If you have a Windows Explorer window open, and it has the focus, then typing something will select the first file or folder that starts with what was typed. This is useful, but I would like it to behave like e.g. TotalCommander's Quick Search or Quick Filter: it selects the first file/folder that matches any part of the filename that matches.

For example, if I have a folder which contains the following files:


Then typing y or yo, should select the file readyou.txt. (Currently the only way to select this file is to type at least ready)

Is it somehow possible to make Windows Explorer behave like this, either with built-in functionality or using a third-party tool (e.g. a plugin)?

  • you say that Total Comander can do this, why not to use it? It seems that this is impossible by default. Only first letter. Jan 23, 2013 at 14:40
  • @Ishiwaka: because, among others, that requires me to relearn a whole bunch of keyboard shortcuts and workflows. Jan 23, 2013 at 14:44

1 Answer 1


I offer this as a work around.

The only way I know (without a third party tool) is to use the asterisk (*) symbol and treat it in a similarISH way to a WildCard from within the search box.

E.g., if you had a text file on your PC called HolidayList.txt you could search for *day* and it would display.

Although I'm not sure how relevant to your question directly, there are some websites which list 'advanced' queries, such as http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2010/03/mastering-windows-search-using-advanced-query-syntax/

  • This only works in the Search box. I am not talking about the search box Jan 23, 2013 at 14:07
  • @Rabarberski Oh, I'm sorry, so if you have many files listed (eg abc.txt, bcd.txt and cde.txt) and typed the letter B it would jump to the first file in the list with a B (in this case bcd.txt)?
    – Dave
    Jan 23, 2013 at 14:09
  • Yes. But, if you typed ed I would want it to (in your example list) jump to cde.txt as this is the first file that contains the string ed. Jan 23, 2013 at 14:10
  • @Rabarberski And you want it to cycle through everything I assume. So, when I press B it will detect bcd.txt. When I press B again, it will then jump to abc.txt (and of course not select cde.txt)?
    – Dave
    Jan 23, 2013 at 14:12

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