How to Efficiently Find Anything with Windows Desktop Search

How to Efficiently Find Anything with Windows Desktop Search

It would be foolish to ask if you use Google Search in your day-to-day life? It has become an integral part of our life and things would have been different without it. However, that's not the case with Windows desktop Search tool. We know its there but we hardly use it, why? Well, most of us are not aware of its features.
windows search tool

This tool can be accessed from the Start Menu, Windows Explorer or by using this keyboard shortcut "Windows + F". My most favorite feature is that you can segregate files based on its type, size, modification/creation date and more. It becomes more convenient to find something if your Hard Disk is filled with loads of files and folders.

Here are some simple search operators to narrow down Windows  search results to get the exact match.

1. Files created or modified this month 

  •  ext:doc date:this month (you can substitute "doc" with any other file extension)
The date search operator takes values such as today, this week, past month etc. Here's an example of that:
  • date: 15-10-2012..25-10-2012 (adds a date range)
  • Kind:videos date:>06-10-2013 (find videos added after this date)

2. Finding PowerPoint presentations

  • ext:ppt technology (Searches for the word "technology" within document content and file names)
  • ext:ppt filename:technology (Search only with file names)

3. Find gigantic files consuming your disk space

In this example the Windows Search tool finds video files larger than 128MB. You may also filter by size.
  • size:gigantic kind:video
  • size:>1GB

4. Look into Specific Folders on your Desktop

  • todo folder:Program Files
  • winamp winamp.exe folder:c:\program files (Searches winamp.exe in program files)

5. Easily find Emails

It doesn't stop at files and folders. The Windows tool also helps you find emails in Outlook without any hassle.
  • from:Sagar date:this month
  • hasattachment:true size:>10mb (emails with attachments > 10MB in size)
  • subject:"Jobs"

Windows Desktop Search can be a very handy tool for those with loads of unorganized data.

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A computer science graduate with over 7 years experience in Web/Game development, A passionate Blogger and Photographer.
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