How To Find My Files

Dear Elizabeth,

I have been receiving your newsletter for many years now and have learned a lot from you. Thank you very much for this service.

I’m hoping you can help me.

Since moving from Windows 7 to Windows 8, I have not been able to search and find my files. When I launch File Explorer, at the far right I see the box that says “Search This PC”, but when I type in a file name and enter, nothing happens. Obviously they have made the search feature more complicated in Windows 8 and there’s something I’m not doing right.

Hope you can help.

Best Regards, Jeanette

Dear Jeanette,

It sounds like you are performing the steps correctly to search your computer. Perhaps it will work better if you narrow down the search area.

Instead of searching your entire pc, click on your C: drive, then double-click to open the “Users” folder, then double-click on your user name.

Now, try searching. This narrows down the search to just a few folders instead of every drive and device that is connected to your computer.

If that still doesn’t work, it might be time for a visit to your local repair shop.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • ron007
    • January 10, 2017

    You have several options.

    In win 8, just type the file name when you are on the Win 8 Start “scream” , aka Start screen. Let windows 8 search for it. I suspect that also won’t work because it depends on the same index, but it is worth a try. I was going to suggest checking to confirm that the Windows indexing service is running but I couldn’t find it’s name.

    Next, take a look at this article about tuning Windows Indexing, maybe indexing has been turned off or messed up some other way.

    Finally, before paying someone to fix it, you can also use third party tools to do file name searches. I have been using a tool called “Everything” for several years now. It is actually infinitely FASTER than the Windows built in file search because it uses a fundamentally different approach (and it does NOT search body text). Download the “portable” version, it does not have to be installed, you just run it. You can get it here:

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