Searching for files on upload sites (general, image, movie, etc)

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 15, 2005
Updated • Feb 14, 2016
Internet, Search

Did you ever ask yourself how many and which files upload sites like Mediafire host on their servers? Most sites that allow you to upload files to them don't offer a global site search to the public which means that you are left with third-party solutions.

It is actually pretty easy to search these sites using third-party search engines like Bing or Google.

Word of caution: Depending on how the site is set up, it may not reveal hosted files to search engines. There are cases where search engines refuse to index files from file hosting services.

Most search engines share the same search syntax that you can make use of to search a site in their index.

Below is an example of a search on Bing returning more than 250,000 results for mp3 on the site MediaFire. Not all results return mp3 files though as you can see when you look at the first results returned by the search engine.

search file upload sites

The general commands to search file hosting sites are the following:

  • inurl:extension site:url
  • extension site:url

So, to look for mp3 files on you would simply search on Google or another search engine using the following commands:

  • inurl:mp3
  • mp3

You can of course enter a specific term instead for more specific search results.

  • inurl:michael jackson mp3
  • michael jackson mp3

You may also use general search terms, e.g. to find all indexed pages of the selected hosting provider.

Again, your mileage may vary depending on search engine and file hosting site you are interested in. The files hosted by Mega are not indexed by search engines for instance which means that you cannot use these services to find files hosted on it.

List of extensions

mp3, mp4, mov, mpg, avi, jpg, bmp, zip, rar, pdf, doc

Please note that this is just a selection, you can use your own file types, for instance png, aac or mkv if you prefer to find results for these formats.

It is furthermore possible to only use the inurl: parameter without the site: parameter to run a global search for files or file extensions.

The search inurl:mp3 would return results from across the web matching the search term.

Update: Google and other search engines have made changes to recently that block results from popular file hosting sites from being displayed in the search results.

Search engines displayed thousands of results previously if you used the above technique to find files on popular file hosting sites and sharing websites. If you search now, you will notice that results are limited to less than one hundred and often none at all.

The only viable option is to either use a search engine that is not censoring search results, or to use a specialized file search website to find the files you are looking for.

Most search engines support the same syntax which means that you will get the same results after all. Please note that the hosting sites may block search engines from indexing their contents using various policies. The majority of search engines honor these policies so that contents won't be indexed.

Searching for files on upload sites (general, image, movie, etc)
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Searching for files on upload sites (general, image, movie, etc)
Find out how to use search engines like Google to search for files hosted by file hosting providers.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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