Do you find yourself hoarding all of your files on your computer? Files you keep ‘just in case’ are often saved in the deep dark depths of your PC, forgotten about until they’re needed. When the time comes that you absolutely do need one of these documents and you don’t remember where it’s saved, you do a Windows Search to find the file and… nothing. You type something in to the search bar but nothing shows up in the search results. Don’t get left hanging again. Use these tips and tricks to become a Windows Search pro, making it easier to find anything you need.
Want to search Windows like a pro? Here's a great place to start.
1. Use Quotes to get Exact Matches
When it comes to the Windows Search, you can use quotes like you would when you are using Google Search. When you put quotes around a phrase, the desktop search application will look for that exact phrase, and not a combination of the words. This will also work a lot better with your Windows Search application if you organize your documents in a proper and less chaotic way.
2. Search by File Kind
If you need to find a very specific file type, then you can try just that. By using the operator kind: you can search for specific files types. Just type kind:doc or kind:email. This will show you only these specific file types that you need in your Windows Search results.
3. Impose a Condition on File Size
Using another operator while making a Windows Search will also help narrow your results further. This next operator will narrow your search down by file size. You type in size:>60 and Windows Search will look for files that are larger than 60KB. You can also use a different unit. Just type in size:>60MB and the results will all be files larger than 60MB. You can also write Size:Medium or Size:Large to find things by size.
Wildcards can be a great help when you’ve forgotten the exact name of a document. Use them in combination with other search operators to make your Windows Search results even better. Say you’re looking for a document with ‘report’ in the title, but you’ve forgotten exactly how it was titled. Just type ‘report*’ into the search bar, and Windows will return a list of results containing ‘report’, ‘reports’ and ‘reporting’.
5. Search by File Properties
Did you know that you could use the properties of a file in your Windows search? Depending on the file type, you can use file properties such as modification date, author, length, album or dimensions. Just type them right into your search box, followed by a colon. Eg. length:short will narrow the results to music or film files shorter than 5 minutes.
Bonus Tip: Try Other Windows Search Applications
Once you’ve gotten some of these tips down, and you find that Windows Search isn’t enough for your Desktop search pro needs, you may want to look into a different Windows Search application. While Windows’ default desktop search tool has become better through the years, it still lags a bit behind other third party Windows Search applications.
When you first look for another Windows Search application, you will see that there are a few of them out there. A good one to check out is Lookeen Desktop Search. It has great filter functions that will narrow down your search results, and uses the same sort of search syntax that I described above. You can try the Lookeen Windows Search application for free with a 14 day trial, or even use the free version – Lookeen Free.
These are just a few things you can start doing to get you on your way to becoming a Windows Search pro.