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 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.
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:
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 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.