Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

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

Is there any way of customizing the behaviour of the search bar in the Start menu? It'd be useful to tell it to search particular directories or for particular file types.

I used to use Launchy for this, but it's unreasonably harsh on the CPU and HDD while it updates its index (which happens far too regularly) and shows no sign of being updated, and besides, I'd rather use a Windows-integrated feature.

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Read the first part of my answer to this question. Go into the Indexing Setings window as discribed and instead of un-ticking everything, tick the things you want Windows to index. Things that are indexed are what Windows uses to search, so if you only choose to index the 'My Documents' folder for example, when you search the only results will be from folders/files in the 'My Documents' folder.

share|improve this answer
Thanks, this should do the trick. Not as versatile as Launchy, but I guess I can't expect too much! – Will Vousden Jan 4 '10 at 19:56

I don't know specifically about Windows 7, but I think the Vista start menu acts similarly.

In Windows Vista, you can use keywords. For example,

aoeu name:fname tag:(Tag1, tag2) size:=17KB date:=Mon Jan 4 10 author:(Daniel)

Would search for

  • "aoeu"
  • in a file whose name included "fname"
  • tagged with Tag1 and tag2 (maybe OR, not AND; I don't use tags, so I'm not sure)
  • with a size of exactly 17 kilobytes
  • with a date of January 4th, 2010 (that's my short date format; you don't need to use the same format), and
  • with an author of Daniel

I'm also pretty sure that there's something like a type: option, but I don't know how to use it and I cand find it. I also can't find an official list of tags; I got this list from using the Advanced Search options in Windows Explorer.

Finally, a repeat of my previous disclaimer: some or all of these tags may have changed between Windows Vista and Windows 7.

share|improve this answer
This is also useful to know, thanks! – Will Vousden Jan 4 '10 at 19:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .