Windows Search

Searching in Windows 7 is pretty easy, the search box is in the upper right corner of the file browser (Windows Explorer). Simply click in the search box (or press the F3 key on your keyboard) type in some text or a keyword and you get a list of files and folders that match your search text. Sometimes that is is nearly as big as the folder you are looking in. You need a way to filter your results. Perhaps you want to see only folders, or only Word docs, or only files over or under a certain size. You can do that.

If you want to filter on a property that doesn't appear when you click in the search box, you can use special keywords. This typically involves typing a property name followed by a colon, sometimes an operator, and then a value. The keywords aren't case sensitive.

Example search term Use this to find
System.FileName:~<“notes”Files whose names begin with “notes.” The ~< means “begins with.”
System.FileName:=“quarterly report”Files named “quarterly report.” The = means “matches exactly.”
System.FileName:~=“pro”Files whose names contain the word “pro” or the characters pro as part of another word (such as “process” or “procedure”). The ~= means “contains.”
System.Kind:<>pictureFiles that aren't pictures. The <> means “is not.”
System.DateModified:05/25/2010Files that were modified on that date. You can also type “System.DateModified:2010” to find files changed at any time during that year.
System.Author:~!“herb”Files whose authors don't have “herb” in their name. The ~! means “doesn't contain.”
System.Keywords:“sunset”Files that are tagged with the word sunset.
System.Size:<1mbFiles that are less than 1 MB in size.
System.Size:>1mbFiles that are more than 1 MB in size.

Note: You can use a question mark (?) as a wildcard for a single character and an asterisk (*) as a wildcard for any number of characters.

Example #1

Keyword or string Excluding Folder Of Type
System.Filename:~<“20”-folder:(S:\_ARCHIVED FILES)System.Kind:=Folder

The example above will find folders
with names beginning with 20
and excluding anything in S:\_ARCHIVED FILES

You can also use the operators AND, OR, and NOT to combine search keywords. (Note how the use of parentheses can change the effect of a search term.)

Example search term Use this to find
System.Author:Charlie AND HerbFiles that are authored by Charlie as well as any files that include Herb in the file name or in any file property.
System.Author:Charlie AND System.DateModified:>2009Find only files that are authored by Charlie after 2009.
System.Author:(Charl* AND Herb)Files that have either Charles and Herb or Charlie and Herb listed as authors.
System.Author:“Charlie Herb”Files that are authored by someone with exactly this name.

Advanced Tips for Searching with Windows 7

(The following information was found on Microsoft's website Here) Searching in Windows 7 can be as simple as typing a few letters in the search box, but there are also advanced searching techniques that you can use. You don't have to know these techniques to search for your files, but they can be helpful depending on where you're searching and what you're searching for.

Advanced Query Syntax

You can create powerful and targeted searches by using a special syntax-called Advanced Query Syntax (AQS)-in your search queries.

For file properties, you use the following syntax:\_\_\_property:value

Here, property is the name of the file property you want to search on, and value is the criteria you want to use. The property can be any of the metadata categories used by Windows.

Desktop Search Syntax

A search query can include one or more keywords, with Boolean operators and optional criteria. These optional criteria can narrow a search based on the following:

  • Scope or data store in which files reside
  • Kinds of files
  • Managed properties of files

The optional criteria, described in greater detail following, use the following syntax:

<scope name>:<value>
<file kind>:<value>
<property name>:<value>

Suppose a user wants to search for a document containing the phase “last quarter,” created by John or Joanne, and that the user saved to the folder mydocuments. The query may look like this:

“last quarter” author:(john OR joanne) foldername:mydocuments

Scope: Locations and Data Stores

Users can limit the scope of their searches to specific folder locations or data stores. For example, if you use several e-mail accounts and you want to limit a query to either Outlook or Outlook Express, you can use store:outlook or store:oe respectively. (Think of a “store” as a place or location or a folder.)

Restrict Search by Data StoreUseExample
Outlook Expressoestore:oe
Specific Folderfoldername or infoldername:MyDocuments or in:MyDocuments

If you have a protocol handler in place to crawl custom stores, like Lotus Notes, you can use the name of the store or protocol handler for the store. For example, if you implemented a protocol handler to include a Lotus Notes data store as “notes,” the query syntax would be store:notes.

Common File Kinds

Users can also limit their searches to specific types of files, called file kinds. The following table lists the file kinds and offers examples of the syntax used to search for these kinds of files.

To Restrict by File Type:UseExample
All file typeseverythingkind:everything
Instant Messenger conversationsimkind:im
Text documentstextkind:text
Folder namefoldername or infoldername:mydocs or in:mydocs

Boolean Operators

Search keywords and file properties can be combined to broaden or narrow a search with operators. The following table explains common operators used in a search query.

NOTsocial NOT securityFinds items that contain social, but not security.
social –securityFinds items that contain social, but not security.
ORsocial OR securityFinds items that contain social or security.
Quotation marks“social security”Finds items that contain the exact phrase social security.
Parentheses(social security)Finds items that contain social and security in any order.
Finds items with a date after 11/05/04.
Finds items with a size greater than 500 bytes.
Finds items with a date before 11/05/04.
Finds items with a size less than 500 bytes. items with a date beginning on 11/05/04 and ending on 11/10/04.

Note: The operators NOT and OR must be in uppercase and cannot be combined in one query (e.g., social OR security NOT retirement).

Boolean Properties

Some file types let users search for files using Boolean properties, as described in the following table.

is:attachmentreport is:attachmentFinds items that have attachments that contain report. Same as isattachment:true.
isonline:report isonline:trueFinds items that are online and which contain report.
isrecurring:report isrecurring:trueFinds items that are recurring and which containreport.
isflagged:report isflagged:trueFinds items that are flagged (Review, Follow up, for example) and which contain report.
isdeleted:report isdeleted:trueFinds items that are flagged as deleted (Recycle Bin or Deleted Items, for example) and which contain report.
iscompleted:report iscompleted:falseFinds items that are not flagged as complete and which contain report.
hasattachment:report hasattachment:trueFinds items containing report and having attachments
hasflag:report hasflag:trueinds items containing report and having flags.


In addition to searching on specific dates and date ranges using the operators described earlier, AQS allows relative date values (like today, tomorrow, or next week) and day (like Tuesday or Monday..Wednesday) and month (February) values.

Relative to:Syntax ExampleResult
Finds items with today's date.
Finds items with tomorrow's date.
Finds items with yesterday's date.
Week/Month/yeardate:this week
date:last week
date:next month
date:past month
date:coming year
Finds items with a date falling within the current week.
Finds items with a date falling within the previous week.
Finds items with a date falling within the upcoming week.
Finds items with a date falling within the previous month.
Finds items with a date falling within the upcoming year.

Properties by File Kind

Users can search on specific properties of different file kinds. Some properties (like file size) are common to all files, while others are limited to a specific kind. Slide count, for example, is specific to presentations. The following tables list these properties by file kind.

File Kind: Everything

These are properties common to all file kinds. To include all types of files in a query, the syntax is:

kind:everything <property>:<value>

where <property> is a property listed below and <value> is the user-specified search term.

Titletitle, subject or abouttitle:“Quarterly Financial”
Datedatedate:last week
Date modifieddatemodified or modifiedmodified:last week
Importanceimportance or priorityimportance:high
Sizesizesize:> 50
Deleteddeleted or isdeletedisdeleted:true
Is attachmentisattachmentisattachment:true
Toto or tonameto:bob
Cccc or ccnamecc:john
Locationlocationlocation:“Conference Room 102”
Keywordskeywordskeywords:“sales projections”
Albumalbumalbum:“Fly by Night”
File namefilename or filefilename:MyResume
Authorauthor or byauthor:“Stephen King”
Peoplepeople or withwith:(sonja or david)
Folderfolder, under or pathfolder:downloads
File extensionext or fileextext:.txt


These are properties common to attachments. To limit the search to attachments only, the syntax is:

kind:attachment <property>:<value>

where <property> is a property listed below and <value> is the user-specified search term.

Peoplepeople or withpeople:john or with:john


These are properties common to contacts. To limit the search to contacts only, the syntax is:

kind:contacts <property>:<value>

where <property> is a property listed below and <value> is the user-specified search term.

Job titlejobtitlejobtitle:CFO
Assistant's phoneassistantsphoneassistantsphone:555-3323
Assistant nameassistantnameassistantname:Paul
Business citybusinesscitybusinesscity:Seattle
Business postal codebusinesspostalcodebusinesspostalcode:98006
Business home
Callback phone numbercallbackphonenumbercallbackphonenumber:555-555-2121
Car phonecarphonecarphone:555-555-2121
First namefirstnamefirstname:John
Last namelastnamelastname:Doe
Home faxhomefaxhomefax:555-555-2121
Manager's namemanagersnamemanagersname:John
Business phonebusinessphonebusinessphone:555-555-2121
Home phonehomephonehomephone:555-555-2121
Mobile phonemobilephonemobilephone:555-555-2121

Note: Phone numbers are indexed as entered. For example, if a user did not include a country or area code when entering the phone number, users will not be able to locate a contact if searching with country or area code in the phone number.


These are properties common to communications. To limit the search to communications only, the syntax is:

kind:communications <property>:<value>

where <property> is a property listed below and <value> is the user-specified search term.

Fromfrom or organizerfrom:john
Receivedreceived or sentsent:yesterday
Subjectsubject or titlesubject:“Quarterly Financial”
Has attachmenthasattachments, hasattachmenthasattachment:true
Attachmentsattachments or attachmentattachment:presentation.ppt
Bccbcc, bccname or bccaddressbcc:dave
Cc addressccaddress or
Follow-up flagfollowupflagfollowupflag:2
Due dateduedate or duedue:last week
Readread or isreadis:read
Is completediscompletedis:completed
Incompleteincomplete or isincompleteis:incomplete
Has flaghasflag or isflaggedhas:flag
Durationdurationduration:> 50


These are properties common to calendars. To limit the search to calendars only, the syntax is:

kind:calendar <property>:<value>

where <property> is a property listed below and <value> is the user-specified search term.

Recurringrecurring or isrecurringis:recurring
Organizerorganizer, by or fromorganizer:debbie


These are properties common to documents. To limit the search to documents only, the syntax is:

kind:documents <property>:<value>

where <property> is a property listed below and <value> is the user-specified search term.

Commentscommentscomments:“needs final review”
Last saved bylastsavedbylastsavedby:john
Document managerdocumentmanagerdocumentmanager:john
Revision numberrevisionnumberrevisionnumber:1.0.3
Document formatdocumentformatdocumentformat:MIMETYPE
Date last printeddatelastprinteddatelastprinted:last week


These are properties common to presentations. To limit the search to presentations only, the syntax is:

kind:presentation <property>:<value>

where <property> is a property listed below and <value> is the user-specified search term.

Slide countslidecountslidecount:>20


These are properties common to music files. To limit the search to music only, the syntax is:

kind:music <property>:<value>

where <property> is a property listed below and <value> is the user-specified search term.

Bit ratebitrate, ratebitrate:192
Artistartist, by or fromartist:John Singer
Albumalbumalbum:“greatest hits”
Yearyearyear:> 1980 < 1990


These are properties common to pictures. To limit the search to pictures only, the syntax is:

kind:picture <property>:<value>

where <property> is a property listed below and <value> is the user-specified search term.

Camera makecameramakecameramake:sample
Camera modelcameramodelcameramodel:sample
Date takendatetakendatetaken:yesterday


These are properties common to videos. To limit the search to videos only, the syntax is:

kind:video <property>:<value>

where <property> is a property listed below and <value> is the user-specified search term.

Namename, subjectname:“Family Vacation to the Beach 05”
Extext, fileextext:.avi
Last modified:: 2016/03/19 16:03