Alternatives to Windows Desktop Search

For the past several years I have been using third party freeware software called Everything Search Engine from Voidtools. Not only is it lightning fast but it does as it says and searches everything including your music collection, bookmarks and email. You can also search any partition on your hard drive, use the built in tools to edit and delete files plus much much more. Being Portable, Everything can also be launched from a flash drive.

The built in Windows Search, formerly known as Windows Desktop Search (WDS), is a great addition to Windows computers for easily locating files and folders that you may not know the exact location of. Use is easy and I personally have saved tons of time by searching Windows with Windows Search. However the built in search only finds common files and folders in common areas of the Operating System.

There are third party Windows search tools that do just fine and have different or more robust features and add-ons. Windows Search often or even not so often and want to have a more advanced search tool I suggest checking one out.

DocFetcher searches inside your document files! Find yourself looking through tons of documents? Try DocFetcher, a search tool that only searches for documents and text inside of documents saving you time.

Supported Document Formats: Microsoft Office (doc, xls, ppt), Microsoft Office 2007 and newer (docx, xlsx, pptx, docm, xlsm, pptm), Microsoft Outlook (pst), OpenOffice.org (odt, ods, odg, odp, ott, ots, otg, otp), Portable Document Format (pdf), HTML (html, xhtml, …), Plain text (customizable), Rich Text Format (rtf), AbiWord (abw, abw.gz, zabw), Microsoft Compiled HTML Help (chm), Microsoft Visio (vsd), Scalable Vector Graphics (svg)

One limitation of DocFetcher is that it requires the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to be installed on the computer.

Extra note: If you have forgotten the name of the file or folder you are looking for, using the above search tools, you can type in a partial search term and search. Doing so will still list all of the files and folders containing those letters or numbers.

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