Everything : Lightening Fast Search for Files and Folders in Windows
Often it happens that third party utilities give a much better performance than the ones included with Microsoft Windows. Everything for Windows is such a utility that offers literally lightening fast search for all the files and folders on your hard disk. It is obviously much better and very impressive than the inbuilt search feature included in Windows. Windows Search takes a long time even on hard disks with few files. Everything, on the other hand, quickly performs search and shows results as you type them in the search field - even on hard disks with millions of files.
Everything is a free software for Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7. You can download it from the VoidTools website. The download is available both as an installer and as a portable application. The download size for both is less than 1 megabyte. After the installation, you can run it from its Start Menu shortcut. On the first run, it scans your hard disks for all the files and folders and builds its own database. The scan is extremely fast - it takes only 1 second to scan about 20,000 files. Once the scanning is done, you can start typing a search term in the search box to view the search results.
You can type a part of a file or folder's name, you can use wildcards, you can type extension of a file like .mp3 and you can even use regex to create a search term. Everything does not search files for their contents (a feature present in Windows Search). It places an icon in the notification area and keeps running in the background noticing any changes in the system. Even if you close Everything and changes are made when its not running, it would scan your system when its run next time and update the search database.
You can open Everything Options, using the hotkey Ctrl + P or open it from the menubar by selecting Tools → Options. In the General section of the Options window, you can set Everything to automatically start with Windows, set different shortcuts and shell context menus. In the Volumes section, you can select or de-select which partitions (disk drives) of your hard disks you want to be scanned for files, included in the search database or monitor for changes. You can even exclude folders to be included in the search database.
So if you want to have a powerful and lightening fast search tool that works better and quicker than the Windows Search, then you can download and install Everything in your PC. Everything also comes as a portable application, so you can run it without having to install it. It works only with NTFS partitions, so it works in Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7. You can download it from http://www.voidtools.com/.