Help! I lost a file and I can’t find it.
Ever have that happen to you? Of course you have – everyone loses a file every once in a while. So if you know how to use Windows search tools, you can find the file easily and quickly. Windows XP calls their search tools “Windows Search Companion” – hereafter referred to as WSC.
First, the keyboard shortcut to opening up the Search tools is F3. Press F3 and you will get WSC. Or do it the old fashioned way – click on Start, then click on Search. The Search Results window will appear.
Time to start your first search. The first thing you need to determine is what you want to search for. If you can narrow down what you want to search for, you can save time. For example, if you are looking for a Word document, you would select Documents. If you are looking for a picture, you would select Pictures, music or video. By selecting one of these options, your search will look through just those types of files.
Remember, the more you narrow down your search criteria, the faster your search will be.
You can use Advanced Search options in all of these searches which will help speed up your search even more. For example, you can specify where to search for a file (or folder). If you save all your documents in the My Documents folder, you can select to search in just that folder. This will save you quite a bit of time.
Or you can specify things like the file size or the date the file was modified. Or, if you are searching for a file that has text, you can search for “A specific word or phrase in the document.”
So, be sure to try to use the advanced features in your searches.
If you search for a file and it results in dozens or hundreds of files found, then you will get the option to refine the search by narrowing the search criteria. I just searched for “tt” (that’s how I name my Tech Tips), and that resulted in 351 file names that had “tt” in the file name – it’s time to refine that search a bit.
One other option is searching for files on other computers that are a part of your workgroup or network.
One last thing, you will notice that you have the option of using Indexing Service (for faster local services). Don’t use this option! It does not significantly increase the speed and efficiency of your searches, but it does slow down your computer in general because it has to continually update the index. The way it works is that when you are supposedly not doing anything on your computer, it will decide to update the index of your files. This will eventually drive you crazy. And I would hate for anyone to end up in an asylum because they were using the indexing feature of WSC.
Now the important stuff. The default animated animal ( or object) is the dog – his name is Rover. If you click on Rover, you get 3 options: (1) You can choose a different animated character, (2) you can turn off the animated character, or (3) you can ask the animated character to do a trick. Well, I’m a cat man myself, so I changed the animated dog to Links, the cat. And on a slow day, I ask Links to do tricks for me. He’s not as good at the tricks as Rover, but you know how cats can be!!
Practice your searches and you’ll always be able to find that lost file.
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