Windows Search – Advanced tips (part 2 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 three part post to help you unleash the power of Microsoft Windows search and AQS

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


Here we add names into the mix and how they can be used with Windows Search 4.0 for Windows Vista and higher, or Windows Desktop Search 3.01 for Windows XP, including the properties that can be added to your search terms to narrow and refine your results.

Search Examples:

Property Example Function
author:name author:john Finds items with john in the Author property.
author:(name) author:(john smith) Finds items with john smith in the Author property.
author:(name OR name) author:(john OR mike) Finds items with john or mike in the Author property.
author:name name author:john mike Finds items with john in the Author property and mike anywhere in the document.
from:name from:john Finds items with john in either fromName OR fromAddress, since “from” is a property name for both fromName and fromAddress.
before:date before:10/9/2007 Finds items whose PrimaryDate field contains a date before 10/9/2007.
after:date after:10/9/2007 Finds items whose PrimaryDate field contains a date after 10/9/2007.
has:attachment report has:attachment Finds items containing the word report that have attachments. Same as hasattachment:true
is:attachment report is:attachment Finds items that have attachments containing the word report. Same as isattachment:true

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