Tips About How to Query the Microsoft Knowledge Base

This article was previously published under Q242450


The Microsoft Knowledge Base has more than 250,000 articles that have been created by thousands of support professionals who have resolved issues for our customers. The Microsoft Knowledge Base is regularly updated, expanded, and refined to help to make sure that you have access to the very latest information.


Tips for Obtaining the Best Search Results

Query Examples

Use more than one word, and then verify that you used correct spelling.

Good examples:

*           Setup requirement RAM

*           no sound volume mute

Bad examples:

*           how much RAM is needed to run Windows 2000? (too specific; too many words; may return no results)

*           sound (too general; will return too many results)

Find and Use Commonly Used Terms

When you are reading the search results, look for commonly used terms, and then use them in your search. At the bottom of some articles there are two sections that might help: Additional Query Words and Keywords. Using words in either of these sections may help you to find similar articles.

Avoid Using Exact Text

When you type the exact text that is provided in the product's Help or the exact text from an error message, you may not receive any results. Instead, use a few of the words, not the exact text.

The KB Number Shortcut

Microsoft assigns each article a unique identification number. If you know the ID number for the article, search can take you right to it. Type the article number with the "KB" prefix (for example, KB242450) in the Query box, and then click Search. If the article is not listed in the search results and a Microsoft product or technology is selected on the Advanced Search page, change the search criteria to All Microsoft Search Topics. You can also use the following Web link format to view the article directly:

Replace the article ID number (in this example, 242450) with the article ID number for the article that you want to see.

Look Around the Web Site

Explore the Web site to learn more about the tools that are available. Another good way to find answers (and more search words) is to use the Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) pages. There is a list of FAQs that are specific to each product.

Microsoft Knowledge Base Search Setting Definitions

You can use the Microsoft Knowledge Base Search options to customize your search based on your needs. To learn more about these settings, visit the following Microsoft Web site: