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How do You Search for Multiple File Types at the Same Time in Windows 8?

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Searching for a singular file or file type is one thing, but what do you do when you need to search for multiple file types at the same time? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post comes to the rescue for one reader’s file search dilemma.

Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.

The Question

SuperUser reader Sebastien wants to know how to search for multiple file types at the same time in Windows 8:

I am looking for files in a particular directory that have the following extensions: .txt, .csv, and .xml. The directory has many levels of sub-directories that I would like to search through for all three file types in one go.

When I use Ctrl+F in Windows Explorer and enter extension types like *.txt;*.csv;*.xml, I watch the search bar fill up with green for a long time, but end up with no results. I know there are hundreds of these file types in the parent directory and sub-directories though.

How can I do a search like this in Windows 8 that returns results?

Is there an easy way for Sebastien to search for multiple file types at the same time?

The Answer

SuperUser contributor AppsDev has the answer for us:

Open Windows Explorer and in the top right search box type *.extension. For example, to search for text files you should type *.txt.

For multiple file types use Ext:.doc OR Ext:.txt OR Ext:.pdf. Hope this helps you.

Special Note: As noted in additional comments in the discussion thread, make sure that the word “OR” is capitalized when doing a search for multiple file types.


Have something to add to the explanation? Sound off in the comments. Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here.

Akemi Iwaya (Asian Angel) is our very own Firefox Fangirl who enjoys working with multiple browsers and loves 'old school' role-playing games. Visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 07/10/14