Windows Search – Advanced tips (part 1 of 5)

One of the most useful features of Windows is its Search; Search lets you locate your files and folders instantly. With Windows 7, Search has become an integral part of Windows, for Windows XP and Vista you can download Windows Search 4.0 to gain the same functionality.

The true power of Windows search is Advanced Query Syntax (AQS). With AQS your searches can be extremely efficient in locating your files and e-mails in Windows 7, Vista or Windows XP. AQS lets you to quickly define and narrow your searches.

Making your searches specific is as simple as defining a variety of keywords, or search parameters, which allow you to  restrict your query to specific file types, specific locations, or properties within those types, or specific “file kinds”. At the top of the Windows Search Explorer, File kinds are displayed, which you can access by pressing the Windows Logo + F.

This is the first in a five part post to help you unleash the power of Microsoft Windows search and AQS

Use double Quotation marks to match a specific string literally, so that it does not get interpreted as a Keyword. The words will be matched exactly in the order they are entered in a search query between quotation marks.

In part one we provide examples of numbers, dates and ranges that can be used with Windows Search 4.0 for Windows Vista and higher, or Windows Desktop Search 4.0 for Windows XP, including the properties that can be added to your search terms to narrow and refine your results.

Part One    – we introduce AQS using Numbers and Dates
Part Two   – adding Names to your searches
Part Three  – using searches with File Properties
Part Four   – discusses Searches for data in Microsoft Outlook
Part Five   – the final post discuses Searching by File Type and their search items

Numbers and ranges

In order to specify a date range, enter the property followed by two dates. For instance, type from:Jim sent:12/03/2011..12/05/2011. Microsoft Windows Search can identify all Windows date formats as well as recognizes the following values:

• Days: Sunday, Monday … Saturday

• Months: January, February … December

• Relative dates: Today, tomorrow, yesterday

• Multi-word relative dates: week, thisweek, nextmonth, lastweek,  next month, last week, past month, or coming year. The values can also be entered contracted, as follows: pastmonth, comingyear.


Syntax Results
size:>75KB <1024KB Will search for files with a value in the Size between50 KB and 70 KB, excluding the end values.
size:>=75KB <=1024KB Will search for files with a value in the Size property between 50 KB and 70 KB, including the end values.
Size: 75KB..1024KB Same as size:>=75KB <=1024KB
date:>=3/9/14<=7/4/14 Will search for a date in the Date property between the values 3/9/14 and 7/4/14, including the end dates.
date:3/9/14 .. 7/4/14 Same as date:>=3/9/14<=7/4/14
date:>3/9/14<7/4/14 Will search for a date in the Date property between the values 3/9/14 and 7/4/14, excluding the end dates.


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