WizFile is a free portable search program for Microsoft Windows devices to find files stored on the device it is run on quickly.
Windows Search has never been great when it comes to finding local files quickly. It is rather slow, requires indexing, and there is always that slight delay before search starts.
Third-party programs like Everything, FileSearchy, UltraSearch or SwiftSearch were designed to address the shortcomings of Windows Search; WizFile, created by one of my favorite software developers Dominic Dumée, is a brand new program that is very fast and powerful.
WizFile is offered as a portable program or a program that you can install on a Windows device. It is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows starting with Windows XP.
The program loads file and folder information to memory on start. The initial scan is very fast and did not take longer than two seconds or so on my system. It should not impact or delay searching as it finishes probably before you even start your first search using the program.
The application keeps the data in memory and does not store it on the drive temporarily. While that is great, it means that it uses quite a bit of memory while active (it used 450 Megabytes on a Windows 10 Pro test system with a lot of files). This is a trade-off and could make the program unusable on low-memory devices.
Update: version 1.03 of the program reduces memory usage significantly, especially on 64-bit systems.
Results are populated immediately when you start to type. It does not matter if you type a single character, a word or more complex search phrases, the matching list of files is returned ultra-fast.
Each file is listed with its name, path, size, modification date, and attributes in the program interface. A double-click launches the file immediately and the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-E opens the folder it is stored in in the default file management software (you may also right-click and select the option).
A tap on Del deletes selected files to the Recycle Bin and Shift-Del deletes them bypassing the Recycle Bin. The main menu and right-click menu lists other options such as opening a command prompt window at the location, copying the path, or running refresh or rescan operations.
WizTree monitors the file system for changes while it is active and will update the search results automatically based on the monitoring.
You can give this a try by searching for * (wildcard) and selecting the modified date sort order by clicking on the "modified" header in the program interface. New files are added to the results automatically so that you may use the program to monitor the file system for new files this way.
The default search looks for matching file names only by default; you may switch to search matching the entire path instead in the interface. The latter includes folder matches next to file name matches in the results. WizFile displays the size of each folder in its interface if folder results are returned.
Search supports wildcard characters -- * and ? -- but no regular expressions. You may combine search queries to run AND or OR searches. Just add multiple search terms next to each other to run AND searches (include all), and use the pipe character | if you want to run OR searches.
Here are a some examples to demonstrate the search functionality:
WizFile is a very fast local file search tool for Microsoft's Windows operating system. It runs well out of the box and keeps all data in memory. That's great for speed and portability but means that the program's memory usage is relatively high.
Search is powerful as it supports AND, OR, and wildcard searches, and because of how fast results are returned. WizFile does not support in-content searches which Everything does.
Now You: Which search do you use to find local files on your system?
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