesn't exist or it's no big deal.    It may not be a big deal to Microsoft but it is to many of us and we're the one's Microsoft depends on to support these products.   Those at Microsoft may not feel it's a big deal, but clearly from this thread a number of people (and I suspect a great many more) are finding this so-called "helpful" tool to be far more of an annoyance than a help.

     

    Again, features like this and that incredibly ridiculous U.A.C. that constantly wants to know if I'm truly still the owner every few minutes are tarnishing Vista badly.    Even if I'm not the owner all I have to do is press the grant permission button and it show's it to me anyway!    So Microsoft considers this secruity?    Please.     Most of us (and I would suspect you have as well) have shut off or at least limited the U.A.C., so why not a similar capability to shut off or limit this feature which most definitely provides a simply button press that reveals the privacy of your work?

     

    I do applaud Microsoft for having some incredibly smart people there as I stated previously.    It's just that on one hand they have become so intensily concerned with privacy and security on some things, yet on others they have left the back door wide open!    So folks resort to forums like this to chronicle the issue and ask for a solution.   But if Microsoft responds with "what's the big deal responses" . . . we indeed have a another problem . . . a much larger problem indeed.

    Monday, July 28, 2008 8:37 PM
  •  

    The problem with this is that there are so many trivially simple ways for someone with physical access to your computer to look at what you have been doing, without the "Recently Changed" button. For example, I can open a search window and type "lastmodified:today", and find out what you have been working on. This will work with or without the indexer running. Failing that, I can quickly open a cmd prompt and in a few seconds get a list of recently modified files with the "dir" command. This is just a fact of life and has been in every version of Windows, DOS and every other OS I can think of  - hence the security motto: "If someone has physical access to your computer, it's not your computer anymore".

     

    You can of course remove the "Recently Changed" options. Simply click on your user name and double-click on the "Searches" folder. Then delete {or move} the "Recently Changed" and whatever other files you want in there. The reason I am wary of recommending this is, firstly, because doing so may imply to some people that there's a security risk associated with these files, and I do not believe there is; and secondly because some people on this thread have got confused and tried double-clicking the searches, which then executes the search, and then started deleting the results, which really will delete your documents from your hard-drive. Thus, I would advocate leaving things as their defaults unless you are confident about changing them.

     

    BTW: This is an interesting article which explain the "it's not your computer anymore" expressions:

    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/archive/community/columns/security/essays/10imlaws.mspx?mfr=true

     

     

    Dave

     

    Monday, July 28, 2008 9:14 PM
  •  

    Hi Dave!

     

    Well you are SO correct in what you have just said.   In fact, at the end of my first post I pretty much acknowledged that we are living in a world now where there truly is no privacy or security any longer.   Indeed, there are a number of computer phrases and DOS prompts that can be typed in to reveal the same data stream of where we've been with our computers.   However, when we "by design" insert a very prominent up-front button that merely has to be pressed to reveal that information haven't we actually made it even easier?   THAT is the point.    Yes, there are indeed other paths to obtaining that same information and you are correct.    I just don't know what we can do anymore.

     

    I do like much of what you say because we are in a world now where nothing is truly private or secure.   I read with both interest and some amusement the link you provided.   All 10 sayings are true for sure.   While there is clearly truth to them, there is also a sadness in that as well.   We are genuinely not in control of these machines anymore and it seems it's getting worse.   I'm not sure what the answer is or even if there is one.   Suffice to state that with all the Billions that have been spent by so many hard working folks to increase privacy and security we are actually rapidly heading in the opposite direction.    Could it be the old fashioned way of simply writing someting on a piece of paper and shoving it into a tight pants pocket was all along the best way to protect your data?   LOL . . . I don't know but I'm giving it a second thought!

     

    Great chatting with you Dave . . . enjoyed it and thanks for the insightful feed back.   You are so correct.

    Monday, July 28, 2008 9:43 PM
  •  NoNonsense wrote:

    I just found out that my roomate has been surfing the internet for porn and that he tried to hide it by deleting the files.  But when I open the Search - Recently Changed folder, I found the photos that he has been viewing.  Needless to say, I was unable to delete the files because Windows Vista says that it cannot locate the original file (in order to delete the copied image in the Recently Changed folder).  I verified that the files were actually deleted (also removed from the Recycled Bin) but the photo images were still in the Recently Changed folder.  I had no choice but to delete the Recently Changed folder.  Is this a bug in Windows Vista or is deleting these folders the only solution to removing the deleted files?  I hope it is a bug because I would hate to go through this chaos everyday.


    Friday, September 19, 2008 12:51 PM
  • This forum is still going on, and the thing to do is to adjust your indexing options so you only have thing you want saved in these folders and them you will not have to worry agbout these tracks being left in the recently changed folder.
    Friday, September 19, 2008 5:47 PM
  • DaveWood_MS,

     

    The problem that you fail to address is that there were no "trivial" way for someone to readily see a list of files that you have deleted (like porn, e-mail, etc.) until this feature came along.  I remembered back in the days of IBM PC-DOS, MS-DOS, and even Windows 3.1, that there were tools to recovered most deleted items because the OS would just put a question mark "?" in front of the deleted file.  But you can even make those files unrecoverable through certain software (besides formatting your hard drive).   DIR command will not show these deleted files.  And this command is easily accessible.  No other "readily accessible commands" will allow you to see DELETED files in Windows 3.x, Windows 95, Windows 98, etc. 

     

    But Vista's "Recently Change" feature still shows porn images and other deleted files that were deleted months ago!  That feature did not exist in previous Operatiing Systems (even in Windows 95 & Windows 98).  Your Search feature has made those deleted items READILY accessible with no way of removing the deleted items from the search!   This search feature works like the History feature in Internet Explorer.  But like Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox, you should have a "READILY" button in the Recently Search area that will allow you to DELETE your PAST making it unsearchable and unrecoverable.  

     

    Let me ask you this:  Did you knew that your Search Feature(s) would show a list of deleted items?  And if so, why would you design such a feature that shows DELETED items and provide no way of NOT listing DELETED items?   What is the purpose of showing DELETED items (months ago) in your "Recently Changed" search feature.  (Again, this shows the actual image of the porn and other unwanted documents EASILY!).

     

    I want to control my privacy by having a simple button that will allow ME to determine who can easily sees my deleted files and deleted e-mails.  Where is this feature in the search?

     

    NoNonsense

    Saturday, September 27, 2008 12:48 AM
  • If you are seeing deleted items in search results then that's a bug. The indexer monitors the hard-drive and actively removes deleted items from the index. In this case I suspect the indexer data files have got corrupted and are not actively updating.

     

    Can you give me a few more details of what is happening on your machine? In particular, I would recommend installing Windows Search 4 { http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/desktopsearch/choose/windowssearch4.mspx }. This has many fixes designed to minimize the cases where the indexer becomes non-functional and will automatically correct many issues. You might already have this - it's being slowly rolled out as a Recommended update to Vista SP1 users.

     

    If you are still seeing the issue after that I would like to take a look at the Event Log on your machine to try and determine what is going on.

     

    Dave Wood

     

     

    Saturday, September 27, 2008 1:05 AM
  • Thank you Dark Cobra for your comments
    I have read all these pages several times and find
    many of the comments very useful .One small odd point is that on my Vista there is no "Recently Changed" .I am not sure if I should feel relieved or not !
    However the Searches function is a major pain .The issue ,as many have said , about PRIVACY  and CONTROL .Like many posters here and probably hundreds of others ,I would like to disable this function without any adverse effects .Sure , I can remove the link .Fine. But then I would have no idea which private files are still lurking on my hard drive , no longer wanted .It is irritating not to be able to erase or delete individual items from Searches  .Just who is in charge of my computer I wonder .

    The other solution suggested here (apart from unchecking "store" ) is Indexing Options . But I cant find out this answer..  if I instruct it to bypass Searches   for all avi and jpeg files  for example  will that action prevent me from using the files in the usual way? I will know exactly where they are and will not need to search for them .Its ridiculous . So I need some help here 

    While I am on Vistas case I would love to get rid of some other things as well .Windows Media Center is absoluely no use to me and I will never use it .Ditto Windows Gallery  .My other media players and my pictures folder (love  the "fix" ) do all that I want
    .
    So what do I do  ? Pray that Microsoft listen to us?
    Sunday, January 11, 2009 7:08 AM
  • The thread was helpful, but totally confusing and incomplete.
    The MS designers of Vista Search Folders clearly are not clear thinkers, or they would not have made it so confusing, and would have a clear description in HELP.

    I found the "SEARCHES" folders in Window Explorer.  I do not like them keeping a record of every file that I have accessed or changed.  "HELP" gave me absolutely NO help either, as usual.
     
    I want to know how I can prevent a record of my actions from showing up in these folders.  Ideally, they should be emptied when temporary internet files, cookies, etc., are deleted.

    Thanks for any help you can provide.
    Thursday, March 26, 2009 9:00 PM
  • I appreciate...... all of u......... struggling. a lot to find out solution of this........
    but m also one of the person from u who got fed up with Windows VISTA security n all...

    here what my question is.... as per brandon said before..... in "Recently Changed" folder it will create only the name of file what search u put...

    but I exprienced more than this........ as 

    i have not searched any file yet......  but in my H: drive there is somewhere 10GB data is there..... and
    i simply copied that folder from existing path to another location but in my laptop only.........

    and I saw the same........ image got created in "Recently Changed" folder......... i thought it might be only....the history of my work.........

    and simply deleted then.......... I got shocked......... i checked in H: drive .......... the whole 10GB data got deleted........ now pls...... tell me how to stop this.............

    I hope u have understand my problem........

    First time I was so happy that I got to work on VISTA but now m struggling a lot...............

    please solve my problem and reply as soon as possibel...........
    Sunday, August 16, 2009 11:44 AM
  • This forum is for help in writing Windows-search aware software. Try answers.microsoft.com for help in using Windows.


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    Tuesday, February 08, 2011 6:25 PM