Getting a handle on all those files

I was reading this MaxiumPC article yesterday 5 Freeware Apps for Searching Thy Desktop Awesomely and thought I would try a few of them out. I’m trying to get a handle on the files of my work machine. I’ve got crap everywhere and I can’t find anything. I should have bought another license for Copernic Desktop Search, but I think I may have found some pretty good substitutes.

First up is Index Your Files. This app builds an index then searches for any and all files that match your criteria. It’s somewhat similar to Copernic but it doesn’t look inside the files, it just makes a note of the filename. And that’s actually pretty cool. Type in any part of a filename and Index Your Files will show you every file on every drive that matches.

And the index is very quick too. It takes about 1 minute to process 100,000 files. Just for fun, I tried it out at home across multiple terabytes and it took 8 minutes to catalog all my drives. But now I have an index of every single file on my machine. It doesn’t care what the file type, it just makes a list. This is extremely cool for locating that "sales" doc or that application receipt. It’s very neat and it’s free.

To get some Copernic like features you can install DocFetcher. It actually indexes the content of your files such as .doc, .xls, .txt, .pdf so you can search for keywords. This is much slower on first run to build that index, but it’s very useful for finding files based on their contents. I gave it a test run on my work machine and was able to dig up plenty of files based on my searches. It only works with certain files types (although the most popular are represented) and it won’t look in emails, but for the price tag of free you really can’t complain.

Copernic Desktop Search Professional is my choice for home use because of the interface, the way it separates groups of files, and it’s integration. However, with these two apps, I’ve gotten pretty darn close to that some functionality at work. And considering the pricing, these are great choices!

Need to get a handle on searching for your files? Check out some of these other apps.

5 Freeware Apps for Searching Thy Desktop Awesomely

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