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Is there any way to enable the old Windows XP explorer search on Windows 7? Since most of time I am only doing file/folder name search and using the advanced filter (file size/date modified/etc) a lot.

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If I remember correctly, in Win Vista search, there's an option to use traditional search. However, that has been took out in Windows 7. – Stan Apr 17 '11 at 7:09
@ Stan, No way to do what you want. Use an alternative search software. – Moab Apr 17 '11 at 15:24
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Not sure of any direct built-in way to enable the old-style search on Windows 7. However I did spot something called FileSearchEx which may be in the right direction:


FileSearchEX is for persons who want extremely fast no-nonsense file searching capabilities offered from a clean and intuitive application interface. In addition to the current offering advanced features are planned that will not interfere with design goals.

  • Users don't need to learn a new file search utility. XP style search.
  • Much lower system requirements than indexing search offerings.
  • Support for millions of found items for advanced scenarios.
  • Unicode support with internationalized installs planned.
  • Large environment easy installation options.

I checked the site and it looks like it's free for personal use.

There's another rather more functional application from NirSoft called SearchMyFiles which provides a lot of options to search for your files and folders.


SearchMyFiles is an alternative to the standard "Search For Files And Folders" module of Windows. It allows you to easily search files in your system by wildcard, by last modified/created/last accessed time, by file attributes, by file content (text or binary search), and by the file size. SearchMyFiles allows you to make a very accurate search that cannot be done with Windows search. For Example: You can search all files created in the last 10 minutes with size between 500 and 700 bytes.

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There's also Everything Desktop Search ( which supports (some) regular expressions in the search field. I use it mostly because it's so damned fast, but the regexes come in handy too. – Andrew Lambert Apr 17 '11 at 6:19
@ Amazed. This should be an Answer. – Moab Apr 17 '11 at 15:23

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