How to use Windows 11 Search feature for lost files | Tech News

How to use Windows 11 Search feature for lost files

Windows 11 users can find lost files with simple tricks. Check here.

| Updated on: Jan 02 2023, 19:00 IST
Is your Windows 11 laptop slow? Know how to delete junk files and boost its speed
Windows 11
1/5 Before you begin the process, you must ensure that you have online (cloud) and offline backups of all the data on your device. Once the data is saved, start by going to the Settings app on your laptop. (Amritanshu Mukherjee / HT Tech)
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2/5 There head to the System tab and click on Recovery. You’ll see an option that reads, “Reset this PC.” (Amritanshu Mukherjee / HT Tech)
Windows 11
3/5 Tap on that and then click on the Reset PC button beside it. Next, you will see a “Reset this PC” window on the screen where you have to choose from - Keep My Files or Remove Everything. (
Windows 11
4/5 Once you select the reset option, a new “How Would You Like to Reinstall Windows?” will appear on your screen where you have to choose between two options- Cloud Download or Local Reinstall. (Amritanshu Mukherjee / HT Tech)
Windows 11
5/5 Confirm your selected reset options and click on Reset. Your laptop will reboot to start the System reset. Do note that it will wipe all personal information on the laptop, including logged in websites, photos, and other files. (Microsoft)
Windows 11
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Know how you can use the Windows Search feature to spend less time finding a file. (Unsplash)

Nothing can be more annoying than losing an important file within your computer, especially when you need it the most. Whether you are moving from Windows 10 to 11 or maybe recently cleaned your messy desktop, there are chances that you have lost an important file within the layers of folders. In such cases, Windows 11 Search feature comes as a handy tool which has actually grown fairly powerful over the years and can help you hunt for the lost files. Here's how to use Windows 11 search feature correctly to save time and find your files quickly.

Windows 11 Search feature TIPS

Clean your Windows Search

You must have noticed that Windows Search shows a large image sourced from the Bing database as well as some other galleries you can explore, or maybe some random games or videos to check. If you want to avoid this spammy content, just simply head to Privacy & security options on your laptop, and then check search permissions. Here, just turn off the “Show search highlights" option. This will exclude spammy content and will show more relevant options.

You need to widen your Search horizons

Did you know, Windows Search only indexes four locations – Documents, Pictures, Music, and the Desktop by default. To avoid that:

  • In the search box on the taskbar, type indexing, and then select Indexing Options. Select the Advanced button to view more options, then select the Troubleshoot search and indexing link and follow the steps.
  • Some files might be hidden from view. In File Explorer, select View > Show > Hidden items. Then try searching for your files again.
  • Look for all files of a certain type using the asterisk (*). For example, to search for all Word documents, search for *.doc. For music files, search for *.mp3.
  • Some of your files may have been moved when you upgraded to Windows 11. To check the location of files you find, press and hold (or right-click) the file and select Open file location. Copy any files you want to move to a different location.

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First Published Date: 02 Jan, 18:59 IST