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I mean scenario when I am in Windows Explorer, I select a directory and I want to press a keyboard shortcut that will open Windows file search dialog with base directory set with this selected folder.

Win-F doesn't work. It opens the dialog in default state.

UPDATE: I see that CTRL-F shows some search option on the left, and if I click "Files and folders" it gives me what I want (search dialog). But this one click is still annoying. If someone finds something better, please let me/us know.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Click Change preferences in the search sidebar, then Change files and folders search behavior, choose Advanced then click OK.

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This is the exact solution. – JohnM2 Feb 26 '10 at 14:02

I did use F3 and then Alt-L to bring up All files and folders. After a while it imprints itself into your memory.

Nowadays I use Launchy and a proper search tool - Everything.

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Windows key + F is the only shortcut I know about... other than right-click->find (or search).

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If you have selected a folder, you should be able to search inside it by pressing "Enter", which will put you inside the folder, then "Ctrl+F". For me, the default directory to search from is the directory I'm currently in.

Then if you want to go back to the previous (parent) directory using the keyboard, you can press Backspace.

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