July 14, 2024
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Windows will usually search for whatever you type in the Search box by looking in the file name, file contents, and file properties of all the files in the current view.

Type “Moon,” for example, and it will find files named “sunset in moon.jpg,” files tagged with “moon,” and files written by anyone named moon. This broad approach to search usually helps you find your file quickly.

If you want to search more selectively, however, you can filter your search in the Search box by specifying which file property to search. To filter by file property, separate the name of the property and the search term with a colon, as these examples show:

Example Use this to


Find only files that have the word Moon in the file name.


Find only files that are tagged with the word Moon.


Find only files that have been modified on that date. You can also type Modified:2010 to find files changed at any time during that year.

win-8-searchWhich file properties can you use in this way? Anything you see in a folder. You can filter by any property that appears in the file list headings, for example. To see the complete list of properties that you can filter by, right-click the heading you want to see properties for, and then click More.

Searching Windows using Boolean filters

Using Boolean filters is another way to perform a more precise search. Boolean filters let you combine search words using simple logic, as you can see in the following table.

Filter Example Use this to


Airdrie AND alberta

Find files that contain both words “Airdrie” and “alberta” (even if those words are not right next to each other).


Airdrie NOT alberta

Find files that contain the word “Airdrie,” but not “alberta.”


Airdrie OR alberta

Find files that contain either of the words “Airdrie” or “alberta.”


“Airdrie alberta”

Find files that contain the exact phrase “Airdrie alberta.”


(Airdrie alberta)

Find files that contain both words “Airdrie” and “alberta,” in any order.


date: >01/05/12

Find files that are more than or later than a certain value, such as after 01/05/12.


size: < 4 MB

Find files that are less than or earlier than a certain value, such as less than 4 MB. You can also specify other sizes, such as KB and GB.