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Windows 7: How to search within a folder (preferably without using indexing)?

26 Feb 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
How to search within a folder (preferably without using indexing)?


I'm wondering how to search within a folder for files that have names and/or contents that match some desired text - like the old XP search assistant did. That was such a useful tool, I can't believe MS did away with it!

- I'd like to search within a given folder hierarchy - i.e. including subfolders
- I don't want to search my entire computer, e.g. by using the search on the Start button. There may be dozens or hundreds of files around the computer that match what I want - I want to search only within the folder I specify

I did try this:
1. Turned off indexing within the given folder, by going to Organize -> Folder and search options -> Search tab
2. Changed the "What to search" setting to "Always search file names and contents"
3. Put some text in the search box in the upper right of the explorer window

and nada - it didn't find files that were right there in front of me.

Why doesn't that work? Am I missing something?

I've googled for various solutions, and can't seem to come up with anything that works. Mainly it's suggested to use indexing, but also to search across my whole computer - I don't want to search across my whole computer though! But when I try to search within a given directory it doesn't seem to work.

If no one knows of a solution within Windows 7 OS - might anyone know of an add-on tool that's been developed for such a purpose? If there isn't one I might just create one myself, painful as that is.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2014   #2


Open File Explorer, type content:searchterm to Search field. This would find all files containing the word searchterm.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2014   #3

Windows 10 Pro X64

I use a program called Everything Search Engine

Fantastic tool for finding files or folders.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Feb 2014   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

The Windows built-in search has been totally crippled in Windows 7, without turning on indexing (which burns a lot of HD space) it rarely finds anything. Third party programs are a must here.

The one I use is File Locator Lite, which can do all you write, quite similar to what XP has, and unlike 7's own search feature, it actually works!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2014   #5


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Alejandro85 View Post
The one I use is File Locator Lite, which can do all you write, quite similar to what XP has, and unlike 7's own search feature, it actually works!
Out of respect for our forum rules I will not say what I think of that comment of yours.

I will only say that as we have seen here at the Seven Forums some people seem to be unable to learn Windows Search and use it correctly, even some quite senior geeks. The issues we have seen have always been user errors and mistakes.

I have no opinion in if this is due a block in thought process or something else, it just happens.

When you know how to use it, Windows Search works extremely well and as has been shown and proved several times it works at least as fast giving more accurate results as any of its third party alternatives. Here's an interesting comparison I did a few years back: More on search hell

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to search within a folder (preferably without using indexing)?

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