Every Explorer window has a search box in the top right corner and sometimes it is very useful. If you are browsing the Documents folder for example, you can enter a filename or partial name and it will display a list of matching files.
There are two problems and one is that Explorer’s search is not very fast unless you are searching a small number of files in a small number of folders. It also limits the search to the obvious places like your Documents, Pictures, Music and Videos folder. If files are elsewhere it does a poor job of finding them.
Cortana has search capabilities in Windows 10 and it can find files and apps, but it suffers from the same problems. It is good at finding certain things in specific places, but when a file can be anywhere on the disk then it may not find it.
Lookeen Free Desktop Search aims to be faster and more powerful. It is certainly worth installing this free tool on your desktop if you often search for files. The best features are reserved for the Pro edition, but the freebie has plenty of functionality and is a fine search tool, too.
After installing the software, go to the Index menu and click Start. This begins a scan of the disk drive and it compiles the results into a database. It takes time to build the index, so minimise it and leave it running for a few hours.
When the index is complete, just type a word or two into the search box at the top. Almost instantly the search results display below. In fact, results are displayed as you type, so the file you want might be listed even before you finish typing.
Lookeen searches not only filenames, but also file contents. This enables you to find files, such as text files and documents, even though you don’t know the filename. Just enter a word or phrase that could be contained within a file.
If you know when the file was created, click the Everytime menu and select the date, such as This Week or This Month.
Lookeen contains its own viewer and selecting a file displays it in a panel on the right. Images, PDFs and documents display there, so if there are several matching files in the results, you can select each one and view it.
Double clicking a file in the search results launches the application that is associated with the extension, so double click a JPEG and the image opens in whatever photo viewer or editor is associated with JPEGs.
The History menu remembers your recent searches and they can be performed again by pointing and clicking on the one you want. The History menu shows only recent searches, but the Favourites menu enables you to save searches like bookmarks, so you can easily use them again.
Lookeen Free Desktop Search is a useful tool that can be used when Windows Search fails, or even all the time as a better alternative. You don’t even need to find it to run it and pressing both left and right Ctrl keys on the keyboard opens the search window.
You can even search without opening the program. Right click the icon at the right side of the taskbar, enter your search term in the box and click Search.
Add this to your collection of Freeware tools.