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How to locate files and folders by filename instantly [Windows]

Ask a Mac user about the best search program available for finding apps, documents, and other files in the computer; and the guy will swear on the built-in tool in OS X known as Spotlight. Blame it on Microsoft for their incompetence and/or disinclination; admittedly, the native search in Windows fails to impress till date. As usual, there exists 3rd party applications, and Everything [1] turns out to be doing remarkably well.

Everything window


Main Functionality

“Everything” is a search engine that locates files and folders by filename instantly in your Windows computer. It’s a free utility tool for Windows.




Unlike Windows search “Everything” initially displays every file and folder on your computer; hence, the name “Everything”. “Everything” is powerful software that includes an FTP and a web server interfaces. “Everything” can even index a mapped network drive. It also can search files by their contents. Simply type in a search filter (part of the desired file name) to limit what files and folders are displayed instantly. The more you type, the more specific the list gets (look into the animated picture below). “Everything” monitors file system changes promptly (reflected by the search window).

Everything animated

Search tips & tricks:

When you use “Everything” for the first time, a dialog box may pop up as shown below:

Everything popup

If you choose ‘Do not index NTFS volumes’, the UAC (user access control) prompt will show up every time you run “Everything”. “Everything” requires administrative privileges for low level read access to NTFS volumes for NTFS indexing. The UAC prompt can be avoided by running “Everything” as a standard user and installing the “Everything” service or not using NTFS indexing. Go to Tools > Options (Ctrl + P), click the General tab, check ‘Everything Service’, uncheck ‘Run as administrator’, click OK, exit “Everything” (right click the “Everything” system tray icon (bottom right), and click Exit; or File > Exit or Ctrl + Q), and relaunch “Everything”.

The program writes settings to the application folder, and the good news is that the ‘stealth’ works.

For those who don’t know what stealth is: Stealth means when an application is launched, used and terminated as it should be, it does not (typically) leave behind any traces in the registry/filesystem. Certain exceptions may be allowed; e.g., registry entries created/updated by Windows for the application (e.g., MRU or most recently used entries for dialog boxes, DirectX entries for DirectX-based apps), or temp files created in the official ‘Temp’ folders are not taken into account. However, stealth does not mean non-traceability as it’s highly unlikely that you can hide your activities on a Windows device from a proficient system administrator.


If you are a Mac user, you may still feel that “Everything” is not as good as Spotlight. Nevertheless, in quest of a file/folder, “Everything” does better job than what Windows does. It’s definitely something worth checking out!

I have tested “Everything” in Windows 7 Professional 64-bit.

Did I mention everything about “Everything” that you are interested in? Is it worth sharing with your friends & families? Let us know in the comments!

Price: Free

Version reviewed: (x64)

Supported OS: Windows (2K/XP/Vista/7/8/10)

Download size: 1.35 MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/61 [2]

Is it portable? Yes

Everything download page [3]