IFilters are plugins that are used by various indexing applications like Windows Search, the Windows indexing service, Windows Desktop Search, Exchange Server or SQL Server to name a few.
An IFilter makes the contents of a file type indexable and thus searchable. File contents cannot be indexed or searched if no IFilter plugin is available for that specific filetype.
The Windows operating system ships with a set of default filters, for common file types such as .txt for example, so that contents of these files are indexed and may be included in searches as a consequence.
The application IFilter Explorer provides an overview of all IFilter plugins that are installed on the Windows operating system. It will display the path and name of the IFilter along with the file types that it support (meaning that the contents of the listed files are indexed by Windows as well).
Various software programs are listed in tabs on the top to display the known IFilters of these programs.
It has to be noted that IFilter Explorer has not been updated for about three years which means that some newer applications that make use if IFilters are not in the list. This does not interfere with the data that is displayed in the application window on the other hand. (for example: Windows Search 3.0 is shown in the tabs but not Windows Search 4.0).
The IFilter Explorer can be used to analyze the various IFilter plugins that are installed on the computer system. It can also be used to find filetypes that are not fully indexed by the various applications that support iFilter.
The developer of the application is offering several IFilters for download on the website. It does seem that the application is not developed actively anymore.
Update: The website is not available right now, displaying connection errors instead. We have uploaded the latest stable version and the latest beta version released by the company to our own server. IFilterExplorer-1.6.zip and IFilterExplorer-2.01.zip
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.