There’s a hidden feature in Windows 10 that lets you quickly and easily search the contents of files, instead of just searching for filenames.
Windows comes with a robust search engine that allows you to find apps, search the Windows Store and the web, and find files on your PC. The search engine in Windows 7 used to find content not just in file names, but also in the contents of files. You could even search the contents of .zip files in Windows 7.
Most people are unaware that this functionality still exists in Windows 10. It’s just not obvious how to enable it. Today we’ll show you how to enable searching through file contents in Windows 10.
Turn on Option To Search Through File Contents
Click the Cortana or Search button or box on the Taskbar and type “indexing options.” Then, click on Indexing Options under Best match.
On the Indexing Options dialog box, click Advanced.
Click the File Types tab on the Advanced Options dialog box. By default, all the extensions are selected, and that’s what we want. This will allow Windows to search through all the types of files on your hard drive.
Select the Index Properties and File Contents option in the How should this file be indexed section. Then, click OK.
A Rebuild Index dialog box displays, warning you that rebuilding the index might take a long time. That means that all the contents of your hard drive might not be searched until the indexing process is finished. Click OK.
Click Close on the Indexing Options dialog box.
Search Through File Contents in File Explorer
Now, when you search for text in File Explorer, Windows will search the contents of files for the text in addition to searching the file names.
Remember, if you don’t get results for your search right away, you may have to wait for the folders and files to be indexed.
What methods do you use to search the contents of files in Windows? Do you use any third-party apps to search the contents of files? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.