Rebuilding the SharePoint 2013 Search Index

Sometimes SharePoint loses the ability to search documents. No matter what you try, there will be no results. This is because the index is damaged and needs to be rebuilt.

How to check

  1. Go to Central Admin
  2. Application Managment
  3. Manage Service Applications
  4. Search Service Application
    1. Under Search Application Topology, see if there is a warning under Index Partition
How to Fix
  1. Open up Windows Explorer and go to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\SharePoint\Config
  2. Open the folder withthe most recent modified date
  3. Delete all files EXCEPT do not delete cache.ini
  4. Open cache.ini, delete the value from it and replace it with 1. Save and close
  5. Open services.msc
  6. Restart the SharePoint Search Host Controller service
  7. Restart the SharePoint Server Search 15 service
  8. Restart the SharePoint Timer service
  9. Go back to Central Admin. You should still be at the Search Service Application. 
    1. Refresh the page. 
  10. Click on Index Reset in the left nav menu
  11. Click Reset Now
  12. Click on Content Sources
  13. Click on Start all Crawls
  14. Wait a moment, then refresh the page to make sure the crawl started successfully.
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About Tom DeMeulenaere

Highly accomplished information technology professional with extensive knowledge in System Center Configuration Manager, Windows Server, SharePoint, and Office 365.
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