Why in the world can I not use *.* in Windows 7 search? All I want to do is return all the files in all the sub-directories in one location so I can sort by dimensions. Any one know how to return all files in a Windows search?

2 Answers 2


Try searching for ~* in the directory that you want to search.

The Tilde (~) lets you use the old DOS search syntax. The asterisk (*) means "return everything".

You could also use type:NOT"file folder" which would exclude the listing of all the folders but show all files.

Some sources for advanced query syntax:




  • Awesome, the ~* worked perfectly. Thanks a lot.
    – Sam
    Commented Jan 16, 2011 at 4:20
  • @perlox Hi perlox. Glad I could help! Please mark the answer with a check mark to indicate that your question has been answered.
    – James T
    Commented Jan 16, 2011 at 4:25
  • Oops sorry, almost forgot. Thanks for the reminder :P
    – Sam
    Commented Jan 16, 2011 at 8:04

I'm pretty sure just a ! will return everything in a given folder you're searching from.

  • You should verify your answer.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 23:23
  • Not sure what you're looking for, but I assure you that I tested (and researched to confirm) before posting the answer. Shall I provide screenshots? Is there an issue you've found with this approach?
    – rainabba
    Commented Apr 14, 2017 at 23:45

You must log in to answer this question.

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