Mastering Windows Desktop Search With Search Codes


search buttonWhat do you do when you can’t find something in your computer? Search for it right? We all want to get desired results from our searches but due to the high amount of information present in the internet it becomes difficult for search engines like Google to bring up specific results and it is a continuing war which will only expand with increasing information. To solve this problem, Google and other search engines have special search codes and inbuilt search tools which help you get specific results.

Though your computer contains less amount of information compared to the amount online search engines have to deal with, but, with this small amount of information, it is difficult to search for the file you are looking for. Microsoft realised this problem and tried to solve it in windows 8 with improved and organised search experience but getting specific results is still difficult.

You have two options, either do a broad search and go through all those hundred files you received in results or make the search more specific and reduce the number from 100 to 20. That is what we will be doing today, I will be showing you a list of search codes in Microsoft windows which you can use in the search entry boxes and get specific results which you want.

Windows Search Codes

Normally, the search processes the query for the file name but if you want to search for a file with a specific format then you can use the below syntax

ext:ppt filename:salereport

This code will bring up all the ppt files stored on your computer with ‘sale report’ in their title. Here, you can replace ppt with the format of the file you are searching for and sale report with the name of the file which you are looking for.

If you know the extension but don’t remember the file name then you can also specify the time when the file was last modified or created. Here is the syntax to do so:

ext:docx date:this week

This query will bring up all the docx (MS Word) files which were last modified or created in this week. You can replace this week with today, this month, last month or any other duration you are looking for.

If a week or a month is still a broad time window, then you can perform a more specific search by entering an exact date interval as:

ext:docx date:20-10-2013..22-10-2013

Here, (double dots) represent to, this will bring up docx files which were modified anytime between 20 October 2013 to 22 October 2013.

If you are unsure of the file format but know the file type, for instance, you know it is a video file but you don’t know if it is a .avi or .flv then you can also search for a specific file kind using the ‘kind’ query.

kind:video date:>24-10-2012

here the ‘>’ (greater than) sign helps in showing the files which were last modified after the mentioned date.

Similarly, you can also use the file ‘size’ query with the ‘kind’ which will show you files of a specific kind which are greater than or less than a specific size.

kind:video size:>500MB

Over to you

You can also try to merge the different codes I mentioned in this article and make your search narrower so that you can be served with the best results, the results you want. Hope this article made your life easier, if it did then don’t forget to share it and let us know your feedback via comments.

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