Windows 7’s search function is “beefed” up a little. This guide will help you use the Windows 7 function but only scratches the surface. If you have other tips, please let us know in the comments.

Specifically, this guide covers the following:

  • Search from:
    • The Start menu
    • The Search Box
    • Anywhere
  • Search Filters

Search from Different Locations

You can search your PC (and even the internet — see Search Connectors) from anywhere. Here’s just a few places:

The Start Menu

To search from the Start menu, press the Windows Key or click the Start button. Start typing to search your PC:

The Search Box

If you’re browsing Computer, Documents, Pictures etc. you can search right within Windows Explorer. When using Windows Explorer, press CTRL+F (or F3) to jump to the search box:

Search from Anywhere

F3 is generally used as a search key. Press it on the desktop and you’ll see this:

Press it in Firefox and you’ll see this:

Put simply, press F3 in most programs (that have a search function) and you’ll be taken to the search function.

Search Filters

Search filters are designed to… filter your search results. Here are just a few filters you can type in the Windows Explorer search box (remember to include the colon after the keyword):

kind: This will filter by the kind of file i.e. Calendar, Document etc.

datemodified: Did you work on something yesterday but can’t find it now? Use the datemodified filter to find everything you modified yesterday:

datetaken: Do you want to find photos you took on your last trip? Use the datetaken keyword to find photos taken on the day of the trip.

size: Want to find large files to clean up your hard drive? Use the size filter:

These are four I’ve used, which filters am I missing? Let us know in the comments.

About Rich

Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix them.

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5 thoughts on “Quick Tips to Help You Use the Windows Search Function”

  1. Uvais says:

    good Post Rich
    I luv F3 option in Firefox ;)
    n BTW is it any trick of searching Registry by date??

  2. Kirk F. says:

    Interesting. Very interesting indeed.

    What you forgot to mention is that “Search Indexer” needs to be running.


    1. Rich says:

      It doesn’t need to be running but it sure helps when you want fast results. Thanks.

  3. Rosa jackson says:

    these are really good windows tips and tricks and secrets.these tips and secret help me a lot.if anybody thinking to buy windows 7.may be some people show interest in windows 7 after reading this article

    1. Rich says:


      (Sent from my phone)

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