Saturday, July 20, 2013

Workaround for dreadful Vista Search Engine

I can't believe how awful the Vista search engine is. That's not to say it doesn't find things quickly (it does); it's just that it doesn't find anything I want it to find, and it doesn't allow me to refine my search. Two things drive me around the bend:
1) It doesn't update its indexes, meaning that if you search for a string in a document that you've moved or deleted, it'll find the old location and give you an error when you click on the document.
2) If you press "return" (as I *always* do) after typing in the search term, it'll churn everything on the hard drive, finding files that have no connection to your search, and send ten (or thirty) seconds doing it.

I finally found my solution: install a new search engine! In my case, I've been delighted by "File Locator Lite", available for free at You have to pay for the pro version, but I've seen no need for it yet, as I'm not doing massively complicated searches. What I like about it is that you can narrow your search to particular drives or folders and by size and date. You can also do a regex search for strings in the title or in the document.

Much better than the Microsoft search engine, and a great replacement.

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