How to Create a Custom Windows 7 Search Connector to Search Any Site

With Windows 7, if you’re searching for something on your computer, the built-in search works great. But what if you want to explore a remote location?  Using a Windows search connector, you can search any website or even a networked location directly from Explorer. That’s right; true federated search built right into Windows 7. Sound good? Let’s take a preview.

First, you’ll need to download or create a search connector for the website you want to be searchable from Windows Explorer. Most larger sites already have a Search Connector created that you can download. But just in case you can’t find one, here’s how you would go about creating one.

How To Create Your Own Custom Search Connector

The easiest way is to start is by using an existing search Connector and modifying certain parts of it to match your needs. So, in this case, let’s first go ahead and download the Search Connector.

1. Right-click any search connector (or the connector your just downloaded) and then select Open with > Notepad.

open a search connector with notepad to edit it in windows 7

2. There are three different parts to modify. See the example image below.

  • Short Name – This will show up in Windows Explorer under the address and favorites bars as the search title.
  • Description – This is not always used, but you should put something relevant here anyway.
  • Template URL – Put the URL of your website in this location.

modify the windows 7 search connector accordin to this picture example

Ok, so now have the power to create a Search Connector for any website on the internet. Now let’s step through how you add that search connector to Windows 7 and use it.

How to Add A Search Connector To Windows 7 

3. Double-click a search connector or Right-click it and select Create Search Connector.

right click on your desktop and then click the osdx file which is a search connector and then click create search connector for windows 7

4. Click Add when the pop-up appears to add a search connector.

click add when you see the windows 7 search connector add window

5. Once you’ve added the Search Connector, it goes into your favorites.  Open Explorer and click on the search connector. Next, perform a search in the Windows Search box like you normally would. Instead of seeing results from your computer, you’ll see results from the website where that search connector belongs.

use a search connector for your favorites list to search a remote location within Windows 7 that isn't actually part of your system

6. Click the Preview pane button to view the web page in Windows Explorer.

use the windows 7 preview pane to view websites via search connector in your explorer window

Download the groovyPost Windows 7 search connector

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