Week before last, I posted about three free-ware tools for Windows users. Today, I review Everything, a free file search utility by VoidTools.

Even though  the Search feature in Windows 7 is a vast improvement over that offered by Windows XP, It can still take a heck of a long time to find the file or folder that you’re looking for. Enter Everything, a file/folder search utility that pre-indexes every file and folder on your system. The up-front indexing is considerably faster than the Win 7 search and Everything monitors your file system for changes. If you add “Document-x.doc” to a folder or move “Document-y.doc” from folder A to folder B, Everything will track the changes and the file name and path will be waiting for you the next time you need to look for it.

It’s dead simple to use Everything. Simply start it – if it’s the first time on this particular machine, you’ll have to wait a minute or so for your file system to be indexed – and type in the file/folder name. If you’re not quite sure of just what that file or folder name was, the search accepts wild cards (“*”). Everything begins to filter the indexed files the moment you begin typing and continues until you’ve either entered the complete name or have entered enough of the name to narrow down the list of possible files or folders.

What Everything does not do is search the contents of files. Fear not, there is a utility by Nirsoft that allows you to do just that. It too, is free and is knows as SearchMyFiles. While it will also search for file and folder names as well as the contents of files, its interface is a good bit more complex so it’s worthwhile to read the instructions on the download page. Dr. Data recommends that you use Everything for basic file and folder name searches and save SearchMyFiles for those times when you want to find a file based on its contents.

Either way, you’ve got two great search tools for Windows and they’re both FREE!

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