WINDOWS

The 7 Best Search Tools for Windows 11

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Computers have become a core part of our modern-day lives. All the files you need for both your personal and work life are stored away in their digital archives. But as these files pile up, it may be too much for the default Windows Search function to locate what you need. This can be frustrating and may affect your productivity.

If your PC is loaded with files and folders and Windows Search isn’t enough to find what you’re looking for, it is best to use third-party search tools. Below are some of the best desktop search tools for Windows 11 that will make your life easier.

1. Everything

Everything

Everything is one of the most popular desktop search tools that allow users to locate files and folders by their names instantly. The program is easy to install and does not hog storage resources. It also has a straightforward user interface. So, even if you’re not too technical, you won’t get annoyed using it.

In addition, it features quick file indexing and searching, making searching tons of files as simple as it’s supposed to be. It also doesn’t use much of your computer’s RAM when it runs a search, so no need to worry about slowing down your computer. Lastly, you can share files with others effortlessly while getting real-time updates.

Download: Everything (Free)

Related: How to Fix Outlook Search When It's Not Working

2. grepWin

grepWin

grepWin may look like your average search tool, but this program allows you to use regular expression for a deeper and thorough search. A regular expression is a type of advanced searching that looks for particular patterns rather than terms and phrases. This works well for users who file their documents using the same strings of characters as it can help them pull out all the files they need in one search rather than typing each filename separately.

In case you’re not familiar with regular expression, the program offers a quick tutorial so you can familiarize yourself with it. In addition to using an advanced search method, it also allows you to limit your search according to file size, types, etc., so you can eliminate files that don’t fit the parameters, thus, making your search quicker.

Download: grepWin (Free)

Copernic desktop search

If you need a desktop search tool that goes beyond your computer's files, Copernic Desktop Search is an excellent choice. The free version allows you to index more than 119 different file types, while the paid version offers a thorough search that includes files from Microsoft Office, Outlook, cloud services, PDF, and so much more. Additionally, you can look for files on each drive of your computer with a minimal waiting period.

This search tool offers a deep search into your system files using the refine feature. This program also supports Boolean operators such as and, not, or, near, etc., which makes searching a breeze. Lastly, it doesn’t take up much memory in your computer, so running the software won’t interfere with your tasks.

Download: Copernic Desktop Search (Free, paid version available)

4. Agent Ransack

agent ransack

Agent Ransack is a free search tool that lets you search using several expressions, including Boolean and regular expression. It also lets you save your search workspace and export it if you need to. The interface is intuitive and straightforward. Moreover, you have the option to search using filenames or containing texts while letting you choose which drive the tool should search in.

You can also customize other fields, such as size and date, which can help you quickly locate the item file you need. It also displays search statistics to update you on how many folders and locations have been checked. This tool can even find files that Windows Search cannot, in just a short amount of time. Furthermore, it comes with a detailed manual, making it easy for beginners to navigate the tool.

Download: Agent Ransack (Free, paid version available)

5. DocFetcher

DocFetcher

If you don’t want to pay for a third-party search tool, DocFetcher is the tool for you. This free and open-source application works like Google, which requires you to index the folders you want to search in. This allows the tool to look for files you need in just a matter of milliseconds. It also highlights your search term, making it easy to find the exact file you need. In addition, it supports a variety of document formats, including OpenOffice.org, MS Office, HTML, PDF, plain text, EPUB, JPEG, and many more.

One of the best parts about this program is its portability. With DocFetcher, you can create a complete, fully searchable document repository and save it in a USB drive or an encrypted volume. Apart from that, you can synchronize between computers through cloud storage for maximum convenience.

Download: DocFetcher (Free)

Related: How to Fix the Windows Search Bar Not Showing or Working on Windows 11

6. Excelo Desktop

Excelo

Another desktop search tool that merits a mention is Excelo Desktop. This collaborative program allows you to search and share information through password-protected peer-to-peer technology. Through this tool, you can look for data from your files and emails in your Windows 11 system, cloud storage, and networks while also allowing you to share them with your co-workers, family, and friends through a safe and secure connection.

In addition, Excelo Desktop features a simple and easy-to-navigate user interface. It has options for local data indexing, as well as options to search for files, text, and images. This robust search engine tool is also unified with Microsoft Outlook, letting you search through emails if you want to. It also has a quick result generation that includes data sharing, so you can easily collaborate with other people. Lastly, it has powerful password protection, perfect for users who handle confidential files.

Download: Excelo Desktop (Free, paid version available)

7. Listary

Listary

Listary is another desktop search tool that provides an innovative way to search your Windows 11 system. Basically, it integrates with your Windows system and allows you to search by simply typing anywhere on your Windows Explorer. This tool makes it easy for anyone, both casual and advanced users, to browse through their folders as it can even look through Windows-restricted menus. Apart from searching files, it can also launch applications on the program.

Unlike many search tools, it has a lightweight interface that won’t affect the performance of your PC or use a lot of your system resources. It can also sync with many of your favorite utilities, such as Directory Opus, WinRAR, FileZilla, XYplorer, Xplorer2, and many others.

Download: Listary (Free, paid version available)

The Best Desktop Search Tools Out There

Searching through a cluttered system can be challenging, even with the help of Windows Search. Thankfully, there are search tools that you can take advantage of to make locating files hassle-free. Finding the best search tool isn’t just about looking for the fanciest feature. Instead, it’s about knowing what you need and how you want to go about your search.

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