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Free File Search Utility is the Best Yet

I've been looking for a program like this for years.

"EVERYTHING" is a free search utility that will locate a file or folder by name located on any of your hard drives in less than a second. 

"Ho-hum" you say, "there are several programs that do that."

Quite so, but this one does it without creating massive indexes. That saves your disk space and more importantly, doesn't slow down your PC by needing to maintain such indexes.

"But how can this work?" you ponder, "instant search utilities needs indexes in order to work."

Yes they do and that's the trick. with this product; it uses the indexes that form part of the NTFS file system.  It is using something that is already there rather than duplicating it.

It's a clever idea. Now why didn't somebody (including Microsoft) think of this before?

Of course to use EVERYTHING your hard drives need to be NTFS formatted but that includes 99.9% of all XP and Vista users, so it's hardly a limitation.

EVERTHING can scan multiple drives, find search terms embedded within file names and can be accessed from a desktop shortcut, the Start Menu or from the right click context menu. It weighs in at a massive 334 KB download. Yes folks, that's kilobytes not megabytes. And its free.

What more can you ask for?

(Windows 2000, XP, Vista)

This item was based on a suggestion by regular contributor rhiannon.  

Update: I need to clarify my comment that EVERYTHING does not "create massive indexes."  This means what it says and should not be read as implying it does not create any indexes. It does, but they are very small and created in seconds not hours. These tiny indexes are possible because EVERYTHING leverages itself off the information contained in the NTFS file system rather than recreating that information afresh.

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by Australia on 16. April 2014 - 13:34  (115738)

I use Windows XP
I have used Everything for the last 3 years, and it is indeed a very fast utility
Two problems:
It has to rebuild its database everytime the computer is restarted for the day, which can take some time
Secondly, for my Windows XP system at least, Everyday seems to sometimes interfere with Windows File Manager/explorer, making it unstable at times

I was informed of a new application, Hddb (version 1.03)
This software is very similar to Everything, but can remember its database, so doesnt rebuild it everytime you start the program
And similar very fast file searching

So finally, a rival to Everything has arrived !

One weakness with Hddb - it needs to be installed, no portable version. And when you install it, it doesnt immediately recognise external drives including USB drives. I had to restart my computer, and the external drives were recognised

by Drongo on 29. June 2013 - 8:58  (108810)

You have asked a question in each post. That is considered by most people a request for information.

The contents of the system 32 directory do show up properly on my system in Everything as do searches for individual files in that directory. It also works in the Syswow 64 directory. You state you have a problem with it and want it to do something but have no interest in free assistance from the developer.

If it does not work on your system there is no need for it to be on your system.

by J_L on 30. June 2013 - 1:21  (108832)

Since when did information equal help?

I think I've finally found the problem. I have to force "C:\Windows\System32" to be included in Tools > Options... > Index > Folders in order for it to work. From that, I can assume you have non-default settings. As for developer support, that's only for software I want to keep, not when I'm only (mildly) considering it.

Look here, my clean virtual machine has nothing installed other than Windows and its Updates. I'm afraid that your case is the exception here. I'll wait for the stable version before assessing the need.

by J_L on 27. June 2013 - 8:12  (108748)

It's 2013, and Everything recently released a beta 64-bit version. I expected at least full compatibility on my 64-bit OS (they had a ~3 year break after all), but failure yet again. My test? Try any file in "C:\Windows\System32", none within that exact folder will be detected.

JAM Software UltraSearch supported this for a while now, and Glary Utilities Quick Search (at least in Glary Utilities 3) supports this as well as FAT32 drives (not at same speed). Yet they're both 32-bit programs, so what gives?

by Drongo on 27. June 2013 - 9:32  (108749)

Run as administrator.

by J_L on 27. June 2013 - 9:34  (108750)

How about you actually try them? On a 64-bit system.

by Drongo on 29. June 2013 - 7:13  (108802)

Been using the 64 bit version of Everything on Win 7 Pro 64 bit for at least a year. Also checked your specific example on my own system before I posted the reply.

by J_L on 29. June 2013 - 7:25  (108803)

Oh, did you even look at the paths? Is "C:\Windows\System32" clearly on the path, or does it display all the other locations consisting of duplicate files? That's clearly the case on my Windows 7 64-bit and Windows Server 2012. Heck I even installed it in a clean Virtual Machine, same result.

by Drongo on 29. June 2013 - 7:58  (108805)


Only other option I can think of at present to make it work properly is this:

1, Exit Everything.

2, Delete the file everything.db which should be in the same directory as Everything.exe. If you have Everything running full time this file will not be there until you close the program.

3, Restart Everything and see if it works.

4, If that does not work, you can get free assistance via the developer's website.

5, The product works for other people. The product cost you nothing. The help you want costs you nothing. Might want to keep that in mind when phrasing your requests.

by J_L on 29. June 2013 - 8:14  (108806)

1., 2., 3. Never even started it before. Always deleted before testing. If it cannot work in a clean virtual machine, then obviously none of that helps.

4. Might do so if I had more time and interest.

5. Really, where's the proof? I haven't even seen one screenshot of it working for other 64-bit machines on my specific query. It costs me time, and I never stated any request for help.

by Drongo on 29. June 2013 - 8:24  (108808)

You can always buy any one of the payware alternatives.

by J_L on 29. June 2013 - 8:44  (108809)

I'm seriously wondering how much of my message you're getting. I guess you can't just show me it working on your machine for whatever reason. All I need to see is items in both System32 and one of amd64/wow64/SysWOW64 showing up within their proper paths to verify. If you tried and "succeeded", it probably was a subdirectory within "C:\Windows\System32".

Do I even need to mention UltraSearch and Quick Search again, or are there more comparable alternatives that searches the NTFS MFT?

by Oxa on 5. June 2013 - 18:08  (108311)

Everything is very fast, but it can't search by file date or size. That makes it of limited utility, as far as I'm concerned.

by Drongo on 18. April 2013 - 3:12  (107163)

One item of note, do not mistake the View menu's "Enable Regex" option for the context menu option. If Regex is enabled, Everything will not search normally and won't search subfolders when a folder search is done.

by jimcarter1959 on 30. December 2012 - 5:17  (104095)

I just discovered UltraFileSearch. The "Lite" version is freeware and a portable version is offered. A couple of advantages over Everything (which is great): (1) the application is still being developed--as of November, (2) text searches WITHIN files are offered--no indexing involved.

by MidnightCowboy on 30. December 2012 - 6:29  (104097)

There are restrictions with the free version of UltraFileSearch namely:

Cannot search in Encoded Text Documents using iFilter Add-ons to find the text.
Cannot choose the match type for the attributes to search for (Any, All, Only).
Does not feature multi-select support in order to perform editing on multiple Items.

MC - Site Manager.

by Vignesh (not verified) on 15. September 2012 - 12:29  (99296)

I am happy with Locate32.
>It is very fast and lightweight.
>Search as you type.
>You can search based on name, date or size. Name it, You got it.
>You need to be manually update the index (No background process for continuously updating all the changes.) But I am not concerned with it as updating usually takes just a minute.
>Besides it can work with any filesystem (FAT or NTFS or anything that windows can read including exFat)
>It can also show results from my usb (if i add it to list of drives to be indexed)

by Talapantas (not verified) on 14. August 2012 - 2:45  (97677)

everything is really a great programs in terms of searching ability, but i find it difficult at times when i need to search in %system% folder because there could be a lot of winsxs related search entries before i can find the program and setting up filters in exclusion list can be a lot harder than i thought it would be, hope someone can help me out setting up filters so i can get the structured search like that of windows 7 (where it isolates programs, files, directories) and all the control panel items to be included as well

by farrukh nadeem (not verified) on 22. January 2012 - 6:30  (87589)

I have tried many tools for file name searching and Data(text) searching inside any of the files.My findings are

1)5*****)Everything search engine ( freeware Utility)
Locate files and folders by name instantly.
2)5*****)Locate32 file name Search
3)5******)Copernic Desktop Search(Home edition is Free)
Copernic is best and awarded file data searching tool and very efficient and meaning ful for searching data inside(xls,pdf,chm,doc,html) or any type of files you have inside your hard disk.Its great tool as compare with google desktop search.

by Miral (not verified) on 23. December 2011 - 17:43  (85817)

I tried it and for the first time, it was unresponsive. But after few seconds, it stated giving me instant results.

The feature which I was looking for was it should result every files which contain the word I have written. Is that implemented already?

Is it possible?


by innn (not verified) on 9. November 2011 - 6:00  (82958)

everything in indeed the fastest thing I 've seen to do what is supposed to do, but it does not work from a limited user account at all, so at this moment it's of no use to me. however the author has said that the program will suffer changes to incorporate a service and client model that will allow that utilization.

by Lumidad on 18. May 2013 - 13:53  (107840)

Just installed the latest beta version " Beta for Windows" which seems to have solved this issue.

by innn on 12. June 2013 - 13:39  (108481)

You are right and I ahve downloaded that version but I don't know how is supposed to work. I launch it installed it as a service and it finds nothing.
Would you care to tell me how are you using it? I am on windows 8 if it matters.

by danmar (not verified) on 24. September 2011 - 18:47  (80266)

Everything is very fast but it doesn't work very well. Weeks back I noticed that it no longer found a WHOLE LOT OF FILES I knew were on my system but not where they were and it couldn't find them. Did many tests to confirm its limitations. Still can't find them. Just downloaded a file to my download folder and it can't find it. I suspect it gets tripped up by the number of files on a system because it doesn't appear to have issues on my Win7 machine (though I haven't done any specific tests) which is much newer and has far fewer files than my XP machine does. It's always refused to index my USB hard drive when it's plugged in reporting corruption in the database. Deleting "everything.db" solves none of my problems. So, back to Agent Ransack which is slower but works.

by Machete (not verified) on 27. January 2012 - 18:37  (87902)

"It's always refused to index my USB hard drive when it's plugged in reporting corruption in the database. Deleting "everything.db" solves none of my problems"

USB drives are not NTFS but FAT32, the drive MUST have a NTFS index for it to work ¬_¬

by Rafael (not verified) on 26. January 2012 - 4:27  (87796)

Danmar, the most probable cause for your problem is that you are ussing FATvpartition. As stated, Everything works ** only ** on NTFS.

by Michael Connor (not verified) on 19. August 2011 - 17:54  (77967)

This is in principle the same as "Everything" but slightly more comfortable. The "Exclude filter can be used directly from the command bar, and you can choose your discs directly.


Regards....Mike Connor

by Jennifer Case (not verified) on 17. August 2011 - 14:47  (77810)

After having tried all of the search programs mentioned in all 3 pages of these comments, I think I have found fastest and lightest one that seems to have no issues, I hope that it gets reviewed here!

The name of it is Agent Ransack -

I would love to hear how y'all think it stacks up to all other searchers!

by CTAWorshipper (not verified) on 19. August 2011 - 17:00  (77963)

Agent Ransack makes a file system search each time it is actively looking for your file(s), therefore, it slows down your system . So, honestly I don't think it is worth to review it knowing that Everything (by voidtools) is super-ultra-mega fast.

I used to work with Agent Ransack a while back, but stopped using it when I discovered Everything.

At the end, I was looking for a tool that was able to find my files, and this is what Everything does, with the advantage of being way too fast!

by Jojo Yee on 17. August 2011 - 15:00  (77812)