Last year we ran through a couple performance-friendly desktop search applications for those of you that don’t want a program constantly indexing your machine, and today we have another nice alternative. It’s a free Windows app called Everything that, unlike the others mentioned in the article I referenced, does index your drive automatically over time.
So what makes this app stand out? A few things actually. For starters it doesn’t search the contents of files which makes the indexing that much faster. The developer estimates that a fresh Windows XP install (containing about 20,000 files) will take around 1 second to index. I’m sure you’ve got more files than that though, but even at a million files he says it should only take about a minute to index. That’s pretty tough to beat.
How about the search functionality? After all, that is the most important part of an app like this! It supports your standard boolean operators and wildcards, but real geeks will love the fact that you can also throw regular expressions into the search box. Plus you can have it search the full file path to see if any of the directories leading up to a particular file match what you’re searching for. An example they give as to where this would be useful is if you’re wanting to find “.avi” movies that are only in a downloads directory. All you’d have to do is search for “downloads\ .avi”.
The one big downside is that Everything isn’t capable of indexing networked drives, but you can run the app on the server where the drive is connected to. Then you just have to remotely tap into that server’s search index. It takes just a few minutes to setup, and the instructions can be found here.
Everything is free and runs on Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, and Windows 7. You can also grab a portable version if you just want to check it out, or if you simply don’t want to install yet another app on your computer. Either way… it’s definitely one of the fastest search utilities I’ve used, but as I mentioned before this doesn’t search the contents of files which may or may not suit your needs.