Nirsoft's SearchMyFiles 3.00 adds new find text in files option

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 28, 2019
Updated • Jul 29, 2019

SearchMyFiles 3.00 is a new version of Nirsoft's popular Windows search tool; the new version introduces functionality to search for text in Microsoft Office, Adobe PDF, and other documents.

I reviewed an earlier version of SearchMyFiles in 2012 and concluded that it was an excellent desktop search program for Windows that offered a wealth of search parameters and options.

Note: SearchMyFiles has nothing to do with Search My Files, another desktop search program that we reviewed in the past.

SearchMyFiles 3.00

SearchMyFiles 3.00 is a big update for the portable program. You need to download the 32-bit or 64-bit archive from the Nirsoft website and extract it to your system to get started.

The program opens its two windows when you run it: one to configure searches, the other to display search results.

The new version of the desktop search program features two main new features: the option to use Windows search handlers to find text in files, and a change in the Find Folders search behavior.

You may use the program to find text in files. All that is required for that is to select "Text" next to "File contains" in the search options and type text that you want the program to find. You may specify one or multiple base folders, exclude folders, and limit searches to certain file names or file types.

Search returns files that match these search parameters. The program supported searches for file content previously as well but the new version adds another option to the process.

The "Use Windows search handlers to find text inside Microsoft Office documents and other file types" option needs to be checked for that to happen. It switches the text search functionality to Windows Search handlers to find text inside Office documents, PDF documents, and other file types.

One of the core differences between the two options is that Windows search handlers limit the types of files that text search is run on; you may also get different results because search uses a different system.

Nirsoft notes that PDF searching works only if the Microsoft PDF search handler or Adobe's PDF iFilter is properly installed on the device.

SearchMyFiles 3.00 features another change: the program's find folders option returns matching folders. The desktop search program displays only folders that match the specified wildcard in the Files wildcard field as of this version.

Closing Words

SearchMyFiles 3.00 is still a great desktop search program. It may look convoluted and confusing at first to some users but it should not take more than a minute or two to understand core program functionality.

The new find text in files option adds another option to the program without taking anything away. You may want to use both to determine which works better for you.

Now You: Which desktop search program do you use, and why?

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  1. wakusei said on August 1, 2019 at 7:18 am

    For me…the best is SwiftSearch. Try it!

  2. doseas said on August 1, 2019 at 5:39 am

    File Locator Lite: incredibly fast search, both names & inside files; works with regular expressions.

  3. Biu said on July 30, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Does it search file names, or only file content?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 31, 2019 at 6:44 am

      Both, it can search for file names and folder names exclusively, or you may use the in-content search instead.

  4. ilev said on July 29, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    I will stay with Everything.

  5. John C. said on July 29, 2019 at 8:04 am

    I use Nirsoft’s SearchMyFiles, but I also use Agent Ransack by Mythicsoft.

  6. Litschi said on July 29, 2019 at 7:19 am

    I’m using DocFetcher.

    The supported Document Formats are great…

    Microsoft Office (doc, xls, ppt)
    Microsoft Office 2007 and newer (docx, xlsx, pptx, docm, xlsm, pptm)
    Microsoft Outlook (pst) (odt, ods, odg, odp, ott, ots, otg, otp)
    Portable Document Format (pdf)
    EPUB (epub)
    HTML (html, xhtml, …)
    TXT and other plain text formats (customizable)
    Rich Text Format (rtf)
    AbiWord (abw, abw.gz, zabw)
    Microsoft Compiled HTML Help (chm)
    MP3 Metadata (mp3)
    FLAC Metadata (flac)
    JPEG Exif Metadata (jpg, jpeg)
    Microsoft Visio (vsd)
    Scalable Vector Graphics (svg)

  7. Sunny said on July 28, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    Nir Sofer is a example of a single developer who has created dozens of useful utilities that helps makes Windows much better to work with.
    All his programs are portable and come with a local help file with a change log.
    He even reacted to a email I sent him once over a problem with one of his programs that I later learned was caused by another program.
    His success shows the failure of Microsoft.

  8. Clairvaux said on July 28, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    – Everything to search in file names — and use as a program launcher, it’s that fast.
    – File Locator Pro to search inside files. Usually finds what I want, and does not take too long.

  9. Kevin Kleinfelter said on July 28, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    I need a search tool which will find the given string, regardless of representation (i.e. whether it is ASCII, Unicode, UTF-something. I don’t know (or want to care) whether “blah blah” was entered in *this* system or *that* system. I just know that it looks like “blah blah”.

    Does SearchMyFiles do that? Does any search utility do that?

  10. Tom Hawack said on July 28, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    Seems interesting. I’m using Nirsoft’s Nirlauncher which groups all (or maybe not all) Nisoft applications and latest Nirlauncher 1.22.18 doesn’t include SearchMyFiles which is surprising given Martin wrote in the article that he had I reviewed an earlier version of SearchMyFiles in 2012 …

    The famous ‘Everything’ system search application which I use (of course) also includes a text search : Menu > Search > Advanced Search … Search for
    – file names containing
    – a word or phrase in the file.

    I’ve discovered that recently because I’ve used ‘Everything’ for years without digging into any of its advanced features… like I often do and, yes, I dare say so : as many of us do. Be it said :=)

  11. ULBoom said on July 28, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    Mostly Windows Explorer but for picking through files, folders, subfolders for certain items such as thumbnails, SearchMyFiles works very well, been using it for years.

  12. Cor said on July 28, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    I’m using Everything for file search. (which works great with HashMyFiles, another Nirsoft tool)
    For pretty much everything text related, including search, I’m using Sublime Text.

  13. TelV said on July 28, 2019 at 4:01 pm


    Yes, I use Everything as well after reading about it here on ghacks. But that also has the ability to search content in files. Maybe you aren’t aware of that? You’ll find it in the Advanced Search menu.

    But I agree with both you and Martin that Nirsoft offers a virtual array of applications and the added search capability in SearchMyFiles sounds like a boon.

    1. Hy said on July 28, 2019 at 7:55 pm


      You’re right! I didn’t know Everything could search content in files–looks like I had not searched everything in its settings… :) I found it right where you said it was, and I’ll give it a try next time I need it. Thank you for pointing this out!

  14. kalmly said on July 28, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    When searching for text within a file, I often do not know which word processor I was using when the text was created. I have long used and loved File Locator Pro – which I will always think of as Agent Ransack. One problem I ran into during my quest for this kind of software, was that most applications only searched .doc, .docx, .rtf., and maybe .wpd files, but File Locator Pro searches everything and it looks like NirSofer’s app does the same. I’ll be updating today and giving it a try.

  15. Emil said on July 28, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    I use Everything (like everyone) and XYplorer built in search for the detailed searches.

    But this one here is the most detailed ever and I can’t wait to try it :-)

  16. hg said on July 28, 2019 at 11:01 am

    Ultrasearch is easier and quicker in searches – not quite as many options

  17. Hy said on July 28, 2019 at 9:46 am

    I’ve been using Everything search from voidtools for years now and it’s great, but Nirsofer’s programs are always fantastic and this ability to search within files is amazingly useful. I’ve just downloaded it and look forward to using it. Thanks, Martin!

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