With Windows 10 Microsoft Added Cortana to search files/folders, complete tasks, as well as organize your calendar. For those who don’t know about Cortana, it is a virtual assistant, similar to Apple’s Siri, built into the Windows 10 OS. Did you feel you spend too much time searching for things on your PC and not enough time actually doing things? Today, in this post, we’re going to share some superb Windows 10 Search tricks help you make searches easily.
- 1 Windows 10 Search Tricks
- 1.1 Filter your Windows search
- 1.2 Did you know you can Search From File Explorer?
- 1.3 Save your searches for quick results
- 1.4 Settings app vs. Control Panel Search Results
- 1.5 Quick calculations on Windows Search Bar
- 1.6 Use Wildcards For Advanced Search results
- 1.7 Use File Properties to search for files and folders too
- 1.8 Use Boolean Filters For combining search terms
Windows 10 Search Tricks
Here are some best-hidden windows 10 search tricks such as you can Filter your Windows search, Quick calculations on Windows Search Bar, Search From File Explorer, Save your searches for quick results, Use Wildcards For Advanced Search results, Settings app vs. Control Panel Search Results etc probably didn’t know about it.
Filter your Windows search
In Windows 10, you can search either by typing in your search query or simply asking Cortana. While using the search box in the taskbar, you can instantly get results from your local files, documents, web, and elsewhere. But did you know Windows 10 has search filters that can help you narrow the results? Have you noticed those icons at the top of the search panel? Those are your filters. You can also click the down-arrow button in the top-right corner to see all of the filters available to you.
If you know where you want to look before you begin a search, you can type in a filter term right in the search box. Just enter a filter term – Apps, Documents, Folders, Music, Photos, Settings, Videos, and Web — followed by a colon and then add your search terms.
Did you know you can Search From File Explorer?
The Cortana-powered search box in the taskbar is not the only search box in Windows 10. Just like you use Chrome or Edge to browse or search the web, you can use Windows Explorer to search terms in your Windows system. If you’re already in Windows Explorer, there is no need to jump out of that window to find a file. Simply use the search box at the top-right side of your system’s screen. It will consequently search for the directory you’ve selected in the left panel. However, results may be a bit slow when you search for a large directory but searching a particular file or folder in Windows Explorer is much faster.
Save your searches for quick results
If you find yourself performing the same searches day after day, you can save your searches in Windows Explorer to make those subsequent searches easier. After entering your search terms in Windows Explorer’s search box, click the Search tab from the ribbon that runs along the top of the window. Here, you can tweak your search parameters for the date, file size and type, and so on. When you have your search parameters set just right, click Save the search and give your search query a name. Your saved searches are saved in the Searches folder of your user folder by default, but you can save them to any folder you like.
When you set your search parameters, just click on the Save Search button and give your search query a name. This way your saved searches are saved inside the Searches folder by default, but you can save them to any folder you like. Next time simply double-clicks on the saved file to get the Search results immediately.
Settings app vs. Control Panel Search Results
Windows 10 added a new and useful Settings app but the old Control Panel is still kicking around. It’s a confusing arrangement and I still don’t know which settings are in the Settings app and which are in the Control Panel. Thankfully, there is a way to search for both. When you search using the search box in the taskbar, the results under Settings will have either a black-and-white icon next to them or a color icon.
Here is your key:
- Black-and-white icon = a setting in the Settings app
- Color icon = a setting in the Control Panel
The Settings app also shows results from the Control Panel (in addition to settings from within itself, of course) with the same colorful icons and will kick you over to the Control Panel when you click on such a search result.
Quick calculations on Windows Search Bar
For a simple calculation, you can skip the step of searching for Windows 10’s Calculator app and just enter an equation directly in the search box in the taskbar. Not only will you get your answer right then and there, but you’ll also get an online calculator courtesy of Bing for further number crunching.
Use Wildcards For Advanced Search results
Wildcards are used as fillers to make name guesses for searching information when you aren’t sure of the exact keyword to look for. It helps you retrieve the results by substituting the wildcard with possible guesses/combinations of letters and searching those names.
Here are details about each wildcard character:
- * (asterisk): It’s replaced by none, one or more characters. If you type ‘eas*’, it tells to search all names starting from ‘eas’ and the names can/can’t end with more characters, and hence, the results will include the words ‘eas’, ‘easy’, ‘easier’, etc.
- ? (question mark): It’s replaced by just one character (and not none too). If you type ‘ad?pt’, then it can display the names like ‘adapt’, ‘adopt’, ‘adept’, etc.
- # (pound or hashtag): It’s replaced by a set of numeric digits. If you type ‘2#4’, then it will display ‘204’, ‘214’, and any name including any numbers between 2 & 4.
Use File Properties to search for files and folders too
File Properties means the properties or metadata or details about the file(s), for example, its creation date, file type, author (or creator), etc. These can be used to search for files and folders too – it’s like having more information than just filenames to search efficiently.
Some of examples of file properties are described below:
- name (File Name): Include part of or full name in your search query to find using file names. For example, for a file named ‘May Worksheet’, type ‘May’ or ‘work’ and more. One can also use key/value pairs like ‘name: May’, ‘name: work’, etc.
- kind (File Kind): Include the kind of file you are looking for, like ‘document’, ‘audio’, etc. One can also use key/value pairs like ‘kind: document’, ‘kind: other’, etc.
- type (File Type/Extension): Include the file format name like TXT, DOCX, JPG, BMP, etc. One can also use key/value pairs such as ‘type: EXE’, ‘type: TXT’, etc.
- tags (Tags): Include any tag or keyword which is used to describe that file(s). One can also use key/value pairs such as ‘tags: project’, ‘tags: school’, etc.
- author (Author): Include the author’s name to search for files using their creator(s). One can also use key/value paid, for example, ‘author: john’, ‘author: lina’, etc.
Use Boolean Filters For combining search terms
The Boolean filters allow advanced searches by combining search terms or phrases. There are various boolean operators and Make sure you type the filters in capital letters while performing such searches.
- AND: Include ‘AND’ to search for both terms. For example, ‘word AND pad’ searches for files having both these words and results ‘wordpad.exe’, ‘word notepad.txt’, etc.
- OR: Include ‘OR’ to search for any of the terms. For instance, ‘word OR pad’ searches for files having any of these words and results ‘word.exe’, ‘ notepad.txt’, etc.
- NOT: Include ‘NOT’ to not search that term. For example, ‘NOT pad’ searches for files not having this word and results ‘word.exe’, ‘word note.txt’, etc.
- Quotes: Include your query under double quotes “” to search for exact phrases or filenames, like ‘“new york Pics ”’ (including double quotes and excluding single quotes) shows files with the exact name ‘new york Pics’.
- Parentheses: Include your query under parentheses () to search for all of those words (but even if those are present in any order). For example, ‘(cricket football hockey)’ search gives ‘cricket hockey football.txt’, ‘hockey football cricket.docx’, etc.
- > (greater than): Include ‘>’ to search for greater/more than or later than some value such as ‘date: > 01/01/2016’ searches for documents created after 1st January 2016.
- < (lesser than): Include ‘<’ to search for less than or earlier than some value like ‘size: < 5 MB’ searches for files/documents taking less than 5 MB of storage.
These are some Advanced Windows 10 Search tricks that make your windows search better. I hope you find this post helpful. If you know any other Windows 10 Search tricks feel free to share with us in the comments below.