CRUMB Argument (Windows Search)

The crumb argument supports full Advanced Query Syntax (AQS) statements and is especially useful as a means of controlling the scope of a search. In addition to AQS ements, the crumb argument can take a special location parameter on Windows Vista and kind and store parameters on XP, as described later in this topic.

This topic is organized as follows:


Crumb Syntax

The crumb syntax is as follows:


The <column> portion is any property in the property system, and the <value> portion is a valid value for that property. The

General Examples



Using crumb with Vista (location)

In the crumb parameter, Windows Vista supports full AQS and also the location property, which has a special implementation available only on Windows Vista. You can use either an AQS string or the location property within a single crumb parameter, but not both. If the crumb parameter includes AQS, everything else in that crumb parameter is ignored.

The location property enables you to specify a path to search. Windows Vista can bypass the Indexer and traverse the directory directly if the location is outside the Indexer's crawl scope. Consequently, these searches may be slower than searches that use the Indexer.

When you specify a location property, two additional parameters are supported and optional:

Parameter Values Description
inclusion include, exclude Specifies whether the query should include or exclude items from that path. "Include" is the default. Windows Vista does not support exclusions without inclusions. (See example)
recursion recursive, nonrecursive Specifies whether the search should recurse all subfolders starting from the value defined in the location:<value>. "Recursive" is the default.


To scope a search using the search-ms: protocol, you have different options depending on the target of the scope.

Folder on a local machine:

  • Use AQS (crumb=folder:<URL-encoded path>)
  • Use location argument (crumb=location:<URL-encoded path>)

Folder on a remote machine/network:

  • Use location argument (crumb=location:<URL-encoded path>)

Folder accessed via a known UNC protocol handler:

  • Use AQS (crumb=store:<UNC protocol handler name>)
  • Use location argument (crumb=location:<URL-encoded path>)

Vista Examples




The first example executes a search for "vacation" starting at the shell://Personal location (a special shortcut to the user's My Documents folder), including that folder and all subfolders. See table below.

The second example executes a search within C:\Pictures, but not in C:\Pictures\Duplicates.

The third example executes a search within C:\Documents, limited to files with the kind property set to pics.

Constants for Common Folders

Windows Vista enables the use of KNOWNFOLDERID values that provide a unique system-independent way to identify special folders used frequently by applications, but which may not have the same name or location on any given system. For example, the system folder may be "C:\Windows" on one system and "C:\Winnt" on another. Prior to Windows Vista, CSIDLs were used.

Use these locations with this syntax:



Using crumb with Windows XP (kind and store)

For Windows Search on Windows XP (WDS 3.x), the AQS terms "kind" and "store" have a special implementation. The "kind" values are the same values used in WDS 2.x. The "store" values include the following:

  • mapi
  • file
  • outlookexpress
  • any

XP Examples


The first example returns Microsoft Outlook Express emails from John with the custom label, "OE Mail". The second example executes a search for any communication from John.

Getting Started with Parameter-Value Arguments

Locale Identifier Arguments

SYNTAX Argument