Let’s face it – the Windows search feature is quite limited. It does not have all the necessary features you need to conduct thorough searches through huge quantities of files.
It does not have filters. Therefore, if you need to search through the contents on your hard drive and filter the results, you need to resort to a third party program.
One such program – and one we are very happy with – is SMF (short for Search My Files). What does this program do? What can you use it for? Well, let’s see. The program can be installed on your hard drive or it can be used directly from a USB flash drive – it is portable.
This means that you can take it with you anywhere you need to conduct complex searches. The portable version does not leave any traces in the Windows Registry.
You can select specific locations where to search for files and apply a wide variety of filters quickly and effortlessly. For example, you can search by file name, size, file type, file path, date created or modified, file attributes, file comments, etc. As long as you have a general idea of what you’re looking for, you’ll find it using this utility. The program can give you detailed information about things like drive label, file version, drive volume ID, shortcut (if any), file length, timestamp, etc.
You can exclude hidden folders and system directories from the search. This tool is your best friend if you need to find duplicate files. It can quickly scan the specified folders or drives and display a list of duplicate entries. You can then take action and delete the duplicates to free up some disk space. If you want to save the search results and other information, the program can generate reports in XML, CSV or HTML format. You can even see how many read and write operations were performed during the search. In case you need to erase files, you can do it from the program window. You can even choose the method used to erase data. Also, you are able to choose from several searching algorithms and even encrypt files using passwords.
The results are displayed using a SQLite-based tool, which means you can filter and sort the data in any way you like quickly and effectively. The program is very quick and can find items on large hard drives in a matter of seconds.
All in all, SMF (Search My Files) is way better than the default Windows search tool. It’s also faster than UltraSearch and Snowbird (two of the most popular free file searching programs). In most cases, the program is able to display more information about your files than its competitors are.