Depending on what you search for, Windows Search can either produce the result in record time, after minutes or hours of torturing the hard drives, or not at all. The native search functionality works well for certain kinds of file types and locations, but not so well when you need to find custom files.
Generally speaking, they find many files faster than the native Windows Search does. The programs are not identical on the other hand. Some require indexing before you may run searches (and regular updates), while others work without the need to index drive contents before you can start your searches.
FileSearchy is a free search program for Windows that does not have to hide behind other programs. In fact, it ships with a couple of interesting features that makes it quite the interesting tool to try out.
The program needs to be installed before it can be used. When you start it, you will notice that it supports two different search options.
You can run a file name search, or search within file contents instead. The file name search works right out of the gate. Just type in the name you are looking for, or part of it, and hit the search button to get started.
Results are populated instantly and you can sort them by name, size, modification date or type in the results window.
It is furthermore possible to customize the search, by limiting searches to specific directories, sizes or modification dates. The program supports regular expressions which you can make use of to create advanced search queries.
Files can be opened with a double-click, while a right-click displays the Windows Explorer menu for that file type which you can use for other functionality such as copying, deleting, sharing or scanning.
The in-contents search feature provides you with the means to find specific contents in files. A variety of file types are supported, including all Microsoft Office formats, pdf documents, HTML and other web documents, as well as all plain text types such as php or css files.
This search may take a while to complete, depending on the directory structure that you have selected for the search. Results are populated while the search is still ongoing, which works well as you can go through the current results listing while the search is still being processed.
If you dig deeper, you will find several other options that may help you in your searches. You can exclude file types or folders for example from the search to speed things up, enable full word search or case sensitive searches (both file names and in-contents), or disable the automatic skipping of binary files if you want those included in content searches.
FileSearchy is a fast Windows Search alternative that lets you search for file names and file contents. It offers a wide range of customizations that help you perform those searches and leaves little to be desired in this regard.
The in-content search works well and while it may take the program a while to display all results, especially if you search a whole drive or large directory, you can get started going through results right away as they are populated in real-time.
Update: The developer website is no longer available which suggests that development of FileSearchy has been abandoned. We have uploaded the latest working version of the program to our own server.
The version runs fine on all supported versions of Windows. Note that we don't support the program in any way, and have uploaded it only for archiving purposes. Download the program with a click on the following link: FileSearchy
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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.