I found out that at windows folder search the letter dash "-" works as eliminating the following word from search results.

However i have files that contains dash "-"

So how can i filter them ?

For example i have image named as


But when i type as below nothing appears

Windows 8.1

At here it tells the following

Here’s a list of AQS operators that have to do with text searching:

NOT/- : Both “not” as well as prefixing a dash will tell your search to exclude items that include the following term.
AND/+ : Both “and” as well as prefixing a plus sign will force your search to only include items that match for both terms.
“” : Using quotes will force a search to filter for an exact phrase.

enter image description here


How can I find files in Windows Explorer where the name contains -?

The following search expression will match all files that contain a - character:



  • ~ literal match

  • * wildcard match

  • - match the -

  • * wildcard match

So ~*-* will match all filenames with any characters before a literal - and any characters after a literal -

You can also " the search expression, so


will also work.

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  • 2
    Is there a reference for how to properly use the windows search box? My god, it drives me absolutely BONKERS trying to figure it out. – Wayne Uroda Jun 1 '17 at 4:27
  • @WayneUroda Read the series starting with Lesson 1: Stop Hunting and Start Finding! – DavidPostill Jun 1 '17 at 8:25
  • Better link directly to the article: docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/desktop/lwef/… – Chad Aug 9 '18 at 5:52
  • I wanted to find all files that I had made a copy of. So windows will suffix those with a "- Copy" before the extension. I found that I needed to use the ~ and the quotes to make this work. And I also made sure it only focused on the name. So, this worked for me... name:~"- Copy" – AmoebaMan17 Oct 22 '19 at 16:27
  • Trying to " the search expression has no effect at all, while adding ~ at the beginning does the trick, thanks a lot! – RAM237 Apr 10 at 9:27

I had a similar problem with a file named hello-world. So if I tried searching only the word hello the file could be found. If I tried searching the word world the file is not found. In my search I did not use the -. However there seems to be some problem if the filename contains a -.

After trying to change indexing options and other complicated stuff the best solution I found was to search with a *.

So for example the search term *world finds my file. For now on I will be searching only with the *.

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I have had similar issues. At work I have file names such as snstore-surv-nyc-10-mobile.

What works is using the * character to expand the search


snstore*nyc or 

Unfortunately I haven't found a way of expanding the search to three variables

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Its work for me,

I have a lot of file using dash, i.e: ff-0101-12345, ff-0102-12345, ff-0000-12356

When i tried type in the search bar only 123, that will show nothing in the search result. It work fine when i type * before word that i will looking for. Like *123 so it will show search result that match --> ff-0101-12345, ff-0102-12345, ff-0000-12356

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