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August 10, 2008 / Upnishad

Change location of Google Desktop Search index files.


  We talked about Finder earlier. Google Desktop is a great tool for keeping a comprehensive index of your desktop. So comprehensive that it create GBs of index file on your precious C: drive. As you know, keeping your C: drive full is sure way for a dead slow machine.  We have always wondered why Google have not given an option to set the location for the index files. But there is a way to change the location of the bloaty search index files.

  • 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. Local Settings is a hidden folder, you’ll have
    unhide it. If you are unsure how to unhide a file or directory read this .
  • Make sure you exit the Google Desktop Search application before proceeding.
  • Now, drag the WHOLE folder titled "Google Desktop Search" to a new drive or partition with lots of space. Lets say "D" so now your search files will be in the folder "D:\Google Desktop Search"
  • Next, click Start – Run – type regedit. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Google Desktop
  • change the value of data_dir to D:\Google Desktop Search.
  • Exit out of regedit and restart the Google Desktop search.
  • You’re done and your search index in now moved.
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Leave a Comment
  1. Neil / Sep 8 2008 10:17 pm

    Hey ..Nice tip, Hope it works..
    I have been struggling with my office C: drive space issues , especially they installed SP3 last month..

    I can hardly defragment efficiently.
    I always wanted to move large file and other program files to D drive.

    Is there any other trick to save space in Drive C
    Now onwards M installing new programs in D.
    I have already mobve mY documents folder to d

  2. Ren / Jan 13 2009 6:35 pm

    It’s inacurate, you have to supply registry with the exact folder, where the files are located, should look like D:\Google Desktop\8acdfg6jsgsf77 or something similar.

  3. UnBounded / Jan 21 2009 12:40 pm

    Running WinXP-SP3

    Saved GoogleDesktop.exe on my D: (not my C:).
    Executed GoogleDesktop.exe from D: creates: D:\Google Desktop Search\1abcd23ef456g7hi folders (& sub-folders).
    Once Google Desktop was indexing, I did Start>Run>regedit — HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Google Desktop Search was already pointed to D:\Google Desktop Search

  4. Chris / Jun 1 2009 2:18 pm

    Any recommendation for best way to do this on Vista?

  5. Jeff / Jul 19 2009 6:55 pm

    In Vista, just go to the registry key listed above (HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Google Desktop) and that will show you where your files are located. Mine was at C:\Users\Jeff\AppData\Local\Google\ Google Desktop\334faf690fd7\

    Hope this helps.

  6. Eric / Dec 3 2009 12:00 am

    It appears google modified the regedit keys. I can’t find a key called “data_dir”. I only see install_dir which points to the program files and exe. Any help?

    (I running XP)

  7. Eric / Dec 3 2009 12:11 am

    I found a better solution. Use the google “TweakGDS” plug-in to move the location of the index. It has some other nice features too:

  8. Larkin / Apr 4 2010 6:21 am

    What did you think your life would be like when you were older?

  9. Marc / Aug 26 2010 2:59 pm

    I’m looking for a way to transfer my gdesktop info to a new laptop, ant tips on this?

  10. r1525 / Sep 28 2010 2:07 pm

    it seems you can using tweakGDS too from for simple this indexing 🙂

  11. Anthony / Oct 15 2016 8:11 pm

    Appreciate you sharing, great blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.

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