How can I search for a specific file in Windows?

Searching for a specific file in Windows is a relatively straightforward process. It can be accomplished by using the built-in search tool (known as the Search bar) or using the Run command.

Using the Search Bar

The search bar is an easy to use feature of Windows that allows you to quickly locate files without having to navigate through your computer’s folders. To access it, simply click the Start button and type a word or phrase in the box at the bottom right corner. The results will list files with similar words or phrases in the name.

You can also narrow your search by clicking the arrow at the right of the search bar and selecting options such as searching “Everywhere” or “This PC.” You can also limit the search by type, such as only looking for documents, photos, music, or videos.

Using the Run Command

The Run command is another way to search for a specific file in Windows. To use this method, press the Windows key + R and type the name of the file you are looking for. This will open up a window of search results that list files that contain the words you searched for. Click the file you are looking for to open it.

If you don’t know the exact name or location of the file, you can use wildcards when typing the search term. A wildcard is a character such as an asterisk (*), which represents any series of characters. For example, if you are searching for files created by Microsoft Word, you could type “*.docx” into the Run command and get a list of all Word files on your computer.

Advanced Search Options

Both the Search bar and the Run command can be used to perform advanced searches by using additional modifiers. For example, you can set limits for the age and size of the file, or search for text within a file using the content: modifier.

You can also look for files with specific properties or attributes. For example, you can use the attrib: modifier and enter a file attribute or two, such as “hidden,” “read-only,” or “system.”

Finally, if you need to find a file but can’t remember its name or location, you can use the findstr: modifier. This modifier will search the contents of files on your computer for a certain string of text.


Searching for a specific file in Windows is simple, as long as you know either the exact file name or some information about it. Using the Search bar or the Run command can help you quickly locate the file you are looking for. Additionally, both features allow you to perform more advanced searches, such as limiting the search by age or size, searching for file properties, or searching the contents of files.