Looking for a guide that explains how to use the Windows Search feature in Windows 7

IT Guy
IT Guy used Ask the Experts™
Looking for a guide that explains how to use the Windows Search feature in Windows 7.

I have found that the "new and improved" Windows Search feature that is used in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 often doesn't find the files that I am searching for.

Please provide me with hyperlinks to resources that explain how to properly use the Windows Search feature in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008.

Since the new Windows Search feature is so problematic, I have been having to resort to using the command line dir command to perform my Windows searches, such as shown below:

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7600]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.

C:\Users\dennis.stroble>cd c:\

c:\>dir RiskSASetup.exe /s >risk.txt

Which then produces this risk.txt notepad document:

 Volume in drive C has no label.
 Volume Serial Number is B631-96DB

 Directory of c:\support\Games

07/04/2010  06:53 PM        36,507,520 RiskSASetup.exe
               1 File(s)     36,507,520 bytes

 Directory of c:\_Support\Games

07/04/2010  06:53 PM        36,507,520 RiskSASetup.exe
               1 File(s)     36,507,520 bytes

     Total Files Listed:
               2 File(s)     73,015,040 bytes
               0 Dir(s)  504,278,818,816 bytes free
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
TechnoChatWintel Administrator / Cloud Computing
Introduction Video

Show Hidden Files checked under Organize ->  Folder and search options -> View.

In the search options (within folder options... the next tab over from where you unchecked 'hide protected operating system files') there is a section called 'When searching non-indexed locations' and under that is a checkbox labelled 'Include System Directories'.

To extend the search indexing for looking into file contents, go to Control Panel -> Index options -> Extended settings -> File types and set the checkbox at the bottom to "Search properties and contents".

The only indexed location is the Users folder. I have Show Hidden Files enabled and have unticked "Hide Protected Operating System Files"
i agree that windows 7's search needs a little work.. and a little patience on the user's part... however, simple filename searches should be pretty straightforward.

if you want, navigate to the folder (or its parent) that you think the file you're looking for is in first,

type in the name (or base filename, or unique-enough portion of either) and let 'er rip...  

if you weren't in the right place or don't see your result, you should see an option to 'search again in' with several options, click 'computer' and let 'er go again.

it's a type of substring search (e.g. file will find file, filename, and afile)... try searching c:\ for these and observe the differences in the results:

for some info on the new advanced search syntax (aqs).. try here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/Advanced-tips-for-searching-in-Windows
Dear EE member,

Are you okie with all overwhelming urls?
Just to check with you.

Best regards,

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial