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There are many reasons a lot of people love Windows 10, some of the reasons include small new features in the Task Manager, the introduction of Quick Access, and the UI (user interface) design of Windows 10 and lot more. Another improvements is that they have to Windows 10 is the new Start Menu with the improved search functionality.

The Windows Search has numerous smart tips and tricks you could use for better search functions, but cannot be measured with the advanced search features of OS X and Linux. Despite the fact that Windows 10 search have been improved in a lot of ways, it’s still sluggish and unsatisfactory.

And if you are in a situation where you always search for your files and folders all the way through your system, the best thing to do is for you to use one of these third-party tools we’ve listed as an alternative. Generally, Windows Search is only good for basic and casual use, not for advanced search functions.

Luckily for you, there are third-party search tools you can use to search for your files and folders with advanced features. So, we’ve listed 10 third-party tools you can use as alternative for the normal Windows Search. 

1. Everything

Everything is always praised as one of the easiest and fastest search tools for Windows. Everything is very easy to use. Download it from this link, and then install it. Now open the software, and give it some minute to index your whole system. 


After indexing your entire, all you will need to do now is just to type in anything into the text field and you will get immediate search results as you type. Furthermore, providing that you let Everything to run in the background and observe your system changes, it will always be immediate.

And the good news here is that it’s a free software, you don’t need to pay any dime before you can use it. And also, it’s lightweight and takes up less than 5 MB of your system RAM and 1 MB of disk space. It is the best tool to use for old and sluggish computers.

2. Lookeen

Lookeen has similar features and functions with Everything, but is an extra full-featured solution. It can search for content outside just file names and it uses speed to do that. The lookeen search window can also display previews of some certain file types, to the extent of allowing you to edit text files straightly from there.

Lookeen can also search external drives as well as local ones, and there are some filter options you can use to search for files in advanced manner further than with text queries only.

The only thing I don’t really like about Lookeen is because is not easy to find their free version. If you visit their official site, you’ll surely have difficult time to find the free version. But don’t freak out, because a free version does exist. I will give you a link in order to save your time. Click this link.

3. Listary

Listary is perhaps the most unique search tool, of all the ones we’ve listed in this article. It is tremendously minimal in design, and also stays totally out of your way till you need it. When you want to search, just start typing! It’s as easy as that.

Find-As-You-Type - Windows Explorer

Listary will display a list of all files on your system that match the query in real-time with immediate effect as you type in the file or folder name you want to search for. Additionally, Listary can perform commands similar to “Open Folder” and “Copy Folder Path”. And you can also use Listary to quickly get into a different folder by just typing its name.

You can download the free version of Listary on their Official site.

Listary also has advanced features which you will have to pay for. Some of its advanced features need Listary Pro which is $20. Nevertheless, even with the free version of Listary, you can still get a lot of functionalities and flexibility.

4. grepWin

grepWin is one the best search tools for programmers. Am saying this because I’m a programmer and this is one of the most useful tools I always use when search through the whole system. Using this, you can narrow search through any directory tree and it will find files by matching contents with your search query.


If you have a Linux pc or you’ve once used Linux before, it’s fundamentally the “grep” command for Windows. Therefore, the next time you need to narrow a search for a precise line of code or an exact line of documentation, this will save your search time by orders of amount. It’s very useful.

5. AstroGrep

AstroGrep is a good substitute to grepWin in case you don’t like grepWin GUI design or for whatever reasons. It does similar features with grepWin i.e. finds files that match your search query by content rather than file name, but it is faintly less advanced and simpler to use.


With AstroGrep, you can specify which file types to search, view file contents inside AstroGrep itself, and save or print results for later. Possible future features include searching through PDFs, MP3s, ZIPs, RARs, and more.

The first version of AstroGrep was released in 2006 and since then, it has continues to receive regular updates.

6. SearchMyFiles

SearchMyFiles give the impressions that are weakly old at first look, but it’s deceptively flexible. You’ll be able to catch up and put together complex search queries using filters and wildcards, once you’ve known how it works.


For instance, you can search all files created in the last 15 minutes, between 300 and 600 bytes in size, and containing the word “error”. You can search for duplicates file name. The application is lightweight and portable i.e. no installation needed and you can carry it around with your USB stick. 

7. Copernic Desktop Search

Copernic has been in the searching tool industry since 1996, starting first as a web search engine, however, in the long run becoming known for its fantastic desktop based search application. If truth be told, it’s regarded by many as the #1 desktop search tools in the world.


Copernic comes in a free version and a commercial version. Unluckily, the free version has limitation, you won’t be able to use some features like search network drives, external drives, cloud storages, Outlook emails, Lotus notes, and it has an index limit of 75,000 files. Nevertheless, if it is for basic home usage, it’s more than enough.

8. Registry Finder

Regardless of the extra searchability feature in Windows 10, the registry is still a bit rudimentary. Whether you want to fix errors in the registry or just make a few tweaks for usability, the process of finding keys can be sluggish and tiresome.

Registry Finder is a free search tool that makes registry navigation easier. Registry Finder also has the ability to search keys according to when they were last modified, i.e. it will come handy when you want to see all recent changes made to Registry e.g. when troubleshooting.

Screenshot of the main window.

I think with the above free search tools we’ve listed; you can with ease search for any files or folders throughout the window system.

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