How to Search in Windows 7

March 30, 2011 (updated 10 years ago) by Chemtable Software

Hundreds of documents, photos and other files get stored on your computer while you work on it. So when you eventually need to find some particular file, you face with difficulties. Especially, if you need a not so commonly used file. Users often have to look through many folder manually trying to find the documents they need among hundreds of others. However, in Windows 7 there are convenient tools that deliver fast and effective search of desired objects.

On of them is file an folder search in the Start menu. It is utterly easy to work with it. Simply place a cursor into the text box and start typing. The system filters out the files and automatically returns files and folder that meet your input. The more symbols you type, the more precise the results are. This approach is irreplacable when a user doesn’t remember the exact name of a file. By entering a part of the name he can look through the results and easily locate the file he needs. Though we have to make an important remark here. This search work only with indexed files and folders (we’ll tell more about indexing below). So it is likely that some objects that do meets the requirements will stay out of the search this way. To avoid this, you should carefully build the index.

The other important tool is searching for files and folders with a special input box in Windows Explorer. It works a bit differently. The search is performed within the currently opened folder (or the entire partition) regardless if the contents are indexed or not. However, searching for unindexed files take longer. Also, this tool features various filters: by size or by last modify date. The first one defines the range of file sizes (for instance, from 100 Kb to 1 Mb, or from 1 to 1to Mb, or from 16 to 128 Mb and so on), the second one considers the date of the last modification.

Finally, let’s talk about indexing. What is it? Index is a list of files in certain folders. It allows to significantly speed up the search procedure, because the OS doesn’t need to scan the whole disk anymore. Windows 7 automatically keeps the index up to date in the background mode.

By default, Windows indexes all local files, menus and all folders included into various libraries. So if you want to include files from a certain directory, simply add it to any library. But there is another way. In the Control Panel find the special component – Indexing Options. Using it you can index any folders. To do this, simply click the “Change” button and in the folder tree select those you want to be indexed.

Including all contents of the hard disk, or at least some partitions to the index may seem a good idea, but it is not so. The more files the index contains, the longer it will take to find information in it. That’s why including rarely used files to the index doesn’t make much sense – you can always find them using Explorer. The index must contain only the most commonly used files to work fast and provide high speed searching.