help with searching for documents

I am having problems searching for documents on Windows 7. Just cannot seem to find some despite following Microsoft search procedure - it isn't working for me!

Can anyone please tell me a basic way to try to find downloads that seem to have disappeared! I can only find a few and I know there are lots more. I have tried typing in a name in the Start search box and the search box at the top right hand page of documents, downloads, pictures - nothing.


Thank you


Noob Whisperer
Hello roller and welcome to the forum.
Most of the time when we get a question such as yours, you'll get some suggestions about third party search tools such as
My recommendation
And Mike H's usual recommendation

I know it is kind of a pain to install a third party program for these types of things but either or both are far superior to anything Microsoft has embedded in their OS since XP

As with any third party freeware installation, be sure and perform a custom / advanced install and avoid any bloatware that may be part of the installer.


Extraordinary Member

I’m a great fan of the built in Windows search in Explorer. There are a number of searches that can be made: Here are a few examples:

A minimum file size, simply type size:>30,000KB into the Search box and press Enter.

type:=.pdf or type:=.doc will display specific file types.

filename:x will display files using a partial filename. x represents the partial filename you want to search for.

kind:video, kind:music, kind:pictures or kind:docs will find all the videos, music, pictures or documents.

Providing the location is indexed, you can search in Windows Explorer for a specific word or phrase by typing content: followed by your phrase enclosed in double quotes. This will produce a list of files matching the criterion.

Speed up the search by opening Windows Explorer at the folder you want to search, rather than at the root folder. Also, pressing F3 will show Search options like Date Modified and Size.


Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
I've used and

They are both text replacement tools, but work very well in search too - you can't replace unless you find the original? Still, I haven't got a clue how they would work out for you. has dozens of programs in this field.

As usual, to make a question only provides more work. I do hope you find yours.

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