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Setting Windows explorer search default

Posted on 2011-02-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Does anyone know of a way to start Windows Explorer's search function based on a certain location.

I am using Windows 7 and whener you open a search window by pressing WinKey + F the search location defaults to 'My Documents' - I want it to default to searching the entire computer.

I don't want to have to open Explorer to the correct folder before beiginning a search from the top right of the window. Ideally I would like to be able to open the search from a command line switch so that could be automatted in a program.

Does anyone have any ideas ?
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Question by:AL_XResearch
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by:steveb_49
ID: 34971131
If you hit Winkey+f and in the search window click on 'Change Preferences'
Click on 'Change file and folder behaviour'
Select 'Advanced'
The next time you fire up Winkey+f it will open with the C:drive as default search location.
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by:AL_XResearch
ID: 34971365
Hi 'steveb_49', thank you for your response but I can find no such option in the search Window. I am using Windows 7 and the search window a) allways requre you start searhing before the window is fully displayed and b) does not have such a prompt - only [Organise - Folder and search options] which does not have an settings I can find.
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by:sjklein42
ID: 34971373
Do a search manually one time, filling in all the options the way you like.

Then, while the results window is visible, go to File/SaveSearch.  Save the search (it only saves your settings).

Then, when you "run" the saved search file, a Search window should open with all your settings already filled in.
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by:AL_XResearch
ID: 34971470
Yes but my question was : how can I open a search window set to search in a specific folder when I am ready. I do not want to run the same search each time but rather have the window open, wait for my search parameters and then when I press 'GO' it will start the search from the pre-defined location - rather than from 'My Documents' with my having to wait until the search is finished to then select 'My computer' so that it looks in the correct location.
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by:sjklein42
ID: 34971558
If you tried my solution of opening a Saved Search, I think you would see that it does not run the search, but it simply opens the search window with your pre-defined location filled in and waits.  You should have a chance to change the settings and then GO.

Didn't it work that way for you?
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by:AL_XResearch
ID: 34971632
No I am afraid not - when I opened the search file it immediatly started the search and becuase the option to change the seach location is at the bottom of the results (which increase rapidly) it is hard to catch the icon in item to click if before it moves as new results are added.

This could be becuase the search was saved with a search string of '*' but unless you provide an item to search on Windows will not show the normal window contents and you cannot select the search location. If you add the search string, wait and then remove the string the window resets itself to hide the search location icons.

I can't belive such a basic option would have been removed from Windows.

I have been looking to see if there is an command line for Windows Explorer that will allow me to do that this - but without success.
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by:sjklein42
ID: 34971853
That's too bad.  When I open the ".fnd" file on my system (XP) it simply opens the search window and waits.  Must be a change between XP and W7.

I have found some Visual Basic examples that will open the Search box with programmable initial settings, but nothing easy.

Yes, it is hard to believe there is no command-line for this.
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by:AL_XResearch
ID: 34971962
Can you direct me to the site for the VB ? That would be useful to know that in any case.
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by:sjklein42
ID: 34972044
Like I said, they're messy, but interesting.  Sorry I could not find a good solution.

http://www.pcreview.co.uk/forums/launching-search-explorer-exe-form-command-line-t1468270.html

(creating a temporary VBScript file:

@echo off
echo CreateObject("Shell.Application").FindFiles >%temp%\myff.vbs
cscript.exe //Nologo %temp%\myff.vbs
del %temp%\myff.vbs

Open in new window

and http://www.pcreview.co.uk/forums/launching-search-explorer-exe-form-command-line-t1468270.html
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Expert Comment

by:steveb_49
ID: 34973788
Have a look at this, it may be workable, I haven't checked it all out but there are some clues in there.

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/129437-windows-search-configure-use.html
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by:steveb_49
ID: 34974140
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by:AL_XResearch
ID: 34978113
Thanks, these are excellent and useful articals. I can now create a shortcut to a search window but I still cannot pre-specify which location to search in.
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Author Comment

by:AL_XResearch
ID: 35179210
Anyone else have a suggestion ?
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Author Comment

by:AL_XResearch
ID: 35216250
I have a found some useful information on the windows search protocol at the below address - although I have yet to make it work :

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc144083(v=vs.85).aspx
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Accepted Solution

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AL_XResearch earned 0 total points
ID: 35373992
I think I will have to accept that this is no longer possible through the Explorer inrterface in Windows 7
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Author Closing Comment

by:AL_XResearch
ID: 35783705
It looks like this is not possible in Windows 7
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