Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a rather large source code repository on my machine; it is not indexed by Windows Search. I am trying to find some oddly-named generated files of the form .#name.extension.version where name and extension are normal names and extensions and version is a numeric value (e.g. something like 1.186). On Windows XP I could find these files by searching for .#*; on Windows 7 that just returns every single file and directory. So my question is this: is it possible to find files named like that using the built-in Windows 7 search functionality?

I did find this question which is very similar, but the answer doesn't work for me; it seems like any special character I put in the query is either ignored or treated as a wildcard, and as a result it matches every single file and directory.

Is there perhaps some registry value I can set to make the search-by-filename feature work with special characters?

share|improve this question
Every character is special in its own way. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Feb 15 '11 at 15:34

Doh, I stumbled upon the answer after consulting the Advanced Query Syntax reference again. Searching for filename:.#* gives me the XP search behavior.

share|improve this answer

I found this:

This makes me think that the star character ("*") is the escape character for special characters in Windows Advanced Query Syntax and that it comes BEFORE the special character.

I tried it and found that #* doesn't work but that *# DOES work. I think the other answerer might have gotten this backwards.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.