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Windows 7: Search in Windows 7

Search in Windows 7

How to Search in Windows 7
Published by Brink
07 Nov 2009
Published by

How to Search in Windows 7

information   Information
This will show you how to do a Search and Advanced Search for files and folders in Windows 7 through the Start Menu and Windows Explorer.

Note   Note
Before doing a search in Windows 7, you should make sure that you have set your Search Options for the What to search, How to search, and When searching non-indexed locations settings. If you have the index enabled (it is by default), then you should also have any locations and file types added to be indexed so they will be included in the search results when doing a search. If the files have been recently changed, then the index may not have finshed updating yet and you will need to manually rebuild the index to force it to update now.

To be able to search in libraries, the Windows Search service needs to be Started and set to Automatic. Libraries require it's included folders to also be added to the index to be tracked properly even though they will still open properly.

Search in Windows 7 OPTION ONE Search in Windows 7
Search in the Start Menu

Note   Note
You can use the search box line in the Start menu to find files, folders, programs, and e‑mail messages stored on your computer. When searching from the Start menu, only files that have been indexed will appear in search results.

You can also adjust these settings below in the Customize Start Menu settings for what is to be included in the search from the Start Menu Search box.

Search in Windows 7-start_menu_customize.jpg
1. Open the Start Menu, and type a word or part of a word for what you want to search for in the Search box. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: As you type, items that match your text will appear on the Start menu. The search is based on text in the file name, text in the file, tags, and other file properties.
Search in Windows 7-start_menu.jpg
2. You will now see the search results for what you search for. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: You can also click on the See more results link to see more search results in a Windows Explorer window like in OPTION TWO below.
Search in Windows 7-start_menu2.jpgSearch in Windows 7-start_menu3.jpg
3. You can now just click on a search result to open it. (See screenshot above)

Search in Windows 7 OPTION TWO Search in Windows 7
Search in Windows Explorer

NOTE: This will allow you to do a search for any item from within a selected drive or folder location of your choice in Windows Explorer.
1. Press the F3 key or Windows Key + F keys. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: This Search Results window gives you the same search results as the Start Menu in OPTION ONE.
Search in Windows 7-search.jpg
A) Go to step 3.

2. Open Windows Explorer, and navigate to where (ex: drive or folder) you want to search in and open it.
NOTE: When searching a drive or folder in Windows Explorer, Windows only searches from within the currently opened drive or folder location and its subfolders. Windows does not search outside this search path.

3. Type a word or part of a word for what you want to search for in the Search box at the top right corner in Windows Explorer. (See screenshots below)
NOTE: As you type, the contents of the folder or library are filtered to reflect each successive character you type. When you see the file that you want, stop typing. You will also see the word you type in highlighted in the search results.
Search in Windows 7-windows_explorer.jpg

Search in Windows 7-windows_explorer_b.jpg

Search in Windows 7-windows_explorer2.jpg

Search in Windows 7-windows_explorer3.jpg

Tip   Tip

Using Search Filters

NOTE: If you're searching for a file based on one or more of its properties (such as a tag or the date the file was last modified), you can use search filters to specify the property in your search.
  • Click in the Search box, and select a listed search filter that you want to add to narrow the search results with.
  • Depending on the search filter selected, choose a value to be used for this search filter.
    Search in Windows 7-search_filter.jpg
  • You can repeat these steps to add more search filters to build complex searches on multiple properties. Each time that you click a search filter or value, the search filter terms are automatically added to the search box.
Using Search Again In

NOTE: If you can't find what you're looking for in the search results from this current Windows Explorer location, then you can expand the search to include different locations.
  • After doing a search, scroll to the bottom of the search results list. Under Search again in, do one of the following:
    • Click Libraries to search across every library.
    • Click Computer to search across your entire computer. This is the way to search for files that aren't indexed (such as system or program files). However, be aware that the search will be slower.
    • Click Custom to search specific locations.
    • Click Internet to search online, using your default web browser and your default search provider.
Search in Windows 7-search_again.jpg

That's it,

Related Tutorials
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07 Nov 2009   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Another clear, concise tutorial, thanks Brink. :)

Pressing F3 on the desktop has always invoked the search window as in this pic.
Is this typical for everyone?

Maybe one for related Links?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2009   #2

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Thank you Stu. Added. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2009   #3

Win 7

Great Tutorial, Brink.

You can also make a search-icon in the superbar when you don´t like the startmenu search.

%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe search-ms:

For german user: Suche im Startmenü ? Deskmodder Wiki
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Nov 2009   #4

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Thank you for the tip MoinMoin. :)

Search Shortcut - Create
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2009   #5

Windows XP Professional and Windows 7 professional

I've just discovered your fantastic tutorials. I'm eternally indebted to you!

Would it be appropriate to include a section on federated searches here?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2009   #6

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

You're most welcome Hugson, and welcome to Seven Forums.

We have one a section here on it though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2010   #7

windows 7 32 bit
Query about Searching in Windows 7

Pressing F3 or Windows + F does open my Search Explorer .It Used to open earlier ,but i think after i custom made my Library,since then it does not work.Plz Help.

Like in Windows Vista we could turn off in Indexing properties in "What to Search Option" to not to search contents in File Contents.There is no such option in Windows 7.It ridiculously shows unwanted results and its damn frustrating.Is there a way to Turn off Search in File Contents in Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2010   #8

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Anoopsingh, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Check to make sure that Windows Search is turned on in Windows Features, and that the Windows Search service is set to "Started" and "Automatic *Delayed start)".

You can adjust your search settings using these tutorials below to help.Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2010   #9

windows 7 32 bit

Ya i alraeady read all those before asking and Search in turned on in windows features and in Services.msc also......its just that pressing windows+F does not open the search explorer otherwise search is working normally from otherplace like srart menu or th etop right in explorer.....even after making customizable search (the one where we select an icon)-it does not open from there too..any wayz thanks for reply..
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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