What is the best, free, grep application for use with Windows instead of Linux?

  • findstr is an alternative and comes with windows.
    – Moron
    Commented Aug 9, 2010 at 17:45
  • possible duplicate of Unicode grep for Windows
    – akira
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 20:12

6 Answers 6


You could also download Cygwin, which has a full Unix-style toolkit, including grep, AWK, and all the servers.

  • I understand that all of Cygwin can sound intimidatingly heavyweight to some Windows developers, but I have to say: If you aren't using this set of unixy command-line tools, even on your Windows projects, you are stunting your development as a programmer. The reason they are 40 years old but still thriving is that they are simply the best tool for many jobs, and smart people will still be using them to solve difficult problems 40 years from now. How many other technologies could remotely come close to claiming the same thing? Commented Jun 8, 2012 at 12:14

Either use Grep for Windows or the findstr command suggested by Moron.


http://unxutils.sourceforge.net/ has a bunch of GNU tools ported to Windows.


Newer versions of Windows include a built-in grep, called findstr. It'll do just about whatever you need. For example

C:\>findstr /I windows c:\boot.ini
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professio
nal" /fastdetect /NOEXECUTE=ALWAYSON

For more info, just run findstr /? on a command prompt.


I know this has been dormant, but I don't see very many options listed. I just came across AstroGrep referenced by twlichty at How to search inside files... and it works fine for me. As to "best", I think that is subjective, but I prefer command line grep and this is a GUI tool, but my preference is not enough to keep me looking...


FART provides some of the functionality of grep, depends on your requirements but I recommend you take a look:


  • 3
    How are we supposed to take that seriously? Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 22:06

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