Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: How to search

17 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7
How to search

I've struggled to do a basic file search in Vista and now Windows 7. I open explorer and in the top right seach box type the name of the file that I'm looking for such as file.doc. This file exists in my documents folder. This folder is indexed. It is never found. If I email this file to myself, it is found. If this file is mentioned in another document, the referencing document is found. A few other files are found with no reason given. My file is never found.

I search for .doc and on my machine that ought to result in a thousand hits. Nothing.

I find only two filters. I can filter by file size. Hum, I never know the size of my file nor do I care. I can not concieve of why anyone would search by file size. If you do, please help me to understand why.

The other filter asks something like how old is this file? I don't know and if I did, how am I suppose to indicate an age? With XP I was at least presented with input boxes or could use a graphical calendar to select a range of dates or before/after a specific date.

I know that I am looking for a file only, so why am I being forced to search for emails? Besides, if I was looking for an email, why wouldn't I open outlook and begin there? Does Microsoft think that we've stopped using files? I assumed that the search feature was a bug in Vista and this was one of my top five reasons for stopped us upgrading to Vista at work. They never fixed this problem in Windows 7.

I've read a few blogs praising the search feature, only they don't use the feature or tell me how to use this feature.

So, if you can help, please tell me how to use search in Windows 7.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Imagine you were running low on disk space. You might search by file size because you want to quickly locate larger data files so you can either delete them or move them to another drive to free up space.

I and some others on this forum have given up on Windows Search, while others continue to use it.

Instead, I use Search Everything from

Very simple, very quick. Can be configured to search all drives or just C. Makes a database the first time you run it--that might take a few minutes. After that, each time you open it, it updates the database, which normally is either instantaneous or at most a couple of seconds.

Enter your search term in the one and only search box and results are instantaneous.

Shortcoming for some people: it searches ONLY file names, not content of those files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate Signature Edition

the truth is that the built in desktop search ms has given us is really lacking. i personally prefer to keep my file nice and organized and i've never had trouble finding even old ones, but if you need the ability to search your files i'd try one of the alternatives like what google desktop or copernic
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 How to search

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Windows 7 search for files&folders...can i make it search like XP?
I asked this when i first got 7 about 1.5 years ago, but i never found a good replacement to make 7's file search anywhere near as good or similar as the XP search. Now 1.5 year later, is there anything like that?
General Discussion
How to remove search for computers and search for people start menu
Hello all first post so go easy :) i am trying to discover if there is a registry hack that will remove the search for computers and search for people links from the search tab on start menu (windows 7), any help greatly appreiciated. kind regards Uraken
Performance & Maintenance
Forum Search issue: Google search links don't work Fx 5.0
Hi: Not sure if this is the correct place to post, so please move, as needed. New problem just appeared: Google search links ONLY HERE AT THIS FORUM don't work in Firefox 5. Same links work fine in IE9. Absolutely zero/none/nada issues with Firefox 5 anywhere else, including every other...
Chillout Room
Windows 7 search files and folders vs Outlook 2007 search
Hello, Can someone tell me some specifics and pinpoint the differences (or maybe a good website) that would pinpoint the differences between the Windows 7 search and the outlook 2007 search? I know the outlook search searches through email but are there other difference I am overlooking between...
General Discussion
Start Search broken, doesn't return search.
I'm not really sure how to explain this and this is my first post so I think I will just show you, yeah, that's probably the best way. The best way I see to explain it is instead of a list of the files and programs found in the start search showing up it just shows a few files like Documents.file,...
General Discussion

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 19:25.

Twitter Facebook Google+

Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App