There are two programs I use for searching my system. One searches for files and folders, the other searches within files.
Voidtool’s Everything is a free program that has little effect on system resources. Its icon sits in the system tray. I use it everyday, sometimes repeatedly. What I like most about is its instantaneous response as I enter search text. Here’s a screenshot for a simple query:
It provides results that are progressively refined as the search text is typed in. If you want to find all files of a particular type, e.g. mp4, search for *.mp4. If you have multiple criteria, say all files named “john” and “mary”, just enter “john mary” (the search is case insensitive). There are other options, too.
It works by indexing all your files, including mapped network files, when it is first installed. It does this remarkably quickly.
Whereas Everything finds files and folders, Notepad++ finds text strings within files. It is free and the search function is quick and simple to use.
Start by selecting Search from the menu and clicking Find in Files…
Choose a search term and location. The search can include sub-directories, as shown here:
Click Find All.
Each file containing the search term is highlighted in green, with the individual entries listed below with line numbers to make it easier to locate them.
Click on any highlighted line to be shown that file.