Through yesterday’s article comments, I see that many readers suggested “Everything“, a free tool to search for files or folders on a Windows computer. I was curious to know what is so good about it that makes so many people mentioning it, so I downloaded Everything and gave it a test. The official website of Everything Search Engine (www.voidtools.com) stated that Everything is an administrative tool that locates files and folders by filename instantly for Windows. After playing around with Everything for nearly a day, I find that it can do so much more than just searching for files and folders by file name.
First of all, Everything Search Engine is free and that gives everyone a chance to use it for as long as they want without paying a single cent (donation accepted). As a tech person I always try to go for portable software so that I can bring it along with me wherever I go on my USB flash drive and also using it on my computer without installing it. Everything has both setup installer version and also the portable version with a single executable file.
The most impressive feature that Everything Search Engine has is the ability to list ALL files and folders on the program’s window instantly without any lag. Try exporting the list displayed on Everything from File > Export and then open the text file with Notepad. You will notice that Notepad takes even longer to open compared to Everything Search Engine. The export feature is useful for users that wants to keep track of new files being created or copied to the computer, but do note that ONLY file and folder names are in the exported text file without any other information such as file size, date modified, etc.
Searching for any files or folders using keywords is also very very fast. You will notice that the results are being filtered and displayed in realtime when you start typing in the search edit box. The only way Everything Search Engine is able to work in real time is because of indexing. When Everything is running, it monitors for any addition or deletion and updates the database instantly. There is no need to keep Everything running all the time because when you launch Everything, the first thing it does is to index your hard drive which typically takes only a few seconds. The easiest way to search is to simply type what you want to find but the best is to learn the syntax so you will find what you want more accurately.
With Everything, you can also search for files that are taking up spaces on your hard drive. Simply click on the Size to sort the list according to file size. Sorting according to size and date modified can take several minutes.
Everything also comes with 2 server options, the HTTP and ETP/FTP. Both server options allow users to browse and search for files over the Internet or Network. The difference between HTTP and ETP/FTP for Everything Search Engine is:
HTTP: The searcher can browse or search for files using web browser
ETP/FTP: The searcher will need to use either Everything to connect to the server (via Tools > Connect to ETP Server…) or any FTP client such as FileZilla, CuteFTP.
The CPU usage will only be high during sorting and takes about 10-20MB of physical memory depending on how it is being used. From the Windows 7 Resource Monitor, I hardly notice Everything taking any resources at all even when the real time indexing is active. Command line is also supported but if you need to run it silently/quietly, you will have to use the Everything Command-Line Interface (es.exe) which can be downloaded from the download page. There hasn’t been any updates on Everything for 2 years but it works perfect on the latest Windows 7. Would be perfect if Everything has shell integration to search more easily and conveniently using shortcut keys such as CTRL+F or F3.