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by JB Burke

Q: I have many files on my computer, and I often have trouble finding what I am looking for. Is there a better way to search for files by name than the Windows search function?

A: Yes there is, and it's both lightning quick and free. In order to get this great tool, we suggest that you "download everything"! In fact the name of the program is Everything.exe. It can be found here. Simply download Everything- and save it where you can find it.

Double click to open the Setup file, and you will be asked what components to install. The choices are Everything (required); Update notification; Run at Startup (default); Shell context menus (shows "Search everything" when you right click on a file name, also a default); Start menu shortcut (adds Everything to the start menu, another default); Quick launch shortcut; Desktop shortcut; and Choose volumes (choose this IF you have more than one drive letter for files – like perhaps a D and/or E for various file types, separate from your Windows system files). Here you can probably just click Next. It will create an install folder – click Install (it's a very fast process). Click Finish.

Now Everything will create its index. How long that takes depends upon how many files you have on your system. Generally this step is very quick. I suggest you pin Everything to your task bar – you are likely to use it that often. Start Everything, and you will see a simple screen with a list of files, and a blank line at the top – this is the search line. Start typing the name of a file, and about as fast as you can type, it will present you with the file or files you are looking for. Right click on a file name on the list, and you have several options, including "Open file location", which will take you right to it.

You will find this program is worth its weight in gold. They ask for a donation – it's worth it.

Published: Courier 7/21/13 - Page 3C