I need a tool to find files (by name pattern, or by content) under Windows, that supports correctly the 64 bit environment.

The embedded search tool in Windows 7 is great for indexed content, but does not work well if you have to find files in system folders and program files (e.g, all the instances of a DLL in the system). 32 bit third party tools often don't work well in the 64 bit environment, due to the redirection of system32 and program files.

What tool can I use?


dir <startpath>\<searchpattern> /s

So if I wanted to search for foo.dll on the entire c: drive, I'd use:

dir c:\foo.dll /s

For all files starting with foo under my user directory:

dir c:\users\myUserName\foo* /s

  • 1
    I'd been wondering if I was the only one doing that. :) Oct 6 '10 at 18:44
  • Nice, but not user friendly.
    – Wizard79
    Oct 6 '10 at 19:51
  • what specifically is not user-friendly about it? That it's command line and not GUI? Or is it the way it outputs the results or something? Oct 6 '10 at 22:32
  • @calavera: yes, being command line makes it not user friendly. And also the output is less useful: you can't right click or double click a result.
    – Wizard79
    Oct 7 '10 at 7:28
  • @Lorenzo: As a software developer myself, I'm a bit surprised that you find the command line to be unfriendly. True, you can't right click or double click a result. However, you can pipe or log it, and you can get all the same information about the files (right click) or open the files (double click) from the command line that you can get in any GUI interface. I suppose it just takes being a bit more used to using the keyboard rather than a mouse. Oct 7 '10 at 14:50

If you don't mind paying, Filelocator might be what you're looking for.

  • Nice but does not worth $39.95...
    – Wizard79
    Oct 6 '10 at 20:16

For a free alternative, the File Manager Q-Dir, has an excellent file find capability if command line execution is not to your liking.

For a paid alternative, I have been using the PowerDesk series of File Managers from v.4 to the newest which is v.8. Don't care for the customer service at all but the product has been a boon to me.


I like Agant Ransack (freeware) for searching file contents and Search Everything (freeware) for searching by filename.

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