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Learning to Use Windows Search Like a Pro

Learning Windows Search

This series covers how to use Windows Search.

Lesson 1: Stop Hunting and Start Finding!

Having all your stuff on your computer is great, until you can’t find it. You’ve probably got a ton of photos, documents, music, and even videos lurking on your hard drive, so much so, you may not even know what you have. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just type a few words into a search box and have your stuff magically appear?

Lesson 2: A New Look and Some New Tricks

Search is well integrated into Windows nowadays. So much so that if you’re using a keyboard, you can pretty much control your entire computer with a few key presses. In this lesson, we’re going to begin showing you how to do just that, putting you well on your way to becoming a search master!

Lesson 3: Using the Desktop for Maximum Search Mastery

Search on the desktop has been a staple of Windows for years now, but many users don’t know just how truly useful it is. When you search from the desktop, you can find anything, anywhere, including non-indexed locations. This means you really can’t lose anything, if you know how to look for it!

Lesson 4: Use Boolean, Dates, and Wildcards to Give Your Searches a Boost

Finding your stuff with Windows Search doesn’t require you know or even care about Advanced Query Syntax, but if you have 1000s of images, music files, and videos, then it sure helps. AQS really shines when you’ve saved your stuff in a safe place but can’t remember where that place is, so even if you’ve lost something, it’s never really lost if you know how to look for it!

Lesson 5: Use Advanced Query Syntax to Find Everything

We arrive at our final lesson in our Windows Search series, and logically we’re ending on what we’ve been building up to the whole time: Advanced Query Syntax, namely AQS parameters. Understanding these parameters and how to use them will give your searches that extra oomph they’ve been sorely needing and will ultimately crown you all as Search Masters!

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 07/20/10