Search Your Windows Computer Faster

By | June 20, 2018
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Search Your Windows Computer Faster

As far as I know — or for as long as I can remember, at least — Windows has always had a search feature. It’s not always been very good however. And it’s certainly not the fastest. In Windows XP and Vista, the Windows search feature was not very good and certainly not very fast. Windows 7 brought some improvements – as did Windows 8x and Windows 10. But Windows search is still as fast as it should be, not as thorough as it should be, and not nearly as fast the two Windows search engines we’re going to cover here today.

And those  two search engines are: WizFile from AntiBody and Everything from Voidtools.

WizFile

WizFile is free, but it’s also donationware. If you like it and want to support its author, donations are encouraged – but not necessary.

I tested it this morning by searching my main Windows 10 computer for anything with the name of Cloudeight in it. Of course, on my computer there are thousands of them –that’s why I chose it for a search term.

In just about 3 seconds it found 6,836 items on this computer (all drives) with Cloudeight in the name. The same search using Windows search is still going on and after several minutes it is still slogging through my hard drives. And it has unearthed anywhere near the number of items that WizFile did in 3 seconds.

Let’s bring in the author of WizFile to tell you more about WizFile and why it’s so fast. For most of us, it doesn’t matter why it is, it only matters that it is… right?

What is WizFile?
WizFile is a very fast file search utility that can find files on your hard drive almost instantly. The entire file system can be quickly sorted by name, size or date. WizFile supports all types of hard drives, hard drive folders and network shares.

What makes WizFile so fast?
When scanning NTFS formatted hard drives (most modern hard drives use this format), WizFile reads the hard drive’s Master File Table (MFT) directly from the disk. The MFT is a special hidden file used by the NTFS file system to keep track of all files and folders on a hard drive. Scanning for files this way completely bypasses the operating system (Windows) and provides a huge performance boost.

How to Search
Just start typing and search results will appear. While WizFile is active is will monitor your hard drives for file changes. Any changes that affect the current search results will update on screen as they occur.

Right click on a file to bring up the file’s context menu. Click on a file name, pause slightly, then click again to rename it. Double click on a file name to open it using the default Windows method. Double click on the path name to open an explorer window at the file’s location. Hold down ALT while double clicking on the file path to open a command prompt at that location.

Wildcards
Use a * (asterisk) to match and one or more characters. Use a ? (question mark) to match any single character. For example, to search for all files that start with the letters “da”, type in:
da*

If your hankerin’ to read more about WizFile you can do so here.

You can download WizFile with an installer or as portable application in a zip file. Your choice. Download WizFile from here.

WizFile is a very impressive, amazingly fast and thorough search engine for your Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 (any version) computer.

Everything

Everything is not new, it’s been a around for a long time. It’s from Voidtools and you can email the author directly with your comments and qustions. His name is David Carpenter and he is willing to put his name and his email address on his site – and that says a lot about the program and the developer.

We were reminded of Everything by our friend and Cloudeight subscriber Jerry. We featured his question & comment on Everything in InfoAve Premium #766 .

After Jerry reminded us of Everything we gave it another try. It’s still a very fast and very thorough Windows search engine. And it has stood the test of time -it’s been around for a long time.

We did the same test with Everything that we did with WizFile and Everything found 5,493 items on my C:\ drive alone. Total search time was just about 5 seconds.

So, with our simple little test completed, it’s time to bring in David, the developer of Everything to answer your questions:

What is “Everything”?
“Everything” is search engine that locates files and folders by filename instantly for Windows.

Unlike Windows search “Everything” initially displays every file and folder on your computer (hence the name “Everything”).

You type in a search filter to limit what files and folders are displayed.

How long will it take to index my files?

“Everything” only indexes file and folder names and generally takes a few seconds to build its database.

A fresh install of Windows 10 (about 120,000 files) will take about 1 second to index.

1,000,000 files will take about 1 minute.

Does Everything search file contents?
Yes, “Everything” can search file content with the content: search function.

File content is not indexed, searching content is slow.

Does “Everything” hog my system resources?
No, “Everything” uses very little system resources.

A fresh install of Windows 10 (about 120,000 files) will use about 14 MB of ram and less than 9 MB of disk space.

1,000,000 files will use about 75 MB of ram and 45 MB of disk space.

Does “Everything” monitor file system changes?
Yes, “Everything” does monitor file system changes.

Your search windows will reflect changes made to the file system.

Is “Everything” free?
Yes, “Everything” is Freeware.

Please consider donating.

Does “Everything” contain any malware, spyware or adware?
No, “Everything” does not contain any malware, spyware or adware…

If you want to read more about Everything, visit this page.

Everything is available for download as a portable app or with an installer. It’s available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. You can download Everything from this page. 

WizFile and Everything: The difference between WizFile and Everything is that Everything indexes files and folders WizFile does not. Both are excellent Windows search engines. Both are much more thorough and much faster than Windows search.You can’t go wrong with either. So find what you’re looking for quickly with WizFile or Everything.

 

5 thoughts on “Search Your Windows Computer Faster

  1. Dawn Campbell

    Thank you so MUCH! I have been muddling through with all the Win 10’s updates and still want to put my fist through the screen when doing a search. It NEVER finds anything!!! I am going to try one of these. My knights in shining armour! Lol.

    Reply
  2. sara

    Don’t understand this paragraph on Wizfile: Can you enlighten me??

    Right click on a file to bring up the file’s context menu. Click on a file name, pause slightly, then click again to rename it. Double click on a file name to open it using the default Windows method. Double click on the path name to open an explorer window at the file’s location. Hold down ALT while double clicking on the file path to open a command prompt at that location.

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      It is just telling you how to work with files after you find them in the search. It’s not meant for anything else. This only applies to finds you find using the search. If you want right-click a file listed in the search results it brings up the file’s right-click context menu. This is the same as it is in Windows. Right-click any file and you’ll see a context menu open. At the bottom of the context menu is “Properties” where you can see the file’s properties. In WizFile you can double-click a file showing in the search results to open it – this is the same as Windows. In WizFile you can rename a file in WizFile by clicking a file, waiting a second then clicking again and typing in the name you want. You can double click on path to a file showing up in search and to open the file’s location on your computer. And if you hold down the ALT key wile clicking the file in the search results, you can open a command prompt at the file’s location. I’m not sure how useful some of these are. But some like clicking on the file path to open the file’s location or double-clicking on the file to open it are very useful. The main reason to use wizfile is to find something you’re looking for. If you don’t understand some of the advanced features, you probably don’t need them.

      Reply
  3. JoninOz

    Hi TC & EB,

    I may be old but at least I was educated correctly in the use of the English language, and to date, since I left school the use of the English language has become deplorably slovenly in it’s use by the majority of people who lack the whole comprehension of descriptive words for which they replace nonsense words to describe something which are positive descriptive words for the event, feeling, objects and like recognition.
    For instance, cool relates to weather, drinks or wind, bucks are male deer, guys are males, not collective males and females, meter is an instrument, metre is a measure, plough turns soil in a field, what on earth does a ”’plow”’ used for
    Faster is the speed of an object, eg ‘faster than the speed of light’.

    If one is searching for something in their computer there may be a method of searching quicker than previously thought if one takes the time to be quick when there is a knock on the door..

    Reply
  4. D.

    When I uninstall something Everything is the next thing I use. I have used this for a very long time. I did install WizFile and compared it to a few things with Everything and it was fine.

    I will stay with Everything because I have used it so long. It has done me well. I’m just not seeing any reason to change at this time. I will come back to WizFile if something happens to Everything.

    As always thanks for telling us about these. Very useful if you don’t have something like this. Microsoft search if you have used it, then you will really like these two choices above.

    Reply

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