Search is built into Windows and there is a search box in every Explorer window, but it is not the only way to find files on Windows and it is not the fastest. FindOnClick is free and fast.
Open and Explorer window and select a drive or folder. Type a keyword into the search box and search results soon start appearing in a list. However, it is not the best way to search.
Search results appear slowly and if you are still using a PC with a hard disk drive, searching is a super slow process. It is made worse by having a large drive and a large number of files.
FindOnClick is part of a collection of free utilities for Windows PC and you can download the whole lot, or expand the FindOnClick section and download just that utility. I chose to download just this one app.
There are two ways to run FindOnClick and you can go to the Start menu, find the menu item and click it. An alternative method is to right-click a drive or a folder and select Search with FindOnClick from the menu that is displayed.
Simple vs advanced searches
There are simple and advanced searches and the first time FindOnClick is used, the simple search form appears. Enter a word, or even just a few characters, that might appear in the name of the file you are looking for. Select a drive on the right to search and then click the Search button.
There are a couple of useful options, like Highlight duplicate files and Only show files that contain the following text.
A simple search is quick to set up and run, but click the Expert search tab and there are many more options and these enable you to filter the search results so they show only what you are interested in.
For example, in the lower part of this window on the left side are options to show only selected file kinds, like music, pictures and photos, video and so on. Alternatively, use the options on the right side to hide the file types you don’t want to see in the search results. You can specify the file extensions to find or to ignore.
The drives to search are selectable in the top right corner and in the middle of the window is Search paths. Click Add path and then select a folder to search. You could select your Documents folder or your user account folder. Add the place where you think the file you are looking for might be.
All of these search settings are on the Main tab and there are other tabs by size or date ranges, files with specific attributes, and miscellaneous items like MP3 information.
FindOnClick is fast when you want to find files on Windows PCs. Even when running it on an old computer with a slow disk drive, it took only around 20 seconds to produce the search results. On a fast PC with an SSD, the results appear very quickly indeed. If you are used to searching in Explorer, you will find FindOnClick super fast.
The search results are shown as a list like Explorer’s details view, so you can see the filename, size, attributes, created date and so on. The columns of information to show can be configured and more added if you need them.
Double click a file in the results to open it in the associated application. A .jpg image will open in your photo editor, a .txt file in Notepad, .docx documents in Word, if you have it, and so on.
Right click a file in the list and a menu containing useful options is displayed. Selected filenames can be copied to the clipboard, files cut or copied (paste them in another folder in Explorer). Open text filers in Notepad, use the Open With menu to select an application to open a file, and more.
Conclusion and alternatives
FindOnClick is an extremely fast, free utility to find files on Windows PC. It is much faster than Windows built in search, although it does not index the contents of files like Windows can. For me, this does not matter so much. If you use descriptive filenames for documents, you can quickly find them.
It is not the only search tool for Windows and Wise JetSearch is even faster than FindOnClick. Search results start appearing as soon as the search button is clicked and it is extremely fast.
The only problem with it is that it does not have any of the filters that FindOnClick has. Enter a keyword, search, and it finds everything. However, if you only want .jpg images, you can search, then click the Type column header to sort by file extension, then scroll down to the .jpg files.
You can do a similar thing with file sizes and dates. Sort by clicking the column headers and scroll down to the range of file sizes or dates that you are looking for. Wise JetSearch is a good tool, and it is free, but I prefer FindOnClick.