I would like to quickly "filter" certain file types or folders using Windows 7 search.

In previous Windows versions it was easy to select a folder and do a quick search for all "*.csv" files for example, this gave relatively fast results. But searching indexed contents seems to slow down a simple "filter search".

I was wondering if there was an option to temporarily disable searching the indexed contents, much like the provided search filters in Windows 7 (e.g., kind:=Folder).

Maybe this is not the purpose of the built in search functionality but being able to quickly filter files/folder/sub folder without looking at contents and not using a third party tool would be nice.

Note that I do not want to switch of indexing.

If there is another (native) way to quickly filter files or folders i would also be interested to hear about it.

The "slow-down" seems mainly related to indexing. If no indexing is going on in the background (if the index is up-to-date) the responsiveness is better. But it would be interesting to know if it is possible to do a search without using the index. The practical problem is that when some new content containing a large number of files is added to the system this is not directly fully indexed.

  • A search without indexing is significantly slower. I'd recommend against it. Just try to search any non-indexed location versus an indexed location. On my system, the index is about 250MB for 70K items. I think that is a very good tradeoff. – surfasb Jul 6 '11 at 21:16
  • @surfasb True, i agree. However my practical problem is that indexing new locations is relatively time consuming, specially if the folders only exists temporarily while being processed and contain a lot of small text (XML, HTML) based files. In these cases doing a similar dumb search on an older OS (XP ;) is faster. – barry Jul 7 '11 at 8:48

The MSDN article on Advanced Query Syntax (AQS) has a nice summary on the available filter options.

The article does not mention an option to temporarily disable the index for searches (which makes sense since the article is related to searching indexed contents).

  • 1
    Good find barry. – Sim Nov 10 '09 at 3:57

My technique is to make sure the 'Type' column is available in Windows Explorer, then sort on that column.

You sometimes see a little box with file types if you click on the very word 'Type'.

  • Thanks, that works great to quickly filter for types/or folders inside a folder. It would be nice to have an option to make this recursive for sub folders in a single list view. – barry Nov 9 '09 at 3:00

Have you tried type:=.csv as the search filter?

  • "type:csv" will do the same – user8228 Nov 6 '09 at 6:23
  • Thanks for the tip. I tried using the type: filter but the speed result is almost the same. – barry Nov 6 '09 at 6:31
  • I use "ext:csv" normally – djeidot Nov 6 '09 at 10:55
  • Thanks! anybody knows if there is a list of filter keywords/settings available somewhere? – barry Nov 9 '09 at 2:55

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