How to Open a File with the .search-ms File Extension

What does the .search-msfile extension stand for?

The .search-ms extension file is associated with the Index Search Data of the Windows Vista operating system. Windows Vista is a very popular Operating system designed by Microsoft which uses an enhanced search module that helps in searching for files on the system or a network.

What are the applications which use the .search-ms file extension?

The only application that uses the .search-ms file extension is Windows Vista Search Index Data module.

What does the .search-ms file do?

The Windows operating system has many modules and search is an important component of the modules. There are millions of files present on the system most of them belonging to the OS and then some of them belonging to the user. The search feature is provided by the OS to search for files belonging to a particular software or created by the user.

The search feature was first introduced as a free downloadable software by Microsoft. This was with competition to other search software like Google desktop search, Yahoo desktop search etc. Once Microsoft released the Windows Vista OS, they built this feature into the operating system.

The search feature helped users search for files on their systems faster. The files are indexed so fast that a query is answered within seconds. The desktop search of Windows Vista maintains an index of the files on the system and updates them regularly without the user?s intervention. It also keeps a track of the files that are changed by the user. This search feature can also be used to search over networks and even the Internet.

The search data is stored in file extension format and stored in a XML format on the system. Since the search results are stored in XML format, it is easier for the system to compare these files with the search data entered by the user. The XML format of these files makes it easier for you to open the files using either the browser or any text editor like Notepad.

You can always use the browsers and Text editors listed below to view these files.


  • Internet Explorer
  • Firefox
  • Opera
  • Safari
  • Google Chrome

Text Editors

  • Notepad
  • WordPad
  • TextPad
  • Notepad++

Remember not to delete files with the .search-ms file extension as they will slow down the speed of your desktop search. In addition do not associate them with any particular file like a browser or a notepad as these files are not for regular viewing. You can also use the FileCure software to view the .search-ms fie extensions if they fail to open through any other method.