Though your Windows OS allows you to search for files and folders on your connected drives, it is widely accepted that the existing search engine is somehow underpowered. A free and much faster alternative is Wise JetSearch. This tiny and completely free tool will allow you to locate any file or group of files in less than it takes you to type your search. Always active, this tool will let you select the target drive and use wildcards to narrow your searches.
Windows indexes your folders to be able to locate your files quickly. Actually, this index-based approach slows down the entire process, sometimes to the point of tears. Try to search for a file using Windows on a drive with a few terabytes of data and you’ll see what I mean. Wise JetSearch performs the most complex and specific searches in no time, literally. It does not matter how big your drives are, which file system they use (NTFS, FAT, or FAT32), or how many files the search retrieves – the results will appear on the program’s main interface in barely a few seconds.
The program supports wildcards to help you build more flexible searches. This will allow you to find all files beginning with a certain letter or group of letters, files sharing the same extension, and even find files whose name you’re not too sure about. You can select the drive or drives you want the program to scan, which will allow you to leave out from your searches specific USB drives or backup disks, for instance.
You can set Wise JetSearch to launch at Windows startup and thus have it always ready to help you. The program will then open as a tiny search window that hides when not in use. Here you can input your query, though you won’t be able to select which drives to search unless you open the program’s main interface. Here is where the search results will be displayed, regardless of where you enter your query. By right-clicking on any of the items on the list, you will open a context menu with a set of useful file management features. From here you can open the file or folder; copy, move, or delete them; show their properties; copy the directory and the full path, and even export the entire list as a CSV file.
You’ll find it hard to come across a faster file search utility at this price. Its high level of flexibility and efficiency does make Windows’ search engine and index-based search features completely redundant and powerless. Wise JetSearch is probably the best substitute you’ll ever find for one of the various Windows’ chronically underpowered features.