The search options in Windows have significantly improved over time. If you think performing a basic search is enough for your needs, you might want to reconsider once you learn these practical Windows 10 search tricks.
If you’re looking to get more things done in less time, check out these handy search tips for Windows 10. They’ll help you find stuff much easier and spend more time focusing on more important things.
Settings app or Control Panel
The new Settings app is undeniably useful but Microsoft decided to also keep the Control Panel – a lot of options are available in both apps but there are also some features which you can only find in one location. This can cause confusion but only unless you don’t know how to interpret your search results.
When searching for a setting you might get some results from the Control Panel and others from the Settings app. Luckily, Windows 10 color codes the results so you can differentiate between Settings and Control Panel options.
The black-and-white icons are options available in the Settings app, while the colored icons are Control Panel settings. Keep in mind the search function will display results from both locations not just in the Start menu, but also in the Settings app.
Make use of filters
Whatever search query you’ve typed or asked Cortana in the taskbar you will often get various types of results – apps, settings, web results, files, and so on. No need to get overwhelmed by the results. Click on the “Filters” option in the upper-right corner of the Start menu and benefit from narrowing down the results to exactly the type of items you’re looking for.
You don’t even need to search something and use filters afterward. You can start your search by typing one of the filter categories followed by a colon and your search terms (e.g. Apps: Settings). Very convenient, right?
Calculate directly in Search
The Calculator app lets us perform even advanced calculations, but if all you need is basic math no need to launch it. Simply type the equation in the Start search and get your answer on the spot via Bing’s online calculator.
File Explorer-powered search
Windows 10 lets you search from multiple locations: the Start menu, via the Settings app, as well as inside File Explorer.
If you just need to search something stored on your PC you can rely on the File Explorer search function available in the upper right corner. The search will be performed in the directory that’s currently selected in the left panel.
You might need to wait for the results, especially if the directory is large but such specific searches are usually faster compared to using the Start menu.
Save past searches
If you’re performing various searches over and over you can save them in Windows Explorer to reuse them when needed. Once you’ve typed your search terms in File Explorer’s search field, select the Search tab from the top ribbon.
There, you can use various search filters. Once you’ve customized your search you can click the “Save search” option and give your search a relevant name. You’ll be able to reuse it later from your user folder’s Search folder, although you can save them to a different folder if you want to.