Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Basic Searches in Windows 7

A good friend, and a client of mine last night caught up to me when I was at City Hall.

He had a problem that many people have and that is too many files get lost in oddball places.  Sure it makes sense to have all your pictures in one spot, but then you end up having a Pictures directory in your Libraries in Windows 7 that is a mess.  If you are like me, you end up having lots of little folders sitting in that Pictures directory with names on them. 

So how do you find those oddball files that got "misfiled"?  You know, the lost ones that we all have, that got tucked away in strange places.

This posting today is going to be mostly pictures.  So since a picture is worth 1000 words, I'm going to have 4000 or more of them.

This is a picture of my desktop with almost everything removed.   Way down in the task bar there is an icon circled.  That is the icon I have on my taskbar for "Computer".  You can find the same program that the icon represents by clicking on the start button, then selecting "Computer".

After you have selected that icon, you will see this window pop up. On my computer the default is to show your Libraries.  Not to worry, we won't be looking at those since we're going to look for lost files basically "everywhere" on your C drive.

Click once on your C Drive on the pane to the left.  On this picture the spot you want to click on is labeled "Local Disc (C:)".   I really should label the disc something more creative, but this works.
The arrow is pointing to the search box.   In the Search Box, type the kind of file you are looking for.  In this case, type "jpg".  Once you do that, Windows will immediately begin to search for your little lost files.

The search will run.  You will know when it is done by the green bar going away in the file directory name toward the top.   While this is going on, you can make the icons you see larger or smaller by clicking on the little icon just under the Search Box.

That's about it.  The basics that is.  There are other tricks you can experiment with.  This is a special folder at this point where you can grab all the search results and move, rename, or delete them so you may want to be careful.  It's an easy way to move a lot of lost files into one place if you have a mind to.

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