Windows Tip: Search contents of files using Windows Search

Windows search is quite good and does it’s job quite well. Many of us including me rely on Windows Search for finding many files/folders from my own drive and folders and mostly in downloads as it contains many files I don’t always remember. Many times I want to search for a specific text content of a file whose name or other details I don’t remember. Windows let you search for text within a file but it is limited to certain file types by default and I am going to show how you can expand this search feature to search within more file types as well.

Search for text within a file

Firstly, open Control Panel and type-in ‘indexing’ and click on Change how Windows searches under Indexing Options.Control Panel-Indexing Options

Now, click on Advanced on the Indexing Options Window and a new Advanced Options Window would pop-up. Click on the File Types tab. Advanced Options
Now, click on the desired file type (extension) and select Index Properties and File Contents for that file to make it’s contents searchable in Windows Search. Mostly all the files would be set to Index Properties Only. You can individually change this option for each of the file types listed here. Also, if by any chance you don’t find the extension you were looking for, you can easily add new extension(s) to this list by typing-in the extension and clicking on Add button.

New Extension

Now, let Windows index the new contents and you’ll be now able to search for the contents of the files using the Windows Search as well.

If you want to enable this option for certain folders, you can do that too. Open the desired folder and click on the Options button (Windows 8 and newer)/Organize->Folder and search options (Windows 7 and earlier). OptionsA new Folder Options Window should pop up. Click on the Search tab and tick the Always search file names and contents  and click on Apply to search for file contents for the files of that specific folder. Let Windows index the new contents and you’ll be good to go.Folder Options

Now you can easily search contents of files using Windows Search including for much more file types or for certain folders.

Have some doubts to clear or any similar tip to share? Shoot them in the comments section below!  :-D



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