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Particular Explorer.exe Handles Stay Open After Word/Phrase Search



Flightless Bird
Say I do a search on any given drive or volume or folder using Windows
Explorer for "A word or phrase in the file". When the search is done, I close
the search window entirely.

After the search, if I look in Process Explorer, many files remain open as
handles under the explorer.exe process. If I keep Process Explorer up while
doing the search and then closing it, I can see the handles being opened and
some of them not shut in real time, so I know that it is this particular
search process causing these open handles.

Now, this isn't random in terms of which files get "stuck" as open handles.
It is certain files each time that remain open as handles. There is one
folder in which I have a bunch of Internet Explorer shortcut files. All of
the files in that folder remain open as handles after the word/phrase search.
And then there are a couple of other files in other folders that also remain
open as handles. But it's consistent each time, the same files remain open.
All of the files are either .url or .pdf extensions. However, it is only a
few of the .pdf files. Most of them do not remain open as handles after the

This happens even if the search actually found no files with the word or
phrase in it. So it isn't as if it's finding files that match the search and
they are staying open. These files did not have the search word or phrase in
them at all.

There are times when having these remaining open handles can be a problem
for me, particularly if I do the search on a mounted volume and need to
dismount the volume after I've done that search.

In that situation, going through and closing sometimes over 50 handles
one-by-one in Process Explorer is painstaking, not to mention I'm not sure
it's a good idea. But I can't unmount the volume without either doing that or
forcing a dismount, which I don't like either (or rebooting which I'm not
eager to do every time I do a word/phrase search on such a volume either).

Just to be clear, this happens regardless of what drive or volume I do the
search on. It particularly is a problem if I need to dismount a volume, but
it's obviously an interesting behavior regardless.

Also, to be clear, this doesn't appear to happen when searching for "All or
part of the file name". Only when searching for "A word or phrase in the

Any help would be appreciated.

Has anyone else experienced this? Any ideas on what's going on?