Image if I could show you a tool that allows you to locate any file on your computer with ease. You can even locate content inside files. So for example you know you have a pdf file that discusses next years taxes and information, but you forgot the name of the file? Windows Desktop search can help you locate anything on your computer. That’s right, in this example you could type keywords that you know are inside that pdf or word document for example “2009 taxes proposal”. In seconds Windows desktop search finds the files and anything else you would be looking for. People you need this tool on your computer. If you don’t have this, you’re probably wasting your time trying to locate files on your computer. In the past I organized my files very carefully so I could easily retrieve them. But we all know that’s a lot harder than is seems. Windows desktop search really takes the edge off of trying to locate files quickly.
You can also specify certain file types. So if your looking for that Bee Gee’s song that you know you have somewhere on your computer, this will do the trick. Windows Desktop search is also great in locating all your music files. If you ever wanted to know where all music files are just type in *.mp3 to locate everything. It’s a really cool tool that I use on a daily basis.
It’s great to use at work. I have gigabytes of email from year and years of work. When I want to find that deleted email from 2 years ago, this does the trick. Outlook’s advanced find feature totally stinks. If you have ever used it you know what I’m talking about. Granted this only works if your archiving your mail, otherwise it’s only going to find what email you have in your current folders. If you have never archived or deleted, then it will still work. But I have all my mail even the deleted archived for future retrieval if necessary.
Check out the menu options, they predefine many common searchable items on your computer. These options are great if you want to limit the search results. I.E. select music only to search for the Gee Bee’s.
Here are some screen shots to help you locate files. I don’t use these unless I am having trouble finding something. (usually because I can’t remember any keywords to properly search, A.K.A. user error)
Searching for that picture you know you took off your camera last week. Oh brother where did that go? What funky system did the camera name that picture? Try these searches. Datetaken:last week
There are a lot more great search tips in the help menu. Check them out if you need more assistance.
Here are a few tips on how I set up my Windows desktop search.
You can specify if you want exactly where and what to search. I didn’t want it searching my backup drives because they are mirrors of my current data, no need to double it’s indexing.
Next select the drive or drives you want to index and go the advanced menu.
By default it was not searching pst files? Why they set the outlook archive files not to index is beyond me. But now you know, your getting smarter. You’ll need to set the option to make sure it indexes any archive files you may have. Go ahead and see if there are any other file types you may want, most of the common and important ones are already selected.
Next make sure the following is selected. This option is crucial since it is telling the program to look inside files.
After that close the menus and allow it to start indexing. The initial index may take a few hours to build. But after that let er rip. I guarantee you’re going to be using this program on a regular basis if you’re an avid computer user.
P.S I’ve tried Google desktop search and Coppernick. I wasn’t as impressed with either of them. Google scares me a little by knowing too much about everything. Coppernick on the other hand just didn’t work as well and seemed to be bloated with unneeded extras.
Based on the this information I think windows desktop search is on my most used productivity tools of the year. Check it out!
PS If you use Outlook you need to add the .pst extension to the file types it searches for. Then it will search through your archived mail.