I need to search for an old file in a large directory.
Unfortunately, the index isn't able to locate it, and I only have keywords to search for which may be in the body of the file rather than the filename.

I'd like to perform a non-indexed search (I know this will take a long time to search), because I'm certain the file is there somewhere, and I do not have any other copies of this file.

I know you could circumvent the index in previous versions of Windows, but I can't seem to figure out how to do it in Windows 10.
Perhaps I've simply forgotten how to do it. ;)

  • Isn't it the same like in Windows 7? Enter content: yoursearchhere in the search bar in Explorer. Also you can go to Tools > Folder options…. Search tab and select Always search file names and contents Again currently on Windows 7 so aint sure if its the same in Windows 10. – Davidenko Jun 16 '16 at 16:01
  • @Davidenko Those methods still utilize the index, unfortunately. My main issue is I need to perform a barebones old-school non-indexed search, and let it run for a couple hours. – Giffyguy Jun 16 '16 at 16:12
  • To use content: you don't have to have this location pre-indexed, you can plug portable drive or search network map like this... Please try it if it doesn't work explain more because I don't understand why my solution isn't good enough. – Davidenko Jun 18 '16 at 7:17

I just stumbled upon this question and needed the same.

I did not find a native windows solution for this via the UI. I achieved this by using 3rd party applications. (CSearcher, FileSeek, ...)

However there is a method using PowerShell. You can search using Get-ChildItem and pipe it into the Select-String cmdlet


Get-ChildItem –Path D:\MyFolder -Include *filename* -Exclude *.pdf -Recurse -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Select-String -Pattern "MyContentPattern"

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