How to search PDF content on Windows 7 64 bit

If you’re like me, or other knowledge workers who work with documents, you most likely have hundreds, if not thousands of PDFs stashed away in folders on your computer. As much as I love Windows 7 , I was surprised to find out recently that the integrated search does not index PDF content!  Turns out that there is an easy fix from Adobe. Good news!

Adobe bundles an extension for Microsoft’s iFilter with Acrobat 9 and the free Reader 9, however 64bit users will need an additional download.

You’ll need to download the installer from Adobe at;
Adobe PDF iFilter 9 for 64-bit platforms

Once downloaded, run the installer, then when its complete follow the last instruction listed on the Adobe site;

“After installing the PDF iFilter, it is recommended that you set your system PATH environment variable to the “bin” folder of the “Ifilter” installation. For example, from the “Control PanelSystemAdvancedEnvironment Variables” tab, append to PATH “C:Program FilesAdobeAdobe PDF iFilter 9 for 64-bit platformsbin” and then restart the computer.”

Once you complete this last step, you should start to see PDF content being indexed the next time Windows scans through your file system. If you want to confirm everything was installed correctly, open the “Control Panel->Indexing Options->Advanced Options->File Types” and ensure that next to the PDF extension you see PDF Filter.

Written by:


  1. Henri
    March 30, 2011

    Thanks, this was just what I was looking for! I didn’t adjust the PATH setting though because the filter seems to be working fine without it…

  2. DavidH
    May 31, 2011

    I wonder if the most recent Acrobat X will be compatible with the v9 ifilter?

  3. Joel
    June 16, 2011


    I was searching for this problem quite some time, till I found your great post.


    P.S. For me it didn’t start working till i adjusted the PATH.

  4. Shawn
    January 8, 2012

    Is this compatiable with Acrobat X?

  5. JohnE
    September 8, 2012

    Many thanks for this information, it was just what I was looking for for my Windows 7 64bit laptop.

  6. Osmoot
    May 11, 2013

    I have installed the v9 filter and changed the path and still do not see PDF’s in search results, any suggestions would be most welcome.

    • Osmoot
      May 13, 2013

      After submitting this request, I went through the whole process again. In the course of which I thought about the option to rebuild the Index. I decided there is nothing to lose other than some CPU cycles, so I did that and now see PDF documents in the search results.
      Thanks for explaining this solution.

Comments are closed.