I have a Windows XP SP2 system where the Windows Explorer search is not able to find text in XML files. Is there some setting that enables searching in XML files? Search does find my text in .txt and .doc files in the same folder.

  • Windows Search doesn't really work the way you might expect. It doesn't scan every file for a specific search query, rather it looks through it's index. – Daisetsu May 13 '10 at 20:07

I know this doesn't directly answer your question, but if you're prepared to install some new software Notepad++ supports searching in files and will search in xml files quite happily.


AstroGrep should be able to find text within XML, or any other text files.


You can of course using Windows Search as show in the image below. After you set it up, you can use Windows extended/advanced search parameters in the file explorer search box as follows:

type:xml content:"search-words"

But, I noticed that this will not find the XML element itself, it will only find results by the element data and property values. Which is a kind of strange thing. So, best to use Notepad++ as it works very well.

Also, I noticed later that you can search by xml field name and value as follows:

type:xml fieldname:"field-name" field:"field-value"

Which is really good thing, but honestly, I am not getting consistent results, so use it as a guide only.

Setup Windows Search and Indexing


I like Search and Replace

  • 1
    While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. – HackToHell Aug 10 '12 at 14:17
  • @HackToHell I typically feel the way you do, but I'm not sure what information there is to add for a "try this product" answer. (Also, why did you comment under this answer and not the other two? I'm just curious if you arrived here from the /review page, like I did.) – Pops Aug 10 '12 at 17:38
  • @HackToHell Ah, never mind, I just realized that this is one of the auto-comment options under "Recommend deletion." – Pops Aug 10 '12 at 17:58
  • @LordTorgamus And I realized just now that if I recommend a page for deletion a comment gets inserted. – HackToHell Aug 11 '12 at 0:33

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