Originally published at Medium on
Few years ago a teammate changed my perspective of my daily computer’s usage experience. Until that moment, I used to go and explore folder and files using Windows Explorer as Microsoft intended, but something was wrong with it, too many clicks and the start menu search need some improvements. Overall, it felt so different than my common internet browsing experience, where you open your favorite search engine and start typing whatever you’re looking for. Then the eureka moment came, he introduced me to Everything.
This small nifty tool focuses on performance. It has a small installation file, clean and straightforward user interface. It relies on quick indexing which allows fast results with minimal database footprint and real-time updates of the file system.
The usage is simple, you type in a search box which files and folders you’re looking for, and the results are shown thanks to the index file instantly. According to voidtools, Everything only indexes file and folders’ names, which takes a few seconds to build its database. For example, a fresh install of Windows 10 (about 120,000 files) takes about 1 second to index. 1,000,000 files takes about 1 minute. That’s fast.
The footprint is tiny, a fresh install of Windows 10 uses about 14 MB of ram and less than 9 MB of disk space. While 1,000,000 files uses about 75 MB of ram and 45 MB of disk space. It means software performance was in the mind of voidtools’s developers and looks like a real effort was made to address it.
Everything is opened by double-clicking the tray icon, a desktop shortcut or my personal favorite, a Hotkey. I defined Ctrl+Alt+F for instant searching.
Under ‘Indexes’ settings in the options menu, I recommend defining which folder to index from whatever location you’ll choose (it can be a network folder too) and which NTFS (C:\, D:\ ,etc.) drives to include.
Everything contains basic and advanced features. You can use wildcards.
For example, searching t*b results in all files and folders starting with t and ending with b.
Boolean operators are supported too.
AND is the default Boolean operator. To search either of two search terms simply add a | between the terms. IMHO, the excluding operator ( ! ) is the most useful one.
With this basic functionalities, you can filter specific file types by writing the file extension (for example *.mp3), search only files under a specific folder (for example \temp) and much more…
You can search for files’ content (which is not indexed and therefore slower).
An example is when you’d like to find emails, modified this week, containing the text “banana”:
*.eml dm:this week content:banana
ID3 tags and FLAC tags search are an option:
Furthermore, you can use regex to override search syntax. Regex must be enabled from the Search menu:
Voidtools kindly added A LOT of examples which can be used to learn additional search behaviors.
As a final note one small tip, Everything.ini stores all the settings for Everything, so I recommend to back it up in your favorite cloud storage and upon a new computer installation just point to the .ini local copy.
Everything is a freeware and can be downloaded from the link below.