Editorial: Has Windows Search Got Any Better Over The Years? Hint: It Hasn't

Zeromus

Posts: 228   +17
I'll second the vote for Everything.

Also if you use Windows key + F you get a global search which has more filters and can search in more places, and also displays the result in a much better format. I have no idea how else to get to it, so it's certainly possible that few people know about it (hey, I didn't until a few minutes ago).

I hated it when Google removed support for '+'. There's now no way to tell the search engine "I really want this word in the result".
They changed it where quoted terms have the same effect. Hope that helps.
 

Jesse

Posts: 358   +42
Finding things 10x faster is one thing. The problem is the index can skip things and not display the results you are after. To me that is unacceptable and the reason I don't bother with indexed search.

Also configuration of the content indexing... there is no automated smarts for this. It is manual config to set it one way or another and have you looked at the list of extensions windows has registered?? Who wants to spend hours or even days configuring the settings or validating the existing ones from some seemingly endless list??

As I mentioned, I am talking about searching of network shares. They are not indexed.
 

JohnnyStone

Posts: 68   +37
I never ever use Windows search. If you have Total Commander, why would one? It is not only Windows' search which is terrible, it's file manager or explorer cannot even be compared to the old DOS Norton Commander. If you have TC your file system becomes liberated. The same goes for Android with TC (use Beta 2.0).

Why MS cannot learn from others in this area after so many years and billions of Dollars research, blows my mind.
 

ET3D

Posts: 1,762   +407
For me this search box is no different than the one shown in my screenshot in the article.
It is the same search box that you can invoke when performing a search under the start-menu in Windows 7 and then press "See more results" at the bottom of the menu... (Or in 2000/XP by going to "Start > Search > For Files or Folders...")

You're right. I guess I skimmed the article too much. :)
 

avoidz

Posts: 460   +59
I also miss Windows 2000. Remember you can always configure XP's "dog search" to look like the Windows 2K search box too, without any third-party tools.

SearchMyFiles is another alternative search program to try (free).
 

Per Hansson

Posts: 1,976   +233
Staff member
I disagree. The standard image at my workplace is a windows xp image. I use a non-standard windows 7 machine and people come to me just to search for things on the network because I can find things ten times faster than the xp machines.
As I mentioned, I am talking about searching of network shares. They are not indexed.
They are indexed if the server is Windows Server 2008 or later.
This is great at my workplace when it works, which is sadly only 1/10 times.
But the reason for that is not Windows fault, I think it is filesystem permissions on the server preventing indexing from being performed (It runs under the System account)
It is possible to fix, I linked to this article previously, see the question: "Why aren't files from an indexed folder showing up in search results?"
I have sent the same link to our IT dept ages ago, but I can only lead a horse to water, I can not force it to drink :D

while my search for check operates as if I entered *check*.*
and I do find checklist.doc, user_checks.xls, etc . . .
Do you know what you have changed to get this behavior?
Because it is not the default, and I have used search on enough Windows 7 machines to know this ;)

I also miss Windows 2000. Remember you can always configure XP's "dog search" to look like the Windows 2K search box too, without any third-party tools.
Yes, I do this myself on every XP machine I need to use for more than 5 minutes :)
And on machines I use more regularly than that I disable the functionality that connects to Microsoft each time you enter the search window via a group policy in gpedit.msc
Likewise I disable the "open with" file association web service which has the same functionality of looking at the web for your application to open files with, saves a useless dialog box each time I open it up...

I try to find the file while waiting for the "search" to "find" files. As it turns out I tend to put files where I will most probably find them
Yea I do things the same way, I can recall where I have all files on my PC without even booting it up, since I have everything nicely structured.
Sadly I can't apply the same logic at work because there works 250 other people there :p
 
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DelJo63

my search for check operates as if I entered *check*.*
and I do find checklist.doc, user_checks.xls, etc . . .
Do you know what you have changed to get this behavior?
Because it is not the default, and I have used search on enough Windows 7 machines to know this ;)
Actually, NO :sigh:
I did use the Advanced Options to select the directories to be search, eg a few \root-dirs, the \users and to not look at AppData.

I was hoping that there was a [x] search file contents I could negate, but that's not there (in Win\7 at least).

I also took the time to REBUILD after making these changes to prune uninteresting contents.

ps: personally, I wish it were more literal in the requests, eg doc <> doc* <> *doc* <> *doc*.*
 

Per Hansson

Posts: 1,976   +233
Staff member
I was hoping that there was a [x] search file contents I could negate, but that's not there (in Win\7 at least).
This is possible, under Indexing Options > Advanced > File Types
Select "Index Properties Only" for the documents that you don't want to index file contents for...
 
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DelJo63

UPDATE: Just verified your suggestion. a) it is global and not per file type and (get this) b) is already set.

That makes Win/7 search really bizarre ; it ignores the option and indexes content anyway -- oops, I forgot, this is Windows.
 

digge

Posts: 10   +1
I might be a bit old school when it comes to searching. But whenever the windows search doesnt give me the results im expecting I go back to the good old cmd.exe.

Doing a "dir file.txt /s" takes about 10 seconds on my ssd system drive (from the root of the drive). And best of all is it supports wildcards and is all built in :p
 
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DelJo63

Doing a "dir file.txt /s" takes about 10 seconds on my ssd system drive (from the root of the drive). And best of all is it supports wildcards and is all built in :p
But that's not windows - - - that's DOS and Windows does everything better [just kidding, actually quite brilliant buddy!]
 

Per Hansson

Posts: 1,976   +233
Staff member
jobeard it might be that you need to rebuild your index in the advanced indexing options for the changes to take effect
digge yes, this is actually how I do it on our NT4 / 2000 / XP based Siemens machines to find stuff, since they by default do not load explorer.exe so there is no windows user interface available when the HMI is loaded...
 
G

Guest

Started using Fedora 17 x64. Don't have enough money to afford a x64 bit Windows OS. Fedora is free and works very well! Getting x64 bit is essential for being more productive.
 
G

Guest

For basic searching I have found Win 7 search to be good however it does have it's quirks. I have had times where I search for file.doc and in Start it shows up but not in Explorer, even though I can see file.doc in the current folder. I've had some users that have to reindex fairly frequently to get accurate results. I do like the network integration with 2008 R2, that has come in handy. As for Windows 8 search, I don't like the fact that I have to start the search and then click on a Category such as Settings to find what I'm looking for, just display everything.
 
G

Guest

Once again yet more proof of how moronic M$ is.. and sadly they just don't learn.

Fancier is NOT better. results are.

Win8 is another in the looooooooooooooooong list of f'ups from M$... hardly a shock though.


For those that doubt (fanboi's).. bet you don't remember "Edlin"
 
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DelJo63

jobeard it might be that you need to rebuild your index in the advanced indexing options for the changes to take effect
I did :) As I'm getting too much rather than too little, I'll opt to leave good enough alone.

btw: mapping a drive to OS X 10.4 system and using the folder search for doc finds doc.txt as well as letters.doc
 

stansfield

Posts: 100   +28
Why bother with windows search at all.
Just download EVERYTHING. Have used it for years on all systems and it's brilliant. I wonder why Micr osoft haven't bought them up!!
 
G

Guest

I subscribe to, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Hence, my business will continue to run on three WinXP machines until I absolutely must up grade. A tool to quickly find a particular file from among the thousands of files stashed onto my hard drive over the past decade is essential to my business. I long ago gave up on the various Microsoft search tools and switched to Copernic professional. It has kinks that need to be straightened out every few months, but in general it works. However, it too will not find "pack" in search where the term is not at the head of the "word" such as in 10pack. My assumption has been that Copernic was going to be forced out of business as Microsoft added these great new search tools in their new operating systems, but perhaps that is not the case.
 
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DelJo63

Why bother with windows search at all.
Just download EVERYTHING. Have used it for years on all systems and it's brilliant. I wonder why Micr osoft haven't bought them up!!
I think you missed the focus of the issue; searching our personal PC hard drives - - by definition, it's all local already :grin:
 

stansfield

Posts: 100   +28
Jobeard
???? Thats what everything does, it searches all local drives instantly unlike the cumbersome m/s
search function??