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I cannot for the life of me figure out a way to have Windows 7 Explorer search for files with no extension. In XP it was nice and simple: just search for files named *. but in 7, that does not work and returns all files, as does ext:..

Searching has become extremely burdensome in Windows 7. Does anyone know how to perform this previously simple task?

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I'd like to see a solution with out having to resort to 3rd party apps, but this should do what you need. mythicsoft.com/agentransack –  skub Jan 15 '12 at 2:35
Might be a fix for Windows search here...davidlenihan.com/2009/06/teaching_windows_about_files_w.html –  Moab Jan 15 '12 at 2:40
Windows Search isn't the most intuitive syntax. I'm curious about the history and development of Windows Search and where did it start. –  surfasb Jan 15 '12 at 5:25
Re: Moab's link - > Files that don't have an extension (like "makefile") do not work well in Windows. Not true; XP had no problems with extensionless files, or even nameless files (eg `.htaccess'). Sure, Explorer was a bit tricky and the command-line was easier to use for these, but there were never any problems with the search function. –  Synetech Jan 15 '12 at 6:50
> Windows Search isn't the most intuitive syntax. I'm curious about the history and development of Windows Search and where did it start. Probably a (messy) mix between wildcards, regex, competing with Google, and excessive drug-use. I wouldn’t be so mad if it were only Windows Search that were the problem, but in Win7, even the regular search function in Explorer is broken because they decided to replace Explorer’s search function with the broken Windows Search. :roll: I don’t know what’s worse; the ineffective/difficult new syntax, or that it always takes 100% CPU to do anything/nothing. –  Synetech Jan 15 '12 at 6:52

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

According to MSDN, the nothing character is []. So press F3 and enter ext:[].

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That kind of, almost works. It returns file that indeed have no extension, but it also returns some files that are labeled as having no extension even though they contain one or more periods, as well as all folders, even ones that contain periods. Hmm, it looks like Windows 7 cannot even tell the type of files and/or correctly parse filenames/extension. (I like Win7 less and less every day.) –  Synetech Jan 15 '12 at 7:01
Strange, files with multiple periods by definition have an extension and those files don't show up on my system. Folders have extensions also, so that isn't just for files. If you want just files you should add a filter:NOT kind:folder since it implicitly searches all object types, not just files. I can't help you with the Win 7 like/dislike. –  surfasb Jan 15 '12 at 9:04

As @surfasb points out the [] can be used to represent 'nothing', and you can use it with the ext: filter.

You can then use that in combination with the type: filter and tell it to NOT show file folders:

ext:[] type:NOT"file folder"

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