aNewDomain.net–Ever since Vista, Microsoft has simplified searching for files and folders, but in the process it has, in some ways, made it more difficult. The most noticeable change is that it has removed the search button from the Start menu. Fortunately there are more powerful search apps for Windows 8 like AstroGrep.
Image credits: Dino Londis for aNewDomain.net
You can get by with Windows 8 search by typing anywhere on the screen and Windows 8 will search Apps, Settings and Files. It’s fast and convenient, but it doesn’t easily allow for a granular search. For example, what if you want search results only from a title of a document and not words within a text, or what if you want to narrow the search to PowerPoint presentations?
Microsoft has removed the switches for a more granular search, like file size and creation date. For many Windows users, this improves the speed of searching for documents, but it hampers a more detailed search.
Search on Windows 8 is also not searching my microSD card, or E drive where I keep my documents. I like to keep them off the hard drive in case the OS fails or the PC has a hardware problem.
AstroGrep is a terrific lightweight free app that searches external drives with a more granular familiar search interface. AstroGrep – a 32-bit app built for pre-Windows 8 versions – works perfectly on the new OS. AstroGrep returns some of the more familiar search features from Windows XP, like date created and modified, and exclusions. It also lets you only search PDFs or spreadsheets or any extension, so you can greatly reduce the number of search results.
Based in New York, Dino Londis is a senior commentator at aNewDomain.net, IT Pro alum National Lampoon and teamBYTE. Email him at Dino@aNewDomain.net.