Finding files with obscure names  

  1. Posts : 29
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

    Finding files with obscure names

    Files may appear in Windows Explorer with names that give no clue as to their nature or purpose. The names may be important to allow programs that depend on them to find them, or there may be other reasons why they should not be changed. What is the best way to add metadata for making them human-findable? (Windows 10 Version 1903 (OS Build 18362.657))
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit

    Do you know any of the characters contained in the file name?

    Use a search tool such as Everything from

    It will find a file just about as fast as you can type part of its name into a search box....virtually instantaneous.

    Search term can be anything found on a keyboard..../ * a . 5 ? ( F and so forth
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 40,669
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    Whilst file metadata is accessible for a few file types e.g. mp3, if, in general you wish more flexibility then you might consider using the Comments column in file explorer. To make that accessible for files via Properties, Details sheet, for convenience use File MetaData (free).

    Note that a file explorer search for comments can be formulated thus:
    Finding files with obscure names-1.png

    Correct syntax for such searches is highlighted in blue up to build 1903; broken in build 1909 last I knew.

    Example of modifying comment for a file:
    Finding files with obscure names-2.png

    Here you can see the Comments field in the Details pane can be modified.

    Other fields such as Tags, Categories and Subject for any file type can similarly be modified and used.

    File Metadata:
    CodePlex Archive

    Comments for folders need a different approach.
      My Computers

  4. Posts : 4,199
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Latest RP

    Windows itself uses a index based search algorithm, there is the option to have the index include more than the filename (+extension), the "allow files to have their contents indexed" options in the setup screen is useful, and I believe includes keywords etc for those file types that support them - it does mean that indexing does take longer, but if you are a normal user the system is switched on unused for long enough to keep things up to date

    Finding files with obscure names-annotation-2020-02-22-115944.png
      My Computers


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