How To Search For Files In Windows 10


How to search in Windows 10 to find a file, folder, or program faster, using 2 different methods

  • It is possible that you may need to search your Windows 10 computer in order to discover files, directories, or programs. If you use the Taskbar or Windows File Explorer, you may search for files on your computer. The search tool in Windows 10 is the easiest method to discover what’s on your computer
  • More articles may be found on the Business Insider homepage.

The fact that hard drive storage capacity is becoming more large (even the most basic versions of computers now come with at least 250 GB) allows us to fill our computers with a limitless number of applications, papers, photographs, and other information. It’s excellent for information hoarders who prefer to store everything, but it may make it extremely difficult to discover a certain file or folder on your computer when you’re looking for it when you’re not looking for it. Fortunately, Windows 10 makes it simple to search for files on your computer, and you can do it in two distinct ways.

Here’s how you go about it.

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Start by typing the name of the app, document, or file that you’re looking for in the search bar, which can be found on the left-hand side of your taskbar, close to the Windows button. Fill out the search box at the bottom with the information you’re looking for. Photograph courtesy of Jennifer Still/Business Insider2. Select the search result that most closely fits your requirements from the list of results displayed. Remember that you may filter down your search results by selecting one of the options from the menu bar at the top of the search field, which allows you to view only Apps, Documents, Settings, or Web Results, among other options.

How to search on aWindows 10computer via File Explorer

1.In the search box, which is situated on the left-hand side of your taskbar, close to the Windows button, type the name of the application, document, or file that you’re trying to find. In the search box at the bottom, type in the term you’re looking for to narrow your results. 2 Business Insider photo courtesy of Jennifer Still Select the search result that most closely fits your requirements from the list of results. It’s important to note that the navigation bar across the top of the search field allows you to limit down your search results to just show Apps, Documents, Settings, or Web Results, among other categories.

Related coverage fromHow To Do Everything: Tech:

Jennifer is a writer and editor from in Brooklyn, New York, who enjoys traveling, sipping iced coffee, and binge-watching television shows on Netflix. She has had articles published in Vanity Fair, Glamour, Decider, Mic, and many more publications. Jennifer Lstill may be found on Twitter under the handle @jenniferlstill. When you make a purchase after clicking on one of our links, Insider Inc. earns a commission.

How to Search for Files in Windows 10 (Find Files Quickly)

We’ve all been in that situation. That file you were looking for from a while back, where has it gone? You can also worry if the file is still on your machine. How to search for a file in Windows 10 so that you may rapidly acquire access to the file you require right now is described below. Windows File Explorer is a versatile tool that may be used for a variety of tasks. One of these features is the ability to search for files anywhere on your computer’s hard drive or network. If you have a large number of files on your computer, looking for them may take some time; nevertheless, exercising some patience will yield the results you want.

The similar strategy may be applied to folders as well. Consequently, don’t be shocked if you find folders with the same name being created inside the results list.

How to search for a file or folder

  1. Click on ‘E’ to open WindowsFile Explorer (Hold down the Windows key on your keyboard while tapping on ‘E’ to open WindowsFile Explorer)
  2. Select the desired place from the left-hand pane. Example: C: is the drive letter for this computer or local disk. Make a right-click selection over the search box in the upper right-hand corner of your screen and hit the left mouse button. File Explorer will begin working on your result when you type a portion of the actual name of the file and click enter.

Allow your computer to process your information and display your results. It might take a while depending on the quantity of files on your hard disk and the speed of your hard drive to complete the process. After you have received your results, you are free to do anything you wish with the file. You have the ability to edit, copy, move, and remove it.

How to search for a program

You may start entering the name of the software you wish to use by simply clicking on the Windows start menu icon located in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen and pressing Enter. The program will anticipate your search for the program you are searching for by displaying the most relevant results as you type it. When you launch your software, it will display at the very top of your Start Menu. It will start by presenting the closest match first, followed by the results of the closest matches.

When you do a search in Windows File Explorer, the results will include all of the files included within the drive or folder that has been selected.

How to search for files by date created or modified

Open the Windows Explorer program. In the search field, enter any of the following date-related factors first, followed by your search query:

  • Date:
  • sdatemodified:
  • sdateaccessed:
  • sdatecreated:
  • sdatetaken:

Related questions

  1. Open the Windows Explorer program. In the search box, type the name of the folder you want to find. When you do the search, your folder will display in the results

How do I do an advanced search in Windows 10?

  1. Go to Start > Programs > Accessories > Windows Explorer In the search box, enter the name of the folder you want to find. You’ll see your folder in the search results


Search functionality is available in a wide variety of software programs. Yes, some of them are quite effective, such as a gadget called Everything. Of course, this is a matter of personal taste and desire. It is still challenging for me to keep track of all of the software apps that are installed on my computer. Some of them have even slipped my mind. Would having an app like this on your phone be of use on a daily basis? If that’s the case, I’d recommend sticking with the tried and true method of searching that I’ve demonstrated above.

Three Ways to Quickly Search Your Computer’s Files on Windows 10

Although the Start menu in Windows 10 can search for files, it appears that Microsoft is more focused in marketing Bing and other internet search services at the moment. While Windows still offers some excellent search capabilities, they’re a little tougher to get by—and you might want to consider using a third-party application rather than Windows itself.

The Start Menu (and Cortana)

Cortana is in charge of the Start menu search capability in Windows 10, and it searches Bing and other Internet sources in addition to the files on your local computer. When searching on the original version of Windows 10, you could select “My Stuff” from the drop-down menu to limit your search to only your computer. As part of the Anniversary Update, this functionality was decommissioned. There is no way to limit a search to only the files on your local PC when searching your PC—at least not until you deactivate Cortana through the registry.

  • Look for a file that is stored in an indexed location, and it should appear anywhere in the results list.
  • When the Start menu is launched, it searches everything it can find, including indexed files on the computer’s hard drive and Bing, OneDrive, the Windows Store, and other Internet resources.
  • The problem is that there is no method to search only your local files, which is a limitation.
  • Related:How to Select Which Files Windows Search Indexes on Your Computer (Part 2) The “Filters” menu item may be selected from the drop-down menu, and the “Select locations” button at the bottom of the menu can be used to refine your search results.

Searching for items in these directories is done automatically by Windows, which creates the search index that is used when you perform a search from the Start menu. By default, it will only index material in the folders of your user account and will not index anything else.

File Explorer

If you find yourself becoming upset with the Start menu’s search tool on a regular basis, forget about it and instead use File Explorer whenever you need to search. Navigate to the folder where you wish to do the search in File Explorer. Simply opening the Downloads folder is sufficient if you only want to search for files in your downloaded files directory. If you wish to search throughout your whole C: drive, navigate to C:/Search. Then, in the search box located at the top right corner of the window, type your search term and hit Enter.

  1. It is possible to make this process a little faster by instructing Windows to always begin searching when you type in File Explorer.
  2. If the location you’re searching for is indexed, you’ll see a search result.
  3. It is important to note that while searching in non-indexed areas, Windows will only search for file names, not the contents of the files.
  4. Windows will perform a more in-depth search and locate terms within files, but the process may take far longer.
  5. Change the Indexed Locations and add the folder you wish to the list of indexes.

Everything, a Third Party Tool

When it comes to the built-in Windows search capabilities, you may wish to ignore them altogether and instead use a third-party software. There are quite a few good ones available, but we like Everything — and yes, it is completely free. Everything is quite quick and straightforward. This search engine creates a search index as you use it, so you can just start searching and it will begin to operate right away. It should be able to index the vast majority of PCs in a matter of minutes. It’s a lightweight, tiny program that consumes the bare minimum of system resources to function properly.

While it does have certain advantages over Windows’ built-in search, it does have some disadvantages as well.

The benefit of this method is that it is really fast and does not require you to deal with Cortana or instruct Windows to index your whole system drive, which might possibly slow things down.

It creates a database of every file and folder on your computer, and searches are carried out in real time as you type them in.

For searching all of the files on your computer in a short period of time, this is a far superior approach to using the built-in Windows search capabilities.

How to Search for Files in Windows 10

There are two major ways to search for files on a Windows 10 computer. This article also includes options for third-party search tools and useful techniques for doing better file searches on a Windows 10 computer.

Use the Taskbar Search Bar for a General Search

The search bar, which is permanently situated at the bottom of the screen, is the preferred method of searching for the majority of people, and it is simple to use. If you have no idea where a file is or if you need to launch an application or an email, this is the way to take.

  1. Press the WIN key, or use the search bar in the bottom-left corner of the taskbar, near the Start button, to find what you’re looking for. You can begin entering the name of a certain file, application, or other object you’re looking for, but you shouldn’t press Enter just yet
  2. The results are displayed in real time. Take note of the categories at the top of the page
  3. This is where you may narrow down the results by things likeDocuments,Email,Folders,Music,Photos, and so on. TheMoremenu is where you’ll discover the majority of these options
  4. Choose the item that you wish to open. This can be accomplished through the use of a touch screen, the mouse, or by selecting it with the up and down arrow keys and pressing Enter. Not sure whether that’s what you want to do with your computer? While seeing the results, click on the arrow next to an item to get more information about it, such as the date it was last edited and its real location on your computer.
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Run a File Search in a Specific Folder

This method provides a very targeted approach to searching for files and folders in Windows 10. Using this feature is advantageous if you already know where the file is located.

  1. Open the folder in which you wish to conduct your search. Searching forFile Explorerin the taskbar search bar is a good method to get started digging through your various folders. Please disregard this step if the folder is already open. The search bar may be found in the top-right corner of the window. Enter the search word into the search box and hit Enter

Tips for Searching for Files Faster

File Explorer features a number of hidden search options that might be quite useful if you’re not sure what the file name is or if you need to narrow down your search results quickly. Suppose you have hundreds of files in the Documents folder. You may narrow down the results by searching only for files that were updated during the previous month. Here are some examples of ways to filter search results that can help you:

  • Datemodified:last month
  • Datecreated:2021
  • *.mp4
  • Size: 10 MB
  • Type:music
  • Datemodified:last month

You can even combine these if you need to, and you can also use text to search for someone by name:

  • 2020 *.jpg width:160 vacation
  • *.pdf payment size: 100KB
  • *.jpg datecreated:2020

Sorting choices are similar to those previously mentioned. Clickable headings may be found at the top of a folder, immediately above the list of files it contains. Choose one to have the full list sorted according to that criterion. Consider the case of a folder containing hundreds of music files. You need to find the largest one since it is taking up an excessive amount of space. Even if you could search for music based on their size, selectingSizewill reorganize the list of songs by size, making it much easier to see which songs are very large in this circumstance.

To see all of the columns, right-click on one of the headings.

For example, if you know your file is somewhere in the Downloads folder, you may enter the Downloads folder and begin your search from within it.

This also prevents files from being found in other directories that have the same name as the current folder.

Using Third-Party File Search Tools

One additional method for speeding up file searches in Windows 10 is to employ the services of a third-party software. There are a plethora of free file search programs available that perform an excellent job; Everythingis just one example. You can search through all of your hard drives in a matter of seconds once Everything has finished cataloging everything for the first few minutes. FAQ

  • Why can’t I search for files on Windows 10? What am I doing wrong? Ensure that your network connectivity is up to date, switch Cortana off and on again, and restart your device if the Windows search function is not working. You should also check to verify if the Search service is operating if you are still experiencing problems. It is possible that you may need to re-index the search indexing choices in Windows 10. What is the best way to locate my shared folders in Windows 10? Open File Explorer, choose Network, and then pick the device that contains the shared folders you wish to explore. Once the device has been selected, click OK. Additionally, you may examine your shared Windows folders in the Command Prompt by using thenet sharecommand
  • See below for more information. What is the best way to look for duplicate files in Windows 10? A utility that can locate and delete duplicate files, such as Duplicate Cleaner, must be downloaded. The ability to search for certain file kinds, such as music or movies, as well as to remove empty folders, is available. What is the best way to look for hidden files in Windows 10? To view hidden files, navigate to the Advanced Settings section of the Control Panel. Appearance and personalization are important factors. Options for the File Explorer ViewAdvanced optionsHidden files and folders are available. After that, you may conduct a standard search for the files.

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Windows Basics: Finding Files on Your Computer


Finding files on your computer

In the last session, we discussed how folders may be used to keep your files organized and how to create new folders. On the other hand, there may be situations when you have difficulty finding a specific file. If this occurs to you, do not become alarmed! The file is almost certainly still on your computer, and there are a few of straightforward methods for locating it.

In this session, we’ll go through a variety of ways for finding your files, including searching and looking in unexpected locations. To understand more about how to discover files in Windows, watch the video embedded below.

Common places to look for files

In the event that you’re having trouble finding a file, there’s a strong chance you’ll be able to locate it in one of the following locations:

  • Downloads: By default, your computer will place all downloaded files in a folder known as theDownloadsfolder, which is accessible through the Start menu. In the event that you’re having difficulty locating a file that you obtained from the Internet, such as a photo attached to an email message, this is the first place you should go. The Downloads folder may be viewed by using File Explorer, then navigating to and selectingDownloads (belowFavoriteson the left side of the window). A list of the files you’ve recently downloaded will show
  • Default directories are as follows: When you save a file, Windows will automatically store some types of files into default directories if you do not provide a destination for the file. You may try looking in theDocumentsfolder if you’re looking for a Microsoft Word document, for example. If you’re looking for a photo, you might want to browse in thePicturesfolder first. The majority of these folders will be available from the left-hand side of the File Explorer window
  • However, some will be hidden. Recycle Bin: If you accidentally deleted a file, it is possible that it is still in the Recycle Bin. To open the Recycle Bin, double-click on the icon for it on your computer’s desktop. Whenever you locate the file you want, just click and drag it back to the desktop or into another folder.

Searching for files

Consider the following scenario: you recently downloaded a few images that were attached to an email message, but you have no idea where these files have ended up on your computer. Whenever you’re having trouble finding anything, you can always search for it. Searching allows you to hunt for any file on your computer using the search function.

To search for a file (Windows 10):

To search for a file, put the name of the file in theSearch Boxnext to the Start button. The results of your search will show above the search field.

To search for a file (Windows 8):

To access the Start screen, click the Start button and then start typing to look for a file. The results of your search will show on the right-hand side of the screen. To open a file or folder, simply double-click on it.

To search for a file (Windows 7 and earlier):

Start by pressing the Start button, then input the file name or keywords into the text box provided by your keyboard and hit Enter. The results of the search will be shown. To open a file or folder, simply double-click on it.

Tips for finding files

For those of you who are still having problems finding the file you want, the following suggestions may be of assistance:

  • Experiment with various search phrases. If you’re using the search function, try different search words to see what works best. For example, if you’re looking for a certain Microsoft Word document, try searching for it under a few other file names that you could have used when you saved it. Open the file in the last program that was used to modify it. You may open a file in a certain program and selectFileOpenRecent from the menu if you know you’ve recently edited it in that application. It is possible that the file will appear in the list of recently changed files. After you’ve located the file, you should move and rename it. Following the successful discovery of a file, you may choose to transfer it to a related folder so that you may locate it more quickly in the future. When dealing with pictures, you might want to relocate the photo into yourPicturesfolder, for example. Another thing to consider is naming the file something simple and easy to remember. In order to learn more about handling files, you may refer to our lecture on Working with Files.


How to Search Through File Contents on Windows 10

Instead of searching for filenames, there’s a secret feature in Windows 10 that allows you to swiftly and simply search the contents of files instead of just the filenames. Windows comes with a powerful search engine that allows you to locate programs, search the Windows Store and the web, and find files on your computer, among other things. Searching for content in Windows 7 was accomplished through the use of the search engine, which looked not only at file names but also at the contents of files.

The majority of people are completely ignorant that this capability is still available in Windows 10.

To demonstrate how to allow searching through file contents in Windows 10, we’ll go over the steps below.

Turn on Option To Search Through File Contents

Type “indexing options” into the CortanaorSearchbutton or box on the Taskbar, then press Enter. Then, under Best match, select Indexing Options from the drop-down menu. On theIndexing Optionsdialog box, select Advanced from the drop-down menu. On the Advanced Options dialog box, choose File Typestab from the drop-down menu. By default, all of the extensions have been chosen, which is exactly what we desire. As a result, Windows will be able to search through all of the different sorts of files on your hard drive.

Then press the OK button.

This implies that until the indexing process is completed, it is possible that the whole contents of your hard disk will not be searched. ClickOK. The Indexing Options dialog box can be closed by clicking the Close button.

Search Through File Contents in File Explorer

As a result, when you search for text in File Explorer, Windows will both search within files for the text and search within the file names themselves. Always keep in mind that if you don’t get any results for your search straight immediately, it may be because the folders and files have not yet been indexed. When it comes to searching the contents of files in Windows, what methods do you like to use? When it comes to searching for the contents of files, do you utilize any third-party apps? Please share your ideas and experiences with us in the comments section.

How to Search for Files in Windows 10? (For Various Cases)

Obviously, you have a large number of files on your computer. It is possible to lose track of the specific location of a file at any time. When you go to use that file, everything will be a jumbled mess. What is the best way to search for files in Windows 10? MiniToolwill provide a number of strategies that are applicable to a variety of scenarios. You may then choose the most appropriate strategy for your situation.

Where Are My Files in Windows 10?

If you want to save your files on a physical medium, you can do so on your computer’s hard drive or on any other sort of digital data storage device such as an SD card, memory card, pen drive, or other similar device. Additionally, OneDrive may be used to store your files and documents (if you are running Windows 10, OneDrive is already installed on your computer). As time passes, the number of files in your collection grows more and larger. It is quite difficult to recall the exact position of a specific file, folder, or application on your computer unless you have a very good memory for such things.

You suddenly find yourself in a situation where you need to utilize it, but you can’t remember where you put it.

Here are some examples of various scenarios:

  • Assuming that your required files are still stored on the computer and that you recall the names of the files or portions of their names, you may use a Windows file search to locate each of these files one by one. Even if you forget the names of the files, you should be able to recall the text that was contained within each file. If you find yourself in this circumstance, you may use Windows 10’s search for file contents feature to locate the file you require. However, this Windows 10 file search mechanism is always restricted to a small number of certain file types that include text information
  • For example, If the two procedures described above fail to assist you in locating your required files, it is likely that these objects are missing from your computer. You can use expert data recovery software to locate and retrieve your lost files. MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a program that we suggest.

We have presented a number of alternative problem-solving strategies for a variety of distinct scenarios. Next that, in the following sections, we will demonstrate how to put these concepts into action.

How to Search for Files in Windows 10?

  1. You may search for files in a variety of ways, including the taskbar, File Explorer, and Everything.

Searching for files in Windows 10 may be accomplished through the use of three different approaches. You can choose one of them based on your current circumstances. In addition, you may use these three techniques to search for data on computer hard disks, One Drive, SD cards, memory cards, and other storage devices, as well as on the internet.

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Method 1: Search for Files Using Taskbar (by Name)

This procedure is quite straightforward. You may use the methods below to search for files based on their name or a specific keyword.

  1. To launch the Windows 10 search box, press the Win key plus X and then selectSearch from the WinX Menu. Alternatively, you can simply click Cortana to launch it. Simply type the name or a keyword of the file you’re looking for into the search box, and the results from across your computer and OneDrive will be shown under Best match

You may open the file by selecting it and checking to see whether it is the file you are trying to locate. If you believe that this approach will not assist you in finding the necessary files, or if you need to search for file contents in Windows 10, you may utilize File Explorer to accomplish your goal.

Method 2: Search for Files Using File Explorer (by Name/File Contents/Type…)

Using File Explorer to do a search for files in Windows 10 is a standard technique of locating the files you require. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started: Note: If your File Explorer is configured to start from Quick Access, the first time you open File Explorer, you will be sent right to Quick Access. It is not recommended that you use Quick Access to search for files in Windows 10.

Before you can search, you must first switch to this computer. Alternatively, you may refer to this page for instructions on how to open File Explorer from this computer: How to Use Windows 10 Quick Access: A Complete Introduction.

  1. Navigate to File Explorer and choose the drive that should contain the files you’re looking for in the list. For those who are unsure of the file location, you may simply selectThis PCfrom the left-hand list to have File Explorer display all disks on this computer. The search box may be found in the upper right corner of File Explorer on the left side of the window. It is necessary to enter either the file name or a keyword. After that, the Windows 10 file search procedure will be initiated automatically.

When the search process is completed, you will be able to view the results of the search. It is conceivable that you will see more than one option on your screen. Then you’ll have to go through the results to locate the one you’re looking for. In File Explorer, you may perform an advanced search by typing the following: If there are a large number of files, you can use File Explorer’s sophisticated search feature to find them all. You may pick other options by clicking the arrow next to the question mark in the top right corner, such as file size, type, and last changed date, among others, by clicking the arrow.

  1. To search for files on an external disk, you may also use File Explorer, as seen below: It’s necessary to select the external drive in File Explorer before using the universal Windows file search approach to find the files you’re looking for.
  2. Using Windows 10, how do you search for file contents?
  3. Perhaps you are also interested in another search approach: searching the contents of files in Windows 10 (see below).
  4. However, you have forgotten the name of the file.
  5. Alternatively, you may try to recall certain text contents that are specifically present in that file and then search for those elements in the file using File Explorer.
  6. To make the File contents functionality available, you may take the following steps:
  1. Open the File Explorer program. The Search symbol (the magnifying glass mark) in the upper right corner should be clicked. Search may be used from the top toolbar. To access the Advanced settings, click theArrow Downbutton. Using the drop-down menu, choose the contents of the file

The option to view the contents of a file has now been enabled. You may search for files by typing the content text into the search box on the right side of the screen. To send a tweet, simply click here.

Method 3: Search for Files Using Everything (by Name/Type)

In addition to utilizing the Windows snap-in tool to search for files in Windows 10, you can also utilize a third-party software to accomplish the same task. Everything is only a tool in this regard. Everything is a desktop search application for the Windows operating system. You may use it to search for certain files and folders by name in your computer’s hard drive. In addition, this tool may display all of the computer files according on the kind of file (limited to some certain types). If you just recall the type of file you’re looking for, you may restrict the results of this tool to only show results for that file type.

It is a completely free application. You may go to the free download page and save it to your computer for future reference. Note: You may only use this program to search for files on your computer’s hard disk, not on any other device. Files may be found in Windows 10 by searching for them by name.

  1. Everything should be opened. By entering the file name, the tool will display the objects that are associated with it. Locate the files you require from the list of search results by clicking on them.

If there are too many search results, you may use the Search button on the toolbar to limit down the search range by selecting the target file type from the dropdown menu. After you’ve located the necessary file, you may just click on it to open it right away. Alternatively, you may navigate to theFileOpen route to access the storage location. Types of files that may be found in Windows 10 are as follows: If you can’t remember the name of the file, you may use the Search feature of Everything to find the data type of the file you’re looking for and then open it.

  • On Windows 10, for example, you may pressSearchand then selectVideofrom the drop-down box if you want to search for any and all video files.
  • Audio files, compressed files, documents, executable files, folders, and photographs are among the other sorts of files that may be found by searching by category.
  • You can find out more about the features on your own.
  • If you have misplaced the files that you wish to utilize, none of the procedures described in the preceding sections will work for you.
  • We recommend that you use MiniTool Power Data Recovery.
  • You may use this software to recover lost files from computer hard drives, memory cards, SD cards, and other storage devices as long as the deleted contents have not been overwritten by fresh data.
  • You may now get this freebie by clicking on the following button.

Following the download and installation of this program on your computer, you may use the following instructions to recover your lost data: 1.

The scanning procedure will begin when you have selected the destination drive and pressed the Scanbutton.

You must wait till the entire scanning procedure has been completed.

You can navigate through each path to find the information you require.

You can choose between these two options depending on your current scenario.

You can get all you need with the Personal Ultimate version if you’re a personal user.

Once you have obtained a full version, you may choose the necessary files and click on theSavebutton to select a suitable area in which to save these files.

The data that have been retrieved can be used immediately. After reading this section, you should be able to figure out how to recover your deleted files on Windows 10. Simply utilize the MiniTool program to assist you in your endeavors. To send a tweet, simply click here.

Bottom Line

Learn how to search for files in Windows 10 by reading this article if you are having trouble finding a file in the operating system. Whether you’re looking for your files by name, by kind, or by file contents, you’ll always be able to find a solid answer here. If you have any concerns when doing a Windows 10 file search or while using the MiniTool program, please do not hesitate to contact us through or leave a message in the comment section.

How to Search for Files in Windows 10 FAQ

What is the location of the search box in Windows 10?

  1. You may use the Cortana search box to launch the Windows 10 search box by clicking on it. You can also press Win + Xand then selectSearchfrom the WinX menu
  2. Or press Win + Xand then selectSearchfrom the WinX menu.

What is the best way to search for files in Windows 10?

  1. To search for files in Windows 10, you first launch Windows search and then input the file name into the search box. To search for files in Windows 10, you may go toFile ExplorerThis PCand then put the file name into the search box (located in the top right corner of File Explorer) to find them. In Windows 10, you may search for files by name and type using the tollEverything third-party search engine.

What is the best way to recover a deleted file in Windows 10? For those times when a critical file is missing from your computer, you can utilize MiniTool Power Data Recovery to retrieve it:

  1. This program should be downloaded and installed on your computer. Select the target drive to be scanned from the drop-down menu. Locate the target file in the results of the scan
  2. Choose the file to be restored from the drop-down menu.

What is the best way to see hidden files? To enable the display of hidden files on your computer, navigate to Control PanelAppearance and PersonalizationFolder OptionsView and select Show Hidden Files. You must selectShow hidden files, folders, and drives from theAdvanced options menu, and then pressOK to apply the adjustment. Following that, you will be able to see any hidden files on your computer.

How to use the Search tool in Windows 10 File Explorer

Learn how to modify your searches in File Explorer in order to reduce or broaden the scope of the results. In Windows 10, you may use the built-in Search function on the Taskbar to look for files and other material on your computer. However, you may search for files directly using File Explorer if you like. When Microsoft released the Windows 10 November 2019 Update, it included an integration of Windows Search into File Explorer. The search area in File Explorer may be activated by clicking or typing a keyword, and File Explorer will recommend files depending on your search term.

  • Examine how to make use of the Search feature in File Explorer in this section.
  • However, you should be informed that there is an issue in this version that causes the search area in File Explorer to become unresponsive when you click in it on occasion.
  • You’ll also want to check for any new updates that have been released since Windows 10 version 1909 to see whether Microsoft has addressed the issue.
  • Enter a search term in the Search form.
  • When you type a character or two, the things from earlier searches that meet your criteria are shown (Figure A).
  • To access the matching document or other file, select the appropriate search result from the drop-down menu (Figure B).
  • To broaden the scope of the search to include your complete computer, select the This PC symbol from the drop-down menu.

To include the current folder as well as all subfolders, select the icon for All Subfolders from the drop-down menu.

Figure C” data-credit=””>” data-credit=””> To search by date, click on the symbol for Date Modified and then choose from Today, Yesterday, This Week, or another timeframe from the drop-down menu that appears.

The Size icon may be used to filter the search results to various file sizes, such as Small (16 KB to 1 MB), Medium (1MB to 128 MB), and Large (128 MB to 1 GB) (Figure D).

Then select one of the options from the drop-down box, such as Type, Name, Folder Path, or Tags.

Example: If you choose Kind, you may provide documentorpicture as the precise type to be shown.

Additionally, you may include numerous properties in a single search (Figure E).

Next, Windows indexes and searches in specific spots to expedite your searches, but you have the option to adjust this.

Change Indexed Locations may be accessed by selecting it from the drop-down menu.

When you’re finished, click Close.

Select or deselect any of the three non-indexed places that you wish to include or omit from your search, namely File Contents, System Files, or Zipped (Compressed) Folders, depending on your preference (Figure F).

Fill in the blanks with a name for the search or use the default name.

Save your work by clicking Save (Figure G).

Figure G” data-credit=””>” data-credit=””> Final step: To access the full folder that contains the search results for a given file, first click on the file, and then click on the button that says Open File Location. When you have finished your search, click on the icon that says “Close search.”

Microsoft Weekly Newsletter

By reading these Windows and Office tips, tricks, and cheat sheets, you may become the Microsoft insider for your workplace. Deliveries are made on Mondays and Wednesdays. Sign up for a membership today.

Also see

  • (TechRepublic Premium) Windows 10 security for business leaders: a handbook for IT professionals. This article from TechRepublic explains how to enable and utilize the built-in Windows 10 backup function. How to increase the speed of Windows 10 by optimizing the power settings (TechRepublic)
  • According to TechRepublic, there are six new capabilities in Microsoft Universal File Explorer that professionals should be aware of. Microsoft’s Windows 10 update: A comprehensive guide for businesses of all sizes (ZDNet)
  • What you need to know about Windows 10 updates (ZDNet): how to install, reinstall, upgrade, and activate (ZDNet)
  • Windows 10: Why it’s finally time to upgrade from Windows 7(CNET)
  • Windows 10: Why it’s finally time to upgrade from Windows 7(CNET)
  • Check for problems before installing a Windows 10 upgrade, according to CNET. Added must-read coverage on Windows 10 (courtesy of TechRepublic on Flipboard)
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3 Ways to Search Content of Files Windows 10

Description: Discover three distinct techniques for searching the content of files in Microsoft Windows 10. You may do this operation using either Windows File Explorer or the command line. It’s possible that you’ve saved a large number of files on your Windows 10 PPC. To identify a certain file, you may often search for it by name in your computer’s file system. What if you can’t recall the name of the file? In that instance, you may use Windows 10 to search for specific content within files.

You may search for specific information within a file using the Start Menu Search or File Explorer.

You may easily activate it for the sake of simplicity.

Sounds fascinating, doesn’t it?

Windows Search Content

Searching for file content in Windows 10 may be done using the Start Menu Search or the File Explorer, as previously indicated. If you are unable to do so, it is because that function has been turned off by default on your computer. As a result, in order to make advantage of this feature, you must first activate it. To make it possible to search for information within files in Windows 10, follow these steps: Step 1. In the Windows Search Bar, type “Indexing options” and then click on Indexing Options from the list of results.

  1. At the bottom of the Indexing Options box, select Advanced from the drop-down menu.
  2. Select the File types tab from the Advanced Options drop-down menu.
  3. It is possible to add a new file extension to the list at the bottom if the file extension for which you wish to search for content is not already mentioned here.
  4. Following your confirmation, Windows will begin the process of rebuilding indexing.
  5. Step 5: To launch File Explorer, press the Windows key plus E.
  6. This PC will take longer to load if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
  7. A search box will appear in the right-hand top corner of the screen.
  8. Wait for the results to show on the screen.
  9. The majority of users, if not all, will believe that the File Explorer search is sluggish even when simply index properties are used.

When you try to search index properties and file contents at the same time, the process will become much slower. If you wish to discover your files more quickly, continue reading to learn about better choices.

String Search text in files Windows 10 command line

It is a built-in feature in Windows 10 that allows you to search for a file that has certain text by using the Findstri command. With your search query, you may look for specific files or search for the entire directory. Simply using the “findstr /?” command from an elevated command prompt will provide you with a complete list of all the arguments. You can follow the steps outlined below to learn more about how it works. Step 1: Open a command prompt with elevated privileges. In the Windows search box, type “CMD” and hit Enter to bring up the command prompt.

Using the syntax as a guide, input your command to initiate the search.

the string findstr “windows” in the directory d:documents*.* Every txt file under D:/Documents/, including all subdirectories, should be searched for the occurrence of all terms ending with ‘xyz’.

  • /? — displays the help text
  • /S — searches the directory and all subdirectories
  • /I — searches are not case sensitive
  • /S — searches are case sensitive
  • /S — searches are not case sensitive
  • /R — search strings can be used as regular expressions. /B — matches patterns that appear at the beginning of lines. /P — skip files containing characters that are not printable

Findstr is quite strong when it comes to searching the content of files since it allows you to search and filter results using the parameters listed above. Regular expressions and wildcards can also be used to match a wide range of scenarios. If you are not familiar with regular expressions and wildcards, I recommend that you use the third-party tool Anytxt to do your task. It has a straightforward UI as well as a plethora of functionality.


Anytxt Searcher is a free, powerful local document and text search engine for Windows that is significantly faster than the built-in Windows Search. Anytxt Searcher is available for download from the official website. It functions in the same way as the Google search engine on your own hard drive. It’s the finest full-text search engine for desktop files, according to our testing. Anytxt Searcher is equipped with a strong document parsing engine that allows it to extract any text from ordinary documents without the use of additional applications.

  1. Anytxt can locate files based on the content of the file, the filename, the file type, and other criteria.
  2. As a result, you should experiment with Anytxt to see how quickly it can locate your files based on your request rather than wasting time looking locally.
  3. You can follow the steps outlined below to learn more about how it works.
  4. Launch Anytxt Searcher and type any phrase into the search box on the left-hand side of the screen.
  5. If necessary, use the “+” icon in the upper left corner to narrow the search results to certain folders and file types.
  6. Step 3: To begin searching for the content of files, click the “Go” button on the left or hit Enter on your keyboard.
  7. If you hold your mouse over any of the results for one second, the corresponding text will appear.

The translation feature of Anytxt is also available. Additional features include the ability to rapidly do an Anytext search from within File Explorer. You may search for any text in any directory by selecting “Search Anytxt” from the context menu of any directory.


These three methods for searching the content of files in Windows have been tried and are expected to function in 2021. The most easy method is to use the File Explorer, but it is also the slowest. Finding things with Findster is significantly faster than searching in File Explorer, but the learning curve might be prohibitive for certain users. Overall, Anytxt is the most efficient tool for searching the content of files in terms of both speed and convenience of using. In Windows 11, how can I search for a file based on its content?

How to Search in Windows 10

Finding a certain app, file, or option that has been buried deep inside the bowels of Windows 10 might be difficult. Utilize the search option if you’re having problems locating particular objects throughout the Start menu, File Explorer, and Windows Settings menu, among other places. Windows 10 has a strong and adaptable search function that can assist you in finding exactly what you’re looking for, no matter where you are in the system. If you want to find specific objects such as programs from the Start menu, music from File Explorer, or preferences from the Settings menu, you may use the Windows 10 search engine to restrict your search results down.

Even better, the utility provides quick access to the programs and files that you use the most regularly.

Windows 10 search also has its own options panel, from which you may personalize your search experience even more.

As a result, you may input or pick a keyword in the search bar, and File Explorer will propose files depending on the phrase you entered or selected.

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How to find a file on a computer

Computer Hope’s last update was on December 5, 2021. All main operating systems that operate on computers are capable of finding files on the hard drive or other devices that are attached to the machine.

To assist you in finding files and programs on your computer or mobile device, select one of the links below. Tip Alternatively, if you’ve accessed the file on your computer recently, you may find it simpler to locate it under the recent documents function.

Windows 11

  1. Press the Windows key, then type part or all of the file name(A) you wish to locate in the search box that appears. Tips for searching for files may be found in thesearch tips section. Click the Apps, Documents, or Websection heading (B) in the search results to see a list of files that match the search parameters. Alternatively, you may click the Moresection heading (C) and pick an item from the drop-down menu to get additional search results options.

Tip It is possible to go up and down the list of apps, files, documents, and settings by using the arrow keys, then pressing Enter to launch the program, file, document, or setting.

Windows 10

Searching for files on your computer is simple with Microsoft Windows, which allows you to locate any file on your computer even if you do not know the file’s complete name. A document, spreadsheet, photo, or video may all be found using the Windows search tool if you know where you are looking for it. Choose the Windows version that corresponds to your machine from the list below, and then follow the instructions to search for a file. By selecting the search tips link below, you will be sent to a page with search examples and tips.

  1. To find a file, press the Windows key and then type part or the entire file name you wish to find. Tips for searching for files may be found in thesearch tips section. The Documents, Music, Photos, and Videossection headers will appear in the search results when you click the Documents, Music, Photos, and Videossection header. To open a file, select it by clicking on its name.

Tip It is possible to go up and down the list of apps, files, documents, and settings by using the arrow keys, then pressing Enter to launch the program, file, document, or setting.

Windows 8

  1. To go to the Windows Start screen, press the Windows key on your keyboard. Start entering the first few letters of the file name you wish to locate. As you write, results for your search are displayed in real time. Tips for searching for files may be found in thesearch tips section. TheFilesoption may be found in the drop-down list that appears above the Search text box. The results of the search are displayed below the Searchtext area. Click the file name to open it, then scroll down through the search results list until you locate the file you’re searching for.

Windows Vista and Windows 7

  1. To access the Start menu, select Start from the Start menu bar. Fill in the Searchtext area at the bottom of the Start menu with a portion or the entirety of the file name you’re looking for. Tips for searching for files may be found in thesearch tips section. TheDocumentsorFilessection heading in the search results will display a list of files that match the search parameters when you click on it. A comprehensive list of files that satisfy the search parameters may be viewed by selecting theSee more resultslink at the bottom of the search results page. Alternatively, double-click the file you wish to open

Windows XP

  1. To access the Start menu, press the Start button. Select the Search option from the Start menu
  2. Click OK. Fill complete all or part of the file namefield in theSearch Companionsection of the Search Resultswindow in the Search Resultswindow. Tips for searching for files may be found in thesearch tips section. If the computer has more than one hard drive, or if you wish to search for a USB flash drive or a CD/DVD, choose the relevant drive from the Look drop-down list
  3. For the search to be carried out, click on theSearchbutton. In the Search Results box, you will see a list of files that match your search parameters. Alternatively, double-click the file you wish to open

How to find a file using Windows Explorer

  1. Open the Windows Explorer program. Then, in the left-hand navigation pane, selectComputer or This PC
  2. Click on the Search field, which is located towards the top-right corner of Windows Explorer, then type in part or all of the file name you wish to find

Tip When you want to find a file on a certain drive, choose that drive from the left navigation pane by clicking it underComputerorThis PC. Then, in the Search window, type the name of the file you wish to look for in your computer.

iPad and iPhone

  1. Return to the home screen. Swipe from the left edge of the screen to the right edge of the screen to complete the operation. In the search bar at the top of the screen, type the name of the file you want to use. Click on the Searchbutton

Android tablets and phones

  1. Open theSettings menu and selectStorage
  2. Then Files or File manager from the drop-down menu. Navigate through the directories until you locate the file you’re looking for

Search tips

Listed below are a few pointers to assist users in locating files on their computer.

Find all GIF picture files on the computer

Type*.gif In the text area for the search. The *.gif symbol denotes any file that has the extension.gif at the end of its name. Any other file extension can be used in lieu of the.gif. The following are a few instances of the most typical extensions that you may encounter.

  • *.docor*.docx= Microsoft Word documents
  • *.xlsor*.xlsx= Microsoft Excel documents
  • *.jpg= another image extension (JPEGpictures)
  • *.htmand*.html= HTML web pages
  • *.mp3=MP3music files
  • *.mp4=MPEG-4movie files
  • *.docor*.docx= Microsoft Word documents
  • *.docor*.docx= Microsoft Excel documents

For a comprehensive list of file extensions, please see thefile extension page.

Find any files that contain help in the name

*help*.* should be typed into the search text area. The *help* symbol signifies any file with the word “help” in the file name, and the “.*” symbol indicates that the file can have any extension at the end of its name. Additional information, examples, and assistance with wildcards, such as those shown in the examples above, may be found on

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