Windows 10: Unable to find files with search facility on Window 10

  1.    18 May 2018 #1

    Unable to find files with search facility on Window 10


    I have problems using the search facility on Windows 10. I know this is increadibly basic stuff, but I've just got fed up with searching through the 'family tree' type network of stored files.
    Even files that I have saved just a few months ago never appear in searches, including ones I can eventually find by scrolling through File Explorer, that same file will not be found by the search facility.
    I save some files onto Dropbox which is stored on the Data D: drive, Others on OneDrive. I sometimes backup files onto an external Samsung Hard drive which is permanently attached to the laptop.
    I have business files dating back up to 20 years and while I can usually find recent files trolling through File Explorer I certainly need a search facility to find older files.
    With a previous PC with XP installed the search facility seemed to work much better (if a little slow) If I wasn't sure of the filename but had an idea of some of the letters I'd use those with asterisks and the filename (like '*bac*.doc') I could then choose which folders to look in and that was usually successful.
    With Windows 10, even if I know the file name it often won't find it, let alone if I'm unsure of the name. I don't really even know where it is searching. The default setting seems to be the internet which I don't want. If I then click on documents I get to option to search File Explorer and that's about as far as it gets.

    As an example, I have hundreds of documents, PDF, Word, PowerPoint and Excel files with the word Ondo in them. If I type Ondo in the search bar it comes up with suggestions like" London Maps", "London Underground" and "Ondo - see Web results". If I then click on the 'documents' tab I get one document that I don't want and the option to search in File Explorer for ondo. When I do that it just comes up with that same one document; none of the hundreds of other files containing the word Ondo saved throughout my system ThisPC, Data drive, OneDrive, the Samsung hard drive etc. show up.
    I've followed instructions given on YouTube or Google but they all suggest Cortana which just does what I've described above.
    My apologies again for asking such a basic question, but I'm spending hours, if not days, looking for files that I know are on my PC!
    I've attached screenshots of my Ondo search.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2018-05-18.png   2018-05-18 (1).png   2018-05-18 (2).png  
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    18 May 2018 #2

    Hi, basics:

    Considering Windows search:
    1. Are the files you are interested in in a folder indexed by Windows search? Check thus:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.jpg 
Views:	4 
Size:	55.5 KB 
ID:	189282

    2. Is Windows search working?
    Look at the number of items indexed in the above.
    Try adding one to an indexed folder.
    Does the number increment?
    (This will only happen if your CPU use etc is low).

    Now Windows Search and file explorer search only search below the point open in the file hierarchy.
    Try using file explorer search, with file explorer open ABOVE the point in the file hierarchy where your file exists.

    If there are folders below that point which are not indexed, search will be slow even if what you are looking for is indexed.

    3. Content search in Windows Search raises further issues.

    Cortana search.
    Last I looked, this only gives results for indexed files. It may prompt you to use file explorer search if your file is not found, as per your last screenshot.

    Note the options at the top of Cortana's box. (E.g. Windows key, S).
    As you know (last screenshot), the icon like a sheet of paper with a corner folded focusses its search results on documents.

    More options via 'Filters'

    Search spec- regex:
    Supports e.g. doc*.txt (but confusingly Cortana and file explorer give the same result for doc.txt, listing files like doc-35.txt)!

    3rd party options
    Windows search has some advantages (integration, content indexing) but it's easy to find you struggle with it.
    Locate32, Ultrasearch, Everything by voidtools (popular, but uses more resources, and you need the beta with more options last I looked) are free find-as-you-type indexing tools frequently recommended here. I use the first which does some things the others don't despite being unsupported now. These you don't have to think about really.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    18 May 2018 #3

    Cool. Just learned something today.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    19 May 2018 #4

    dalchina said: View Post
    Hi, basics:

    Considering Windows search:
    1. Are the files you are interested in in a folder indexed by Windows search? Check thus:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.jpg 
Views:	4 
Size:	55.5 KB 
ID:	189282

    2. Is Windows search working?
    Look at the number of items indexed in the above.
    Try adding one to an indexed folder.
    Does the number increment?
    (This will only happen if your CPU use etc is low).

    Now Windows Search and file explorer search only search below the point open in the file hierarchy.
    Try using file explorer search, with file explorer open ABOVE the point in the file hierarchy where your file exists.

    If there are folders below that point which are not indexed, search will be slow even if what you are looking for is indexed.

    3. Content search in Windows Search raises further issues.

    Cortana search.
    Last I looked, this only gives results for indexed files. It may prompt you to use file explorer search if your file is not found, as per your last screenshot.

    Note the options at the top of Cortana's box. (E.g. Windows key, S).
    As you know (last screenshot), the icon like a sheet of paper with a corner folded focusses its search results on documents.

    More options via 'Filters'

    Search spec- regex:
    Supports e.g. doc*.txt (but confusingly Cortana and file explorer give the same result for doc.txt, listing files like doc-35.txt)!

    3rd party options
    Windows search has some advantages (integration, content indexing) but it's easy to find you struggle with it.
    Locate32, Ultrasearch, Everything by voidtools (popular, but uses more resources, and you need the beta with more options last I looked) are free find-as-you-type indexing tools frequently recommended here. I use the first which does some things the others don't despite being unsupported now. These you don't have to think about really.
    Oh Wow. That sounds really helpful. I'm away atm but will most certainly try that on Monday!
    It's by far the most comprehensive explaination of the search facilities that I've come across, so many thanks.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    20 May 2018 #5

    One more thought where you want to do a partial match on a string NOT starting with the first character of a file name.

    In the screenshot below, note the difference in handling
    ?oc*.txt
    between Cortana and file explorer. Cortana fails.
    This might explain some fails to find as in the first post.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Untitled.png 
Views:	1 
Size:	141.2 KB 
ID:	189492

    Interestingly again Cortana prompts to search using file explorer!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    21 May 2018 #6

    dalchina said: View Post
    One more thought where you want to do a partial match on a string NOT starting with the first character of a file name.

    In the screenshot below, note the difference in handling
    ?oc*.txt
    between Cortana and file explorer. Cortana fails.
    This might explain some fails to find as in the first post.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Untitled.png 
Views:	1 
Size:	141.2 KB 
ID:	189492

    Interestingly again Cortana prompts to search using file explorer!
    I now feel far more confident about finding files that are clearly trying their hardest to hide from me!!

    Very many thanks

    K
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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