Locate is one of the fastest ways to search for files and content in files in Windows. It uses a file database which is created once at first run and then updated regularly to reflect the changes to the file system that are made over time. The initial scan takes a few minutes while the updates usually finish in a matter of seconds.
I did mention Locate before here at Ghacks and thought that this awesome program deserves another article. The software developer is constantly working on Locate and he has added several new features since the last time that I wrote a review about it. The biggest change in this new version of Locate is the find as you type feature. Locate does not wait anymore until you press the submit button to find files or text in files but presents results immediately as son as you start typing.
You can still filter results in so many ways that it would take ten articles to explain all the options. It is possible to filter by file size, file date, extension and file path for instance. Normal file searches take about a second before all results are displayed, it takes a bit longer to search for content in files naturally but it is fast as well if you consider that all files on all hard drives can be searched.
I would suggest to schedule daily updates for Locate if you have the intention to use it regularly. You can either configure this option in Locate but the application has to be running to start the file update process on its own or you can use the task scheduler of Windows to update the Locate database regularly.
A 32-bit and 64-bit version of Locate is now provided by the author. You can furthermore download the source code as well from the project's Sourceforge repository.