Windows search connectors

One of the things Microsoft added to Windows 7 is Search Connectors, which gives users the ability to search sites and view the results directly in Windows Explorer. It probably isn’t something that everyone will use, but I can see it being useful in certain scenarios. has a list of some pre-made Search Connectors, but if you see a site that isn’t in the list there is a good chance you can just hack it together using the Bing API. It’s pretty straightforward and just requires you to create a file (in Notepad is fine) with the OSDX extension, and the content should look something like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<OpenSearchDescription xmlns="" xmlns:ms-ose="">
<Description>Search Wikipedia</Description>
<Url type="application/rss+xml" template=";query={searchTerms};web.count=50"/>
<Url type="text/html" template="{searchTerms}"/>

As you can see this code caters to the English version of Wikipedia, but you could easily swap in the URL of your favorite site. After you’ve saved the OSDX file just double-click on it to get the Search Connector added to Windows Explorer under your sidebar Favorites. Then all you have to do is select it and start your searching.

You can also play around with the various view modes that Windows Explorer offers to see the results displayed in different formats. In that regard you can even take it a step further and enable the Preview Pane so that you can click on results to view the website within Windows Explorer.

If you get to the point where you want to remove a Search Connector just navigate to “C:\Users\YOUR_USERNAME\Searches”, find the one you want to remove, and then delete it. Simply deleting it from your Favorites doesn’t actually remove it.