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From the Engine Room

Copernic Desktop Search 3 – a nasty downgrade.

By 30th September 200821 Comments…ds-compare.html

I’ve used Copernic Desktop Search for years at home as my local search tool of choice. It’s always done well, and has the killer feature that it will search network drives, so my little NAS under the desk, where most of my letters and family snapshots live, can also be indexed. Fantastic. But then – along comes Copernic Desktop Search 3. A free downloadable update, and like a mug I just downloaded it. After installation, looking through the list of new features I was not actually finding any. About the most exciting was “Tweaked deskbar design for better usability”. A bit odd, I thought, why is this a whole version number different? This is hardly a new release… until we get to the end of the list. Then the reason for this upgrade is revealed. Here are the great new features…

Features now exclusive to Professional and Corporate versions: * Search Outlook appointments, tasks and notes * Display search results as you type * Index network drives

Bugger! No more network drive support! So well done, and thanks Copernic, for pretending that this nasty downgrade is actually a feature. It isn’t – it’s crippling an already perfectly good bit of software. Now, it’s only fair to point out that this isn’t freeware and Copernic are entitled to do this to their own product if they like. After all, they want to make money out of it. But surely, surely, they should have given users the option to make an informed choice. Either stick with the unsupported 2.x version, and keep the features thereof, or upgrade to 3.0 and ‘enjoy’ the new exciting nag screens telling you to upgrade at a cost of $49.95 if you want to use your own file index. Very poor service, and a big disappointment for a long-term fan of Copernic like me. I’m off to find an alternative.

UPDATE: Windows native file search from Windows 7 onwards is pretty much good enough these days. It’s not fast but it works on network drives, and if you use Windows you already have it. So you might have no need for a third-party search app.


  • Charlie says:

    I’m a latecomer to this issue, but greatly appreciate all of your comments.

    I’ve been unable to find a download of v2.3. The link to above is now dead. Anybody know of one that still works now (Sept., 2010)? Phil from Melbourne, you seem to have found one as recently as Feb., 2010.

  • Concerned Buddy says:

    Windows Firewall is your friend. There are 3 exe files in the root Copernic directory (v3). Set up both an outgoing and incoming rule for each of the three exe files, which kills the app’s ability to call out/in to the Web.

  • Phil - Melbourne says:

    I want to add to these comments that not only is 3.x not better than 2.3, but that it’s basic functionality of indexing things just doesn’t work as well. I used to rave about Copernic, but since I’ve been on 3.x, I could never demonstrate it to colleagues, since it just wouldn’t find the things I was trying to show.

    I finally gave up in disgust and just yesterday completely killed 3.x from my system and found an old 2.3 distribution on the Internet, and have installed that. The indexes now work PROPERLY. I’ve also done the clock-change thing to kill the annoying reminders, let’s hope that works.

    Advice to all: DO NOT GO TO COPERNIC 3.x, but 2.3 *is* the best thing since sliced bread!!!

  • komrade says:

    Beautiful!!! I was able to get this running perfectly by doing what Donald suggested to get rid of the upgrade nags (putting the clock forward a few years, opening Copernic, clicking Cancel, then putting the clock back to today.)

    Also got rid of Ads with just changing line 1 of the config file as above.
    (it didn’t like it if I also changed line 6.)

    The best free version they made is available through a link from OldVersion:

    It’s perfect now!!! Thanks everyone! 🙂

  • Michael says:

    There’s no “50” folder in my Copernic 3.2.0 installation directory.

    As Copernic tries to connect via URL ( AND IP address ( for the current release it’s enough to create a “Local Security Policy” / IP security policy to block

    As soon as Copernic get’s an “destination host unreachable” for, ads and banners are stopped.

  • No Name but useful hack says:

    I am grateful for these postings and learning that I was not alone in noticing an awful downgrade delivered by Copernic 3 DTS.

    I had grown so dependend on the reliable Copernic 2.3, so was gutted when the dearch indexing failed under CDSv3, even re-installs did not bring back the CDS reliable performance.

    Was ready to chnage to another DTS program, but after reading this web page, I followed David’s suggestion, and reloaded CDS 2.3 (build 30)which I had kept.

    Here a hack that stops CDS phoning home to display ads:

    Close down CDS.

    Look in theC:Program FilesCopernic Desktop Search 2FileRepository50 directory

    Locate file:

    AdEnabled=”True” StartupAdEnabled=”True” AdOnSearchAsYouType=”False” AdOnCategories=”ALL,EMAILS,FILES,MUSIC,PICTURES,VIDEOS,CONTACTS,FAVORITES,HISTORY” AdUrl=””

    Line 1
    AdEnabled=”True” —> “False”

    Line 6
    —>   AdUrl=”False”

    Save the file. Restart CDS. No more ads or dial outs or reminders that a new version is out …

  • Donald says:

    After months of frustration and v3 not indexing properly, I un-installed and re-installed v2.3 (build 30) – much better!

    Matt – you can get rid of the irritating ‘upgrade’ reminder by playing with your clock and setting it forward a bit, choosing to not upgrade, and then setting the clock back again.

  • Matt says:

    Well at home I’m now using Google Desktop. It’s not bad, and has a great interface (entirely browser based) but nowhere near as good an index as Copernic. Also seems to scoff up the bandwidth between me and the network server. At work I’m still using Copernic and clicking through the warning every single flipping time. I guess I’ll get fed up with it eventually, but the index is still by far the best.

  • Chris says:

    This now-missing feature is truly annoying. So, have you found a decent alternative yet?

  • fred says:

    if only the downgrade worked!
    now theres a constant reminder popup that informs you theres an upgrade available. even if you block it with a firewall.
    it seems copernic 3 leaves something in the registry that sets this off.

  • Kurik says:

    well it just happened to me yesterday…and as a result i promptly uninstalled it reinstalled the old version 2….that will work for me for now….or for a while..if you find a decent one let us know here….

  • Michael says:

    This royally pissed me off as well, and as I search around the web, hundreds (probably many more) users as well.

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