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Windows 7: Simple file name search

28 Nov 2009   #1
dougham

Windows Vista and 7
 
 
Simple file name search

Thsi started with Vista, but has continued in Windows 7.
999 times out of 1000 when I search, I search for a filename, often using only part of the filename.
In XP, provided you didn't install the Windows Search update, it was simple, and worked well. Even if you did install the search update, you could get back to the old search usinf the search companion.
Now, starting with Vista and now Windows 7 the searches take longer and display all sorts of unwanted files because it is searching contents too. I end up clciking to index everything and it is still slow.
At least Vista, after you've done one search, lets you go to advanced search and slect search filenames only. Of course, for that 1 in 1000, I had to do a search, then go to advanced and select to search contents too.

How can I get a simple, search filenames only?
BTW I do these search in computer, already at the desired file and folder, not in the search box from the start icon. That's a good way to get thousands of files selected.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Nov 2009   #2
BugMeister

Windows10 Pro - 64Bit vs.10547
 
 

after you've typed the details in the search box, click "See more options" - it's immediately above the box..

- on the next page at top right, you'll see the search box showing your entry..
here you can select some further search options, which may help to narrow it down a bit..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2009   #3
logicearth

Windows 10 Pro (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dougham View Post
...it is searching contents too.
Only in index locations.

Quote:
I end up clciking to index everything and it is still slow.
Don't do that....otherwise it won't search only file names.
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28 Nov 2009   #4
joema

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dougham View Post
...999 times out of 1000 when I search, I search for a filename, often using only part of the filename...How can I get a simple, search filenames only?...
Win7 does allow searching filenames only. You can also restrict searching to a specific folder. However you cannot INDEX only filenames (at least not easily). The additional overhead of content indexing is why MS warns against indexing entire drives.

To search only filenames from the Start | Search box, just use "name: myfilename", where myfilename is your file. You can also use leading and trailing wild cards.

If you've already navigated to a folder in Windows Explorer, searches are done within that folder by default. E.g, navigate to My Documents, and in the upper right search box type "*.pdf", which searches within your current folder for pdf documents (by filename).

Note there is a powerful search syntax called Advanced Query Syntax. You can use this from the initial Start|Search box, or anywhere else. You can use Boolean modifications like NOT and OR, search only specific file types like folders, start searches in a specified folder from the original search box, etc. See: Advanced Query Syntax

If you want a fast, simple, filename-only indexer there are several available 3rd party tools. I use "Everything.exe", which is free and runs OK on Win7: Everything Search Engine
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08 Dec 2009   #5
joema

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by joema View Post
...Win7 does allow searching filenames only....
This is to correct the above wrong statement. Win7 does allow filename-only indexing, as discussed in this post: Search file names only

However in the limited testing I did, restricting indexing to filenames only doesn't appear any faster than also doing content indexing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2010   #6
tob

Windows 7
 
 
Filename search

It is critical to our office to search by filename and rarely by content. Too bad MS made this change. Good to know that we are returning to DOS commands. I'm finding a lot of good things on Widows 7 but overall I am very disappointed with much of the changes from XP. It took me 20 minutes to figure out how display thumbnails instead of icons. XP was simple drop downs to get to all the info I needed, in a format that I could use.
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16 May 2010   #7
logicearth

Windows 10 Pro (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by tob View Post
It took me 20 minutes to figure out how display thumbnails instead of icons.
It took you 20 minutes to do that? Come on be real!
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16 May 2010   #8
pezzonovante

Windows 7 RTM x86
 
 

name: filename is the way to go.

However, no one should EVER need to search for filenames. Searching with file names is a very bad practice. It forces users to remember the names of hundreds of files. Searching by file contents is so much easier. That's why I think Windows 7's search feature is a million times better than XP's.
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16 May 2010   #9
dougham

Windows Vista and 7
 
 

Wow! If I already know the file name, why should I search by context and get a list of all the files with the search argument, when I only want one, known, file.
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04 Jul 2010   #10
WritermanUK

Windows 7
 
 

I'm sorry. I don't normally like to argue with genuinely stated opinions in public forums but I really must take issue with this statement:

>>However, no one should EVER need to search for filenames. Searching with file names is a very bad practice. It forces users to remember the names of hundreds of files. Searching by file contents is so much easier.<<

Of course people need to search for filenames. This morning I wanted to check what folder a particular Windows component (MSCOMCT2.OCX in this instance) was installed in. I neither know nor care what actual data is contained within MSCOMCT2.OCX but I know the file name. I don't want to be told about the umpteen emails I might have that talk about the file, or any notes I may have made that mention it. I just want to find the file.

This is just one of many examples of instances where I know full well what the file is called and am not interested in any file's contents. Providing a search for file name facility (in addition to a content search) certainly does not force me, or anyone else, to remember file names.

It's horses for courses. Sometimes folk might want to search by file content. Curiously, I have yet to find much need for that facility myself but I don't begrudge it to those who do find it useful. I, on the other hand, frequently want to search for files by name. As a software developer these are, more often than not, executables and other binary files whose content (by which I mean the actual bit patterns contained in the file) isn't relevant to me.

So to say that no one ever needs to search for files by name is a very blinkered statement.
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 Simple file name search




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