Improve the start screen search on Windows 8.1 with this handy tip
When it comes to features of the Windows 8.1 operating system, one that I really like is the new and improved Windows Search.
You can still start to type directly on the start screen interface to find files, programs, apps, and system tools to run them directly from there.
As far as system tools are concerned, it is usually better to use the title of the tool, e.g. Task Manager or Windows Media Player, instead of the file name, as you may not always get the correct result right away if you search for the name of the file.
While this works sometimes, for instance with regedit.exe or msconfig.exe, it won't work with others such as taskman.exe or gpcedit.msc.
Improve the search
It is however possible to improve the search on Windows 8.1. Instead of having to enter all or most of the title of an application, you can simply use part of the name only to launch it. This works very well for applications that have at least two words in their title.
So, instead of typing Windows Media Player to open the program, you simply type w m p and get the same result. Note the blanks between the letters.
Depending on how many apps and programs you have installed, you may sometimes need to enter more than a single letter per word.
The letters t a for example do not display the Task Manager in the results, let alone in first place, but if I search for ta ma it is displayed as the first result by the operating system.
You may need to perform tests to find out how much or how little you need to type to find programs on your system using this technique.
Here are a couple of examples to get you started (again, if it does not work, add or remove letters):
- w m d = Windows Media Player
- wi d = Windows Defender
- n c s = Network Connection Settings
- c p = Control Panel
- pc s = PC Settings
- t o y = Turn Off Your PC
- wi u s = Windows Update Settings
- c f u = Check For Updates
- de se = Device Settings
- u a = Uninstall apps
Note: The order in which you enter the letters does not matter. You can change the order of word abbreviations and still access the same order of results.
Using abbreviations instead of full titles in search speeds it up further for users. While it takes some getting used to time and experimenting, it may be very well worth if if you use the search regularly. (via Winaero)