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Windows provides several ways to find files and folders. There isn't one best way to search—you can use different methods for different situations.
You can use the search box on the Start menu to find files, folders, programs, and e‑mail messages stored on your computer.
To find an item using the Start menu:
As you type, items that match your text will appear on the Start menu. The search results are based on text in the file name, text in the file, tags, and other file properties.
When searching from the Start menu, only files that have been indexed will appear in search results. Most files on your computer are indexed automatically. For example, anything you include in a library is automatically indexed. For more information about the index, see Improve Windows searches using the index: frequently asked questions.
You're often likely to be looking for a file that you know is in a particular folder or library, such as Documents or Pictures. Browsing for the file might mean looking through hundreds of files and subfolders. To save time and effort, use the search box at the top of the open window.
The search box filters the current view based on text that you type. The search looks for text in the file name and contents; and in the file properties, such as in tags. In a library, the search includes all folders included in the library as well as subfolders within those folders.
To search for a file or folder by using the search box:
Type a word or part of a word in the search box.
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.
For example, suppose your Documents library looks like this:
Now, suppose that you're looking for your invoice files, so you type "invoice" in the search box. As you type, the view is automatically filtered and you see something like this:
You can also use other techniques in the search box to quickly narrow down a search. For example, if you're searching for a file based on one or more if 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. Or, you can type keywords in the search box to narrow down your results even further. To learn how to use search filters and keywords, see Advanced tips for searching in Windows.
If you can't find what you're looking for in a specific library or folder, you can expand the search to include different locations.
Type a word in the search box.
Scroll to the bottom of the list of search results. 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.
Windows provides several ways to find files and folders. There is no one best way to search; you can use different methods for different situations.
You're often likely to be looking for a file that you know is stored somewhere in a particular folder, such as Documents or Pictures. Unfortunately, actually locating the file you want might mean browsing through hundreds of files and subfolders. To save time and effort, use the Search box.
The Search box is located at the top of every folder (as well as at the bottom of the Start menu). It filters the current view based on text that you type. The search is based on text in the file name and the file itself, tags, and other file properties. It looks in the current folder as well as all subfolders.
To search for a file or folder using the Search box:
Type a word or part of a word into the Search box.
As you type in the Search box, the contents of the folder will be filtered to reflect each successive character you type. When you see the file you want, you can stop typing. You don't need to press ENTER, since searching happens automatically.
For example, suppose you start with a folder that looks like this:
Now suppose that you're looking for your invoice files, so you type "invoice" in the Search box. As you type, the view is automatically filtered and you see something like this:
For more information on using the Search box, see Tips for finding files.
The Search folder is a good choice when:
You don't know where a file or folder is located.
You want the search results to include files from more than one folder, such as Pictures and Music.
You want to search by using more than a single file name or file property.
By default, this search is based on a set of locations called Indexed Locations. This includes all of the folders in your personal folder (which includes Documents, Pictures, Music, Desktop, and other common locations), e‑mail, and offline files. If you commonly store files in different locations, you can add those locations to Indexed Locations. For more information, see Improve Windows searches using the index: frequently asked questions.
Open Search by pressing Windows logo key
Type a word or part of a word in the Search box.
As you type, files from a variety of locations on your computer will appear that match your text.
Now do any of the following in the Search pane:
Click one of the available filter buttons to show only certain kinds of files, such as E‑mail, Documents, Pictures, or Music.
Click an item in the Location list to choose a different set of locations for your search. The default search is Indexed Locations, but you can choose to search an entire hard disk or any other location.
For more information about creating a search using the Search folder, see Tips for finding files.
The default search, Indexed Locations, is usually the best way to search. Because these locations are indexed, the search is very fast, and it includes all of the most common places for storing files.
You can use the location called Everywhere to perform a thorough search of your entire computer. When you search Everywhere, you will quickly get results from Indexed Locations, and then results from outside the index will slowly appear as the rest of your computer is searched.
You can use the Search box on the Start menu to find programs, files located anywhere in Indexed Locations (which includes your personal folder, e‑mail, and offline files), and websites stored in your browser's history.
To find a program or file using the Start menu:
Type a word or part of a word in the Search box on the Start menu.
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. You don't need to press ENTER, since searching happens automatically.
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