Want to search for files on your Windows system quickly? FileBadger is a freeware search tool that can find files and folders faster and better than built-in search functionality of the operating system.
It is not an indexing application like Everything, nor does it search inside documents. FileBadger searches for file properties, and only in the folder that you select.
FileBadger's interface has a lot of options that may seem complicated at first glance. It is in fact the opposite, i.e. the program is user-friendly when you get used to it.
Note: The application displays a splash screen when you start it and this takes 5 seconds to load. You can disable the splash screen from the Settings to make FileBadger start instantly.
Enable the Simple Search option in the top left corner to enable the text boxes that are below it. Enter the name or the file or folder that you're looking for in the relevant fields. Optionally select the last write timestamp, and the file size limit to look for. Click the "Add" button on the right pane to select the folder that you want the program to query in. You can add multiple folders to the search process to have them all scanned.
Hit the search button and FileBadger will run the task. You'll hear a beep sound when the search has been completed. The time taken for the search to finish depends on the number of files, sub-folders in the selected directory. The results are displayed in the large pane below the Search Query box. It is divided into several columns including the full path, file name, size, last write time, creation time, last access time, and attributes.
Double-click on an item in the result pane to open its folder location in Windows Explorer. FileBadger can export the search results in the CSV document format. The status bar at the bottom displays the time taken to complete the search, the total number of files that were checked, and the number of files that were a match.
There are 4 primary search options that you can set: file name, folder, date modified (write), and file size. Metadata from the file properties are not used for the search process.
In addition to the above, you may include options to narrow down your search using the Search Query box. Click on the "Insert Search term" to view a menu. This allows to add variables, operators and constants. You can right click the text field to access the same menu. The a+ button can be used to define the rules for matching (special character, beginning of name, end of name, etc).
When you add one of the advanced options, it appears as a regular expression (RegEx) in the text field. You can edit it per your requirements. The search query format used by FileBadger is called MFQL, which stands for MolliSoft File Query Language. It's named after the program's developer.
The best way to learn to write custom queries is by simply using the Simple Search option in FileBadger. When you use it, the program generates the corresponding command in the search query box. The Query Name dropdown menu has a few presets that are handy, and you can edit them. Queries that you create can be named, and saved for future use.
The application isn't portable. It is compatible with Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. You'll need .NET Framework 4.6.1 to run FileBadger.
Note: The program displays a banner at the bottom recommending other applications from the developer. There is no option to disable this.
FileBadger offers a much faster way than Windows Explorer's search to find files and folders. It can be a useful tool to have in your arsenal, if you want something that doesn't index your drive's contents.
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