3 Alternative (and Cool!) File Search Engines for Windows

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Windows 7 has a great search function. That said, for a lot of users of Windows who don’t have Windows 7 (or have search indexing turned off), you might be wishing you had a better search function in your computer. In addition to UltraSearch and Everything, which we have previously covered, check out these three alternative file search engine for Windows.

FileSearchEX

Comparatively speaking, FileSearchEX is a relatively streamlined search engine for Windows. It has a standard, conservative interface that allows for easy, natural navigation. You can search for files in the frame on the left, and results will appear on the frame in the right of the screen.

FileSearchEX Overview

FileSearchEX takes a while to search, as the system does take a while to go through the entire hard drive, so you’re best off specifying which folder you want to search. FileSearchEX also has a few settings you can adjust, such as which types of files to search and which partitions to skip by default. Of course, if you can’t remember where your file is, you’re out of luck.

FileSearchEX Settings

Interestingly enough, FileSearchEX also seems to be executable without installation. There is an option to install it onto your hard drive, but from my experience it’s quite capable right out of the .zip file. This can be a great convenience if you want to run it off a USB drive.

FileSearchEX Install

Check out FileSearchEX! It’s a great streamlined alternative Windows search engine.

Snowbird

Snowbird is an interesting piece of software because it seems to function not only as an alternative search engine to Windows Search, but also a Windows explorer alternative.

Snowbird Overview

Similar to FileSearchEX, Snowbird doesn’t need to be installed into the computer’s program files to work — it runs well right out of the box. By default, there is no search bar — as you can see in the screenshot above, you’ll have to click the magnifying glass icon to activate the Search function.

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Snowbird Search

Bizarrely enough, the Search function doesn’t even have a Browse button, meaning you’ll have to copy and paste the location the file you’re looking for is in. That’s an inconvenience that kind of rattles me! That said, it’s still a solid search engine and a great explorer alternative as well. Check out Snowbird for Windows.

Super Finder XT

I really like the user interface that Super Finder XT offers — it’s got a ribbon-esque method of navigation, reminiscent of a lot of Windows Live products. I enjoy the continuity this brings to the table.

Super Finder XT Overview

Super Finder XT doesn’t index your hard drive, which means that it will take a while to search through the whole thing — especially if you’ve got a larger hard drive size (1TB +). FSL, the makers behind Super Finder XT, created a great Predefined list of locations.

Super Finder XT Predefined

You’ve also got a chance to Browse your folders and define your own custom location you’d like to search.

Super Finder XT Browse

Weirdly enough, even though creators FSL do mention the power of plugins behind Super Finder XT, there haven’t been any that are discoverable online. The closest thing to plugins I came to finding online was this thread in their forums, explaining that they don’t have any plugins yet. Although it has been a year, both Google and FSL’s website remain scarce of these links.

Super Finder XT Plugins

Out of the three, Super Finder XT was what I considered to be the most user-friendly and the one I preferred to use.

If we’ve overlooked any Windows search engines that you’d like for us to cover, we’d love to hear from you! Alternatively, if you’re looking for a faster way to activate and launch your software, check out Launchy. Enjoy the new Windows search alternatives. :)

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  • Papagoejoe

    Everything?

    http://www.voidtools.com/

    fast indexing and instant results..

    • http://aaroncouch.me/ Aaron Couch

      Everything is mentioned along side of UltraSearch in the intro.

  • pcunite

    Cool, thanks for checking these search tools out for us. I had no idea about some of them.

  • flle search

    Nice, saved me 20 min at least to say.

  • Lara

    There is a 4th alternative File Search Engines for Windows
    There is a 4th alternative file search engine for Windows out there now:

    http://www.windowsfilescanner.com

    Fast, search engine and search actually occurring as you type…quite fun to see.

  • Doyling

    I need to find pieces of information in Excel files. The Windows 7 Content Search does generally well. I am looking for an alternative. I do not need to search for files, I need to search IN them.