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Find file in Windows 7

If you are used to windows XP, then you will agree with me that figuring out on how to find a file in Windows 7 is not exactly as straight forward. I will guide you on how to find files in Windows 7.

Steps in finding files in Windows 7

  • Click on the Start button on the status bar.
    Find file windows 7 - Start button
  • Type what you are looking for in the Search box , for example, "letter"
    Find file windows 7 - Search box

Results based on file properties such as text in the file name, text in the file e.t.c begin to show as you type. Results from search menu are usually files that have been indexed. If a file is not indexed, it might be in the system but will NOT show in the results. If you don't see the file you are looking for, don't panic!

If you still can't find your file...

  • Click at See more results
    Find file windows 7 - See more results
  • In the window that opens, select the drive to search in, e.g: "C:" and enter a search term in the Folder Search Box
    Find file windows 7 - Folder Search

You can refine your search to narrow down to the specific file you are looking for. In my example above, instead of "letter" I typed "*letter*.doc". This tells Windows 7 to look for a file with the word "letter" in the filename and must be a Word Document i.e extension is ".doc" . Since I selected "C:" as the place to search in, Windows 7 will search in Drive C:

Narrow down your file search

Search by File Name

Here are more examples on how you can refine your search:

  • *.txt - Find all text files
  • *quotation.xls - find all Ms Excell files where filename ends with "quotation" - NB: "xls" is Excell file extension.
  • *invoice*.???x - find all Office 2007 files with the word "invoice" as part of the filename. This matches stuff like, "invoice.docx", "november invoices.xlsx" e.t.c. Office 2007 file extentions end with "x" - offcourse the creteria will also match any extension that has 4 characters ending with "x" in the file extension.
Search by Content

Windows 7 has syntax for searching files containing a particular word or phrase.

Search as follows:

Search by Date

In Windows 7 there is a way to search files by date which the file was created or modified.

Refine your search as follows:

  • Find a file created on "13th January 2009", type in the folder search box : datecreated:13/1/2009
  • Find a file created between "13th January 2009" and "15th January, 2009", type in the folder search box : datecreated:13/1/2009 .. 15/1/2009. Notice 2 dots between the ates.
  • Find a file modified between "13th January 2009" and "15th January, 2009", type in the folder search box : datemodified:13/1/2009 .. 15/1/2009. Again notice 2 dots between the dates.

You can also use 'greater than/smaller than' signs in your syntax like "datemodified:<13/1/2009" for documents modified before the specified date.

Search by File Size

To search by date, use the word size: in the search box. Windows 7 will display options as shown below where you can select the option matching you needs.

Find file windows 7 - Search by date

If you love freedom to customize your search - like me - , then you can take this further as follows:

  • Find file larger than 50MB - size:>50MB
  • Find file smaller than 10MB - size:<10MB
  • Find file smaller than 10MB but greater than 7MB i.e between 7.xMB and 9.xMB - size:<10MB>7MB
  • Find file which is about 8.5MB - size:=8.5MB

You can also use 'KB' for Kilo Bytes.

Still can't find your missing file?

At this point you probably want to think outside the box! Install this find file utility and it may help you.Share this Article

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