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What’s the fastest desktop search tools you’ve used on Windows?

Hi, I am running Windows Searver 2008 and their search functionality is horrendous (IMO). There are absolutely no settings I can tweak, chose to search contents rather than file names, etc. I need a better tool. It does not have to be lightning fast, but do what I need. I do not want to write my own Python script. The tool must be free / open source and not shareware. Thank you!

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marked as duplicate by Diago Jan 26 '10 at 5:24

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Possible duplicate: superuser.com/questions/8654/… –  Mehper C. Palavuzlar Jan 25 '10 at 22:42
Just FYI, indexing makes searching much much faster. A difference of a few seconds versus a several minutes for searching across the entire PC. Also, definite duplicate of previous question. –  davr Jan 25 '10 at 23:09

5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Maybe not a full solution, but you could try a search program with the odd name of "everything". See http://www.voidtools.com

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It's lightning fast and ultra lightweight but it doesn't search contents –  ino Jan 25 '10 at 23:08
excellent program, but unfortunately it doesn't fit the bill, Everything is indexing "things". –  Molly7244 Jan 25 '10 at 23:38

Some of my personal favorites for Windows include:

Agent Ransack (freeware):

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NirSoft SeachMyFiles (freeware and portable):

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Both are not only highly "tweakable" with the search options, but they can search file names as well as contents.

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my opinion does not count for much around here but yet a simple WDS install has always worked rather well for me. It is freeware from MS (yes, believe it). Version 2.6 was the best as it was simple and powerful. I still keep a copy around as all later versions tended to stink. IT does not have alot of the bells and whistles of other search engines but again its usefullness lies in it;s simplicity. Never liked any Google product for PC search. they may do the net ok but they just dont do search justice on a pc. you can still get it here.


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Total Commander features a powerful search assistant (and doesn't index "things").

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Based on your reference to a python script, it seems obvious you aren't afraid of a command line (python is my first choice for everything that I can't do with existing command line tools) I'll recommend a win32 port of the unix find command, recommended in


Granted it's not for everybody, but I swear by it.

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