Searching in Windows 7

October 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Search is built into every aspect of Windows 7, and as we get more and more files, documents, photos, music and videos in our personal libraries it can become harder to find things, especially if we haven’t looked at them in a while.

Search in Windows 7 works in a contextual way depending on what you’re searching in. For instance, search in the Start Menu will prioritise Start Menu items and programs, search in Explorer will prioritise documents and pictures, search in Internet Explorer will prioritise Favourite websites and browsing history and so on.

Alas, gone is the simple search of previous versions of Windows to be replaced by a more text-based search. When you start a search a drop down will ask if you want to add a search filter.

There and a great many of these which I shall detail but the basic ones Name: and Type: for file name and file type respectively would be used in the format…

Type: pdf

…if you were looking for Adobe Acrobat files. This is a way to help narrow down searches.

Kind: used to search the properties of a document type

Kind:email
Kind:tasks
Kind:notes
Kind:docs
Kind:music
Kind:song
Kind:folders
Kind:programs

Datemodified: to search by the date a file was modified

Datemodified:22/10/2008
Datemodified:22/10/08
Datemodified:yesterday
Datemodified:lastweek
Datemodified:pastmonth
Datemodified:27/03/03..1/4/08

Type: to search by file type

Type:image
Type:.doc
Type:.pdf

Name: searching by file name or by a property name for a file

Name:holiday
Name:wedding

Unfortunately the search syntax doesn’t let you double-up on search terms. For instance typing type:.docx, .pdf won’t bring up search results for all Word and PDF files.