A free file search engine is like a free program that searches for your computer files. These free file finders are powerful, feature-rich programs with dozens of search feature built into your computer.
If you’ve always been good at naming and organizing hundreds or thousands of files (or more) on your computer, you may need one of these programs. On the other hand, if you’re like me and have filed all over the place, a free file finder is necessary on some drives.
Everything is a free file search engine for Windows with a super clean program interface that supports tons of great features.
You can use everything to search from the Windows right-click context menu and find files on several NTFS drives simultaneously, both internally and externally.
When you start searching for the file, the results are displayed immediately – no need to wait or press Enter. Newly added or modified files are added to Everything in real-time, so there is no need to manually re-index the database. According to the Everything website, it takes about a second to index about a million files.
There’s a toggle in Everything’s settings you can use to exclude any custom, system, or hidden files and folders from search results to narrow down what you’re looking for.
Everything also includes an HTTP and FTP server so you can access the files of networked computers that also have the installation program.
It looks like the features will stop here, but Everything is even free for commercial use, including a mobile download option, and lets you save your searches as a bookmark for easy collection.
Quick Search is a free search utility provided by the software company Glarysoft.
Files are indexed quickly with Quick Search and can be searched using instant search, so you don’t even have to press the enter key to view them.
When you open Quick Search, a minimized version of the full program is displayed at the bottom of the screen. When you search for files from this search area, results show up on a small screen for quick access. You can press the Ctrl key to show/hide the search bar.
Besides, open the full program to choose an easy filter to display shortcuts, folders, documents, pictures, videos, or music from the results page.
Quick Search indexes files and folders from all attached drives, meaning you can go through all drives to find what you’re looking for.
Agent Ransack does not have a friendly interface like the other software on this list, but the search parameters are quite detailed.
Before starting your search, you can define different filters so that Agent Ransack only displays customized results. Includes filters for specified file size, modified date, date created, and last accessed date.
Boolean and DOS expressions are acceptable, so you can search multiple keywords, find exact phrases, exclude file types, use wildcard characters, and exclude words from a search.
Agent Ransack also supports context menu integration and can export search results and save search criteria for repetitive searches.
A bit like Agent Ransack, FileSeek has a straightforward and straightforward interface.
There is an Exclude Links section next to a Regular Path text area so you can narrow down the results even before starting your search.
You can also refine the search parameters with the date filters and file size.
FileSeek can be installed as a regular program or downloaded as a portable form.
Note: During setup, FileSeek requires a trial version of the professional version to be activated. You can revert to the free version by installing another program. It will automatically take after 30 days.
MultiFind is a file finder with two main features built into the same program. You can search for files by name or search for files by the content they have within them.
Like the TextCrawler above, MultiFind can look at a text file for any word, phrase, or number. Also, however, it works just like an ordinary search program like the others on this list.
I like that MultiFind displays the context of a search term in a text file so you can know exactly where the search line was found.
MultiFind can integrate itself with Windows Explorer, skip files by extension or name through a custom list, open multiple search tabs to keep everything organized and search in various folders simultaneously.
A simple file finder is Ava Find, which is limited to most of its features but still offers fast search and quick indexing.
Sorting through search results in Ava Find is not as intuitive as most other apps from this list because you have to use menu items to do so – there’s no dedicated button as with most similar applications.
The Shift + Esc shortcut can quickly open Ava Find when it minimizes the notification center, making it reasonably easy to start a new search.
Some features are only available in the pro version, but it’s not noticeable until you try to use them, which can be annoying. Basic options like copying the file’s path, deleting the file, and viewing the files’ properties are not allowed in the free version.
As the name suggests, LAN Search Pro is a file search program that searches files on the network instead of on local hard drives.
Any networked computer that you have the credentials for can be searched with LAN Search Pro. There is a program to store information if you are not a system administrator on computers connected to the network.
Depending on the download link you choose, LAN Search Pro can either be installed as a regular app or downloaded and used as a portable program.