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How to Find Files Quickly in Windows 10

When using a Windows 10 computer, it’s likely that you’ll download hundreds or even thousands of different files without even thinking about it. When you have all of these different files, how are you supposed to find anything?

To find a file on a Windows 10 computer, first, try typing the name of the file into the search bar on your taskbar. Next, try opening the file explorer and using the search bar located there. If you still can’t find it, you may need to try downloading a third-party program to search for you.

We get that you likely have more questions after reading that. For example, what third-party program should you get? Let’s break down this topic so that you can find any file on your computer with no issues.

How to Search for Files in Windows 10

Windows 10 laptop

There are actually a few different ways to find files on a Windows 10 computer. You can use the taskbar, the File Explorer, or you can use a third-party program. Let’s go through each of these so that you can determine which method would be the most convenient for you.

Using the Taskbar

The taskbar is a helpful feature that should always be open on your computer. This is the name of the bar that is located at the bottom of your screen. This bar displays information like the programs you currently have open and the time.

In Windows 10, you can easily search for files and folders by using the search feature on the taskbar. Here’s how:

  1. Click on the search bar on the taskbar. It is located on the left side of the taskbar.

  2. Type the name of the file or folder you want to search for. As you type, Windows 10 will start showing results in the search results box that appears below the search bar.

  3. If you want to search for a specific type of file, such as a document or an image, you can use the filters that are available in the search results box. Click on the filter that you want to apply, and Windows 10 will show only the files that match that filter.

  4. Once you have found the file or folder that you are looking for, you can click on it to open it or right-click on it to access additional options, such as copying, deleting, or renaming the file.

Using File Explorer

Windows 10 File Explorer is a powerful tool for managing and organizing files on your computer. When you have a lot of files on your computer, finding the one you need can be a challenge. For this purpose, the File Explorer helps to display all of the files on your computer in a simple

To open the File Explorer, just click on the search bar in the bottom left corner of the screen and type “File Explorer.” When the File Explorer shows up, all you have to do is click on it.

The search bar at the top right of the File Explorer is a quick and easy way to find files. Just type in a keyword or phrase related to the file you are looking for, and Windows will show you all the files that match your search criteria.

Using a Third-Party Program

If you don’t like the methods to find files that are built-in to Windows 10, you still have other answers. There are a couple of third-party programs that you can use. Let’s go through two of your best options: Everything and SearchMyFiles.


Everything is a fantastic free program that can look through multiple drives on your computer all at the same time. This includes both internal and external drives.

When using the File Explorer to search for files, you normally have to wait around for the File Explorer to actually find your files. The best part about using Everything is that when you search for a file, you don’t have to wait at all. All results will show up instantly as you type them.

If this sounds like a program you want, you can find and install Everything on their website (found here). Just download the program, type the name of the file you want to find, and Everything will pull it up.


SearchMyFiles is another free program that does exactly what it says it does, it searches your files. This program allows you to perform more specific searches than the original File Explorer lets you.

Using SearchMyFiles, you can exclude certain folders from your search, exclude files from showing up in the search if they don’t include certain text, search for files by file size, and even search by the date the document was created. You can also save certain searches in SearchMyFiles if you would like the results later.

If SearchMyFiles sounds like a program you would like to download, it can be found at their website here.

Helpful Search Tips

Surface Computer

Though the File Explorer may seem simple compared to the third-party programs we went over, there are still some tricks you can do with it. Let’s go through some simple tricks you can use with the Windows File Explorer.

  1. Use the sort and filter options: The File Explorer allows you to sort files by name, date modified, size, and other attributes. You can also filter files by file type or file extension. Using these options can help you narrow down your search results and find the file you need faster.

  2. Use the Quick Access menu: The Quick Access menu in the File Explorer displays frequently used folders and files. You can add folders and files to the Quick Access menu by right-clicking on them and selecting “Pin to Quick Access”. This makes it easy to access the files you use most often.

  3. Use keyboard shortcuts: Windows 10 has several keyboard shortcuts that can help you navigate the File Explorer quickly. For example, you can use the Ctrl + F shortcut to open the search bar, or the Ctrl + Shift + N shortcut to create a new folder.

  4. Use file tags: Windows 10 allows you to tag files with keywords to help you find them later. To tag a file, right-click on it and select “Properties,” then click on the “Details” tab and enter your tags in the “Tags” field. You can then search for files using these tags in the File Explorer search bar.