The Best Windows Search Alternatives

Are you feeling annoyed by the sluggish Windows search? Discover the top-notch alternatives for Windows Search that excel at executing flawless searches right on your desktop.

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Windows is equipped with an inherent desktop search feature that can explore various items such as files, folders, drives, or even the entire system. Furthermore, Windows encompasses an indexing tool that systematically organizes all files housed within the computer. This indexing empowers swifter retrieval of results when conducting searches. However, it’s worth noting that the efficiency of Windows search occasionally wanes, occasionally even inducing momentary pauses in the overall functionality of the operating system. Consequently, what other options might one consider exploring?

Everything

Everything windows search application

Commencing with one of the most highly endorsed search applications accessible, “Everything” stands out as an exceptionally potent option. The nomenclature of this tool arises from its capacity to exhibit every single file and directory located within your computer, hence the name “Everything.”

“Everything” is compatible with and executable on any Windows device spanning from XP to 10. Upon initial launch, the application undertakes a comprehensive scanning and indexing of all your files and directories. The creators of “Everything” affirm that this process is remarkably swift.

“A fresh install of Windows 10 (about 70,000 files) will take about 1 second to index. 1,000,000 files will take about 1 minute.”

Once this indexing procedure concludes, “Everything” enables you to seamlessly scour through your complete array of files and folders. The predominant advantage of “Everything” in contrast to Windows’ native search lies in its instantaneous responsiveness; the files aligning with your search criteria materialize in real-time with each keystroke. This translates to reduced waiting time for the search mechanism to sift through your files and directories, thereby affording you more time to access your desired content. Moreover, the resource utilization is impressively minimal—an index encompassing a million files occupies merely 50MB of RAM and 15MB of hard drive capacity.

UltraSearch

ultrasearch windows search app

UltraSearch stands out as my preferred choice due to its comprehensive range of features, including an advanced search function, adeptly meeting my computer search necessities. Its interface closely resembles that of Everything, differing mainly in the drive selection process and utilization of exclusion filters.

The advanced search capability of UltraSearch is notably robust. Employing wildcards and various operators, such as employing double quotes for precise matching or utilizing regular expressions, is seamlessly supported. A standout attribute of UltraSearch is its integration of a context menu option, enabling instant folder-specific searches. A simple right-click on any desired folder permits the selection of UltraSearch, initiating a search confined to that specific folder.

In contrast to alternatives like Everything or Windows Search, UltraSearch operates without the need for file indexes or databases. Instead, it achieves remarkable search speed by directly interfacing with the Master File Table within the NTFS file system.

Listary

Listary windows 10 windows 11 search app

Occasionally, there’s a desire for a search engine to be readily accessible and user-friendly. This is precisely where Listary excels, seamlessly integrating with Windows Explorer. When on the lookout for a specific file, just navigate to its enclosing directory (or even its subsequent parent directories) and input the file’s name. Bypass the need to launch Windows or initiate any applications; a simple initiation of typing within Explorer triggers a search for corresponding files.

Moreover, Listary boasts additional enhancements to enrich your search experience. Navigating across search results allows Listary to automatically navigate to the location of each identified file within the folder structure. Upon locating the desired file, a press of Ctrl + O presents a range of fundamental options applicable to the file, like copying or relocating it to the present directory. Expanding the search scope to encompass the entire computer is as straightforward as pressing Ctrl within the search bar. This expanded search functionality also encompasses rapid software launch links for seamless access.

SearchMyFiles

SearchMyFiles windows search app

Possibly, you might desire a more advanced solution capable of effectively managing highly detailed and intricate queries. For instance, you could be interested in determining the exact file size, creation date, and read-only status of a specific file. Basic search engines are inadequate for handling such specialized searches; however, this is precisely where the utility of SearchMyFiles becomes evident.

While its appearance may not be particularly striking, its functionality is exceptionally proficient in catering to those seeking extremely precise and targeted search parameters. It boasts compatibility with all Windows operating systems, ranging from 2000 to 10, and takes pride in its adeptness at executing intricate search operations. What’s even more advantageous is that once the search process concludes, you have the option to export the search results to a document or directly to your clipboard, facilitating effortless sharing if the need arises.

Duplicate File Finder

auslogics Duplicate File Finder windows 10 windows 11 search app

The aforementioned methods are suitable when your objective involves locating specific documents, directories, or software. However, what if your goal is to identify identical copies of a file in order to enhance your system’s organization? Even more intriguingly, what if you aim to pinpoint duplicate files that might be labeled differently? The Auslogics Duplicate File Finder successfully addresses this complex issue.

It’s important to note that this search mechanism doesn’t merely focus on file names and then highlight duplicates. This is because two files bearing identical names could potentially contain entirely dissimilar content, rendering them non-duplicates. To surmount this, the search engine delves deeper, ensuring authentic duplication before presenting the files for potential removal. Impressively, Auslogics goes a step further by detecting duplicate files that possess distinct filenames, thus significantly amplifying its potency.