How to find a document on your computer

Search for files in Windows 7 by name and content

Large capacity of modern disks allows you to save a lot of documents or multimedia files. So without structuring your directories in some way initially, you can get total chaos on your hard drive. If this has already happened, and you have forgotten the location of any files, it will be difficult to find them without having any idea how to use the operating system’s built-in search.

Knowing the name of the document will make the task easier, and in a short time you will see the file you are looking for on your computer screen. You can find it by name in Windows 7 in several ways.

Using the Start menu

In the “Start” menu of the operating system there is a field to search. To search through this field for the document you need, you must:

  • Click on the “Start” button.
  • Find a field.
  • Enter the name you want to search by.
  • Read the suggested results.

After entering the suggested document name, you will immediately get a list of found files:

windows 7 file search

In this case, Windows 7 searched for a document named “Agency”. As you can see from the previous screenshot, the first suggested option is the file you are looking for.

How to find it in a folder?

There is another way to find documents. There is a corresponding field in each Windows 7 Explorer directory:

So if you know the file name and its location, you can:

In this example, the search was conducted using the “Biology” pattern. These files and folders were found as a result:

Knowing the location of the object is not necessary. It simply speeds up the operating system’s search for files. As modern computers have high performance, it takes almost no time to find the information you need with a known location and with an unknown one. If you have no idea in which folder or even on which disk a file is saved, you can search the entire computer:


With common file names, you run the risk of seeing several thousand choices, making it difficult to choose the right document. If you know the date the file was modified or its size, you can specify them when searching (by entering the pattern in the field, you will see the suggested filters):

You can also scroll down the found list and limit the search range by pressing the “Other” button:

After such a click, Windows 7 will display the settings window:

After these steps the number of found items in the list decreases significantly, so it becomes easier to find the necessary one.

How to Find Files by Creation Date

If you don’t know the name of the document you are looking for, but you remember roughly the date it was created and where it is located, you can search for the file by date of creation.

To do this, open a folder (drive or computer) and place the cursor in the search box in the upper right corner of the screen. After that, a new tab called “Search” will appear at the top of the window.

On the “Search” tab click on “Date modified” and select one of the proposed options. Among the standard options are: today, yesterday, this week, last week, last month, this year, last year.

Once you select one of these dates, the system will search for files within that time range. The “modification date” command will appear in the search field, indicating the period of time you are using.

If you want to specify a particular date or other time period, you can click on the current value to the right of the “change date” command in the search field and use the calendar to select the desired time. To specify a time period, hold down the Shift key and click on the first date, then on the last.

The ” modification date ” command can be extended by a search by file name. This will find files with a specific name and modification date. To do this, put a space after “modification date” and enter the file name.

Search in File Explorer

In our opinion, a more comprehensive and convenient search is performed using File Explorer. The search by Task Bar is faster and more suitable for simple, momentary tasks. But those who need to set a lot of filters, and do it conveniently, should use the explorer.

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Open the file manager via the icon on the taskbar or the WinE shortcut. In Explorer, click on the search box. In the panel at the top will appear all the necessary search tools.

You can see that the search box offers a huge number of filters and tools for searching. Here are the main ones:

  • By date: a great way to find files by limiting your search query by date. For example, you know for sure that a file has not been created or modified in the past two weeks. Set the filter you want;
  • type: this tab offers over two dozen filters that sort files and folders by specific characteristics. For example, if you set the “Movie” filter, only video files will be displayed in the search;
  • Size: a very important filter that allows you to sort files by size. Works very well in combination with other filters. For example, you can be sure that the PDF file you need weighs more than 200 MB, unlike other similar documents on your computer. Set a size filter, and results exceeding 200 megabytes will be shown.

One more note about the date. If you click on the blue-tagged search box you will see a calendar. You can set a specific date for the last change in the file.

A very important section in the search bar is “Other properties”. Here we can define important search criteria: folder path, file name, tags and extension. While the first two signs are clear, the second two are unfamiliar, but make it very easy to find the files you want.

Let’s start with tags. Adding tags to files makes it very easy to work with the file content of your computer. Especially when you work with a big bulk of files. For example, with photos. To find a specific corpus of photos on a given topic, you can use tags.

Let’s see how to add a tag to a photo. Right-click on the photo file and choose “Properties” from the context menu. Or, select the photo with the left mouse button and click the appropriate icon in Explorer.

Then you go to the “Details” tab. Click on the “Tags” item and in the text window that appears, type the necessary keywords, separated by comma. By the way, a semicolon is placed automatically.

Close the tab by pressing “OK”. Now let us try to find our picture by the specified tags. Select the tag filter in the search box and type in one of the tags we specified earlier. The photo was found instantly.

Search by file extension helps to find files of the exact type. Select “Extension” in the “Other properties” tab. The necessary tag will be typed in blue in the search field and the extension will be typed after a colon. We will search for PDF files. You can write any search term after the extension name. For convenience, it is not highlighted in blue, but in standard black.

In our case, we found all files in PDF format that contain the query “English” in their names.

Under “Previous Searches” you can select the ones you have applied previously.

Explorer also prompts you to save your search. Click on “Save Search Terms”. Search terms are saved in a special folder, which we show below.

Search terms are saved in XML format in the “Searches” folder, which is located on the path: Local drive C. Users. By double-clicking on the desired search query, the user will immediately see the results.

And if you saved your search terms with a date, Explorer will select only the current time. For example, you saved a search query marked “Last week”. Each time you click on a query, the past week will be counted down from the current search date.

How to find files by type

Windows 10 also allows you to search for files of a certain type. To do this, place the cursor in the search field, go to the tab “Search”, click on “Type” and in the list that appears select one of the suggested document types. The list here is quite long and includes such common types as document (text), folder, movie, music, image, etc.д.

After you select one of the file types, the search line will show the “view” command, which will point to the selected file type.

If you need to find a file with a specific extension (for example, DOCX or TXT ), you can specify this extension as the name of the document. To do this, enter an asterisk, a dot, and the extension you want instead of the name into the search. The screenshot below shows how this should look like for a document with DOCX extension.

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As in the previous case, you can combine a type search with other ways of searching

Search for data by size

Knowing the approximate size of the data, the user can find it quickly using the “Search by size” feature. To sort and narrow the search results, just click the “Size” button and specify the necessary file size limits.

To find lost photos on your computer, you can also use the functionality of the built-in search in Explorer.

To begin with let’s move to the folder “This computer”, so that the search applies to all hard drives, connected external drives and other storage devices. After that go to the search box and click on the button “Search” to expand the menu of additional search settings. Now you should click on the item “Type” and select “Image” in the drop-down window.

The result of this search will find absolutely all images, icons, photos and other graphic files.

In the same way you can find all videos, audio tracks and other data of the required type.

How to find files on a Windows XP/7/8/10 computer?

Let’s talk about how to find files on your computer? Who hasn’t been in this situation? For example, you sat down one fine evening at your computer or laptop and noticed that the Desktop is cluttered with shortcuts, folders, text documents, video and audio files, so you decided to restore order here. And rightly so, it is your desktop after all!

You start with the program shortcuts, see which ones you don’t need, and delete them along with the old programs. Various files on the desktop sorted into folders, and then surfed the Internet in search of some information, and after a while naturally found this information in the form of specific files downloaded to your computer. Then all the files again sorted into the right folders, and some we forgot on the desktop and with a clear conscience went to bed, the evening was not in vain.

It’s morning, you turn on your computer, and of course you want to see what you downloaded yesterday with sleepy and washed eyes. As you browse, you notice that a very important and necessary for you file is not on your desktop, which you have been working on, for example, all week.

Maybe you copied it into some folder when you were cleaning up, or deleted it altogether. Open Recycle Bin, but the file you need is not there. We searched through the folders and did not find it either. I got cold shivers running down my spine.

You looked for it everywhere, on disk C:, D:, in the folder “Downloads” and “My Documents”, but you can not find an important work file on your computer. That’s when you ask yourself the perennial question What to do? How to Find Files on Your Computer?

First, you need to calm down and find the necessary files on your computer can be very simple. Most likely your file was not lost, and hackers did not steal it from your computer (why would they need it). All you need to do is just use File Search on your computer correctly.

First, open the Recycle Bin and look carefully at its contents. If your file is not there then you have to search in other places.

So, how to find files on your computer? Read more.

  • We set the file extension doc in the field;
  • In the field, type the word / phrase you want to find;
  • In the Search location field.

Recommendations for finding files you have recently worked with

The easiest way to see what you’ve been working with recently is to click on the Lupa icon in the taskbar (in Windows 11, it’s the START menu). Several programs and documents (files) will be displayed in the menu that opens.

See. arrow 2 in the screenshot below: not only the names of the documents are displayed, but also the path (the place on the disk where they were saved). By the way, there is an option to view the timeline (arrow 3).

Windows 11. Start menu. see the latest documents

How does the timeline look like? You can see in the following screenshot: you can slide the slider down to the right and see not only yesterday’s documents, but for a specific date as well!

All this is done very conveniently and clearly (the developers should be thanked for that).

There is one tab in Windows that “remembers” everything you have worked with (but it is hidden by default). To see it. press WinR key combination. and type in “Open” the command shell:recent.

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Then sort the documents by date. Notice in the screenshot below that it shows my files, and even the files I am currently working on (note.: using images to write this post)! ✌

Recent documents sorted by date

We recommend that you put this useful tab on the explorer shortcut bar, so you don’t have to look for it every time.

To do it, go to the directory above (the key), right-click on the “Recent Documents” directory and select “Pin to Quick Access”.

Now, by opening File Explorer, you can always find your recent documents. screenshot below).

Now the explorer. will always find and display your recent documents

The third thing you should not forget is that not only Explorer remembers the files that you have been working with, but most programs also do it.

For example, the same Word, when you start it (or try to open a file). it shows you documents you work with often (or have changed recently).

If it is a browser (say, Chrome), you can press CtrlH (or go to chrome://history/ ) to view your browsing history.

1) To find a specific file on disk (for example, containing specific text). you can use the recommendations in this article:

2) If you want to reliably protect your documents (for example, from disk breakage, “accidental” formatting, viruses, etc.). one of the best ways is to protect your documents from malicious software.д.). one of the best ways is autocreation of backup to the cloud (more about that).

If you found the files in some other way. add a few words in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев!

How to find a file on disk

If you have a modern Windows 10 operating system. then Explorer basically has all the most necessary tools to search for data on all media that your system sees.

Usually, the link to launch explorer is placed on the taskbar, next to the START button (see “File search” on the right-hand side). example below). You can also use the WinE button combination.

There are two items to watch out for in explorer:

  • on the left sidebar (column) shows all the most popular folders you enter (the document you are looking for is quite probably in one of them);
  • There is a search box at the top right of the screen where you can type part of your file name or part of its contents.

For example, as an example, I’ll type the word “Postcards” into the search box.

The search results will show both files with this name and files with this word in their bodies.

And, I should point out that files can be found in great numbers (if you have 2-3 disks in your system, each of them containing 4-8 TB, say, then there can be thousands of files)!)

Note that the “Search Tools” link appears in the top explorer window.

You need this to be more specific in your search. For example, to search only for certain files (pictures, say), of a certain size.

If, say, you want to search only for documents. documents up to 100KB, you should select two tabs in the search tool: “Size” and “Type” (cf. screenshots below ).

Set the necessary parameters in them and voila: Explorer will search only for files of a certain size. Handy?!

In the tab “Size” you can specify a variety of options:

  • Empty: 0KB;
  • tiny: 0-10 KB;
  • Small: 10-100 KB (e.g., text files with passwords);
  • medium: 100KB. 1 MB (the most popular size for an “average” document), etc.

Note, in the tab “Type” Explorer offers quite a few different search options: documents, links, emails, pictures, folders, etc.д.

In general, by specifying and setting all the necessary parameters. you can quickly find only certain types of files on the disk. It’s much easier to find the one you want out of a dozen found (than out of thousands, isn’t it??!).

How to clear the search terms

If you want to erase information about previous searches, you should click on “Previous searches” in the “Options” tab of explorer, and then select “Clear search history.

Applying the above described methods you can easily find anything on your computer even if you can’t remember the name or other information about the searched object. But in addition to the standard system tools, you can use third-party tools for this purpose, such as Search My Files.

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