I have more than one pet peeve about how Windows works. I'll bet you do, too. Let me see, there's boot time, the infamous Vista UAC, shut down time, and searching for files. That puppy dog in the XP search use to sit there and wag it's tail at you, while it was searching with a big doggy smile on its face. I thought the dog was laughing at me. "You mean you want to find a file? Ha,Ha,Ha wait about 10 minutes and I'll tell you no such file exists." It use to piss me off. Sure Vista and Windows 7 are better, but not that much better.
If you're like me, you put up with this agonizing long search for your file, because nothing else was available. But then again, every once in awhile, a ray of light shines down upon us poor, dumb, computer users, and you realize you've been blessed with a piece of software that works and works great.
This particular program grew on me, crept up on me, to the point where I now can't do without it on Windows. It's hard to change the way you work with a computer over all these years, so change comes gradually at times. Enough of the platitudes, let me paint you a scenario.
You are up surfing the Web and you find a new program to download, or an update to one of your existing programs, like Firefox or Thunderbird. Have you ever noticed how the download file name is a bunch of gibberish. You download the program, and your set to install. Ah, where's the file you downloaded? It's happen to me several times, even if I think its in my download directory, I've still lost it. What do you do? Watch the wagging tail again? No! I mean hell no!
You download a program called, Everything. It use to be called Search Everything, and that's what it does. The program works on Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, and Windows 7.
This search program works differently than other search programs. You install the program and during the install, it indexes all the files and folders on your computer. The indexing is fast. If you have a million files and folders, it will take you about one minute total on the install to build its index. After that, it automatically, updates its index on every new file and folder added, downloaded, or deleted from your system with out you doing anything.
So why is it so good. Let me count the ways. This is the fastest search engine I have found anywhere, and I mean fast. When you open the program a window opens, instantly, with all the files and folders on your system shown, yep, all million of them if you care to do some scrolling. But why do that when you have a search bar right up there at the top of the screen.
As you type in the search bar, you filter your files and folders out of the window. So every character you type reduces the list until you end up with the file you wanted. It is filtering the list as you type. Did I say it was fast. It is almost fun to search now to watch all the files melt away.
The user interface at first doesn't look that great, it grows on you. Other search engines, ask you to put your search in a particular form field box for say, a file extension. I don't find this helpful, as it makes me have to think about what I need, when all I really want to do is find the file. You do this all from the one search box in Everything.
If you want a png file, you could search on "*.png". You can use regular expressions, wild cards *, one character ?, Boolean AND, OR, and NOT. You search every file and folder on your system, alas it does not search inside the file itself. I could call it a drawback, but there's other tools for that.
Once you find your file you can click on it and open it, or run it just like if it was in an Explorer windows.
Everything is not a system hog, it uses very little system resources. Those million files and folders will take up 45Mb of memory, and 5Mb of disk space. 20,000 files uses about 3-5Mb of memory, and 1 Mb of disk space. With today's memory being in the Gigabyte range this is a walk in the park.
I placed the program permanently on my Start menu by right clicking on the program and selecting "pin to start menu," so its always on top. Any time I need to search for anything, I go "Start->Search Everything," and I'm off and running.
I left out the best part of this program. It's absolutely free. The author asks for a donation if you like the program. So give it a try, and enjoy!