Finding Lost Files

What We'll Learn

  1. Learn how to search for a file
  2. Explore the Search feature of File Explorer


Where Did It Go?

Sometimes we accidently save or move our file into a place we did not intend.  Later, when we look for it, it isn't where we expect it to be. No need to panic, File Explorer has a built-in search capability that will help you quickly locate your missing files.


Exercise 1 - Finding a File by Name

If you know a part of the name of a file, you can easily search for it.  Here's how:

In Windows XP:
  1. Click Start, and then click Search.
  2. In the Search Companion dialog box, click All files and folders.
  3. Type part or all of the name of the file.
  4. In the Look in box, click the location that you want to search.
  5. Click Search. The right pane will display any matching search results.
  6. <Right-Click> your matching file, and choose open in folder to view the file in its current folder.
  7. You can then move the file from there into a folder of your choosing.
 In Windows 7:
  1. Click Start
  2. Start typing the name of your file
  3. If it appears in the list above, <Right-Click> and pick Open File Location to view the file in its current folder
  4. You can click See More Results for a more comprehensive search
  


Exercise 2 - Finding a File by Date

Sometimes you can't remember the name of the file but you know when you created it.  You can also use search to find a file based on the date it was last modified:
 
In Windows XP:
  1. Click Start, and then click Search.
  2. In the Search Companion dialog box, click All files and folders.
  3. Type part or all of the name of the file.
  4. In the Look in box, click the location that you want to search.
  5. Click on the When was it modified option
  6. Select an appropriate date or date range.
  7. Click Search. The right pane will display any matching search results.
  8. <Right-Click> your matching file, and choose open in folder to view the file in its current folder.
  9. You can then move the file from there into a folder of your choosing.
 
In Windows 7:
  1. Click Start, and then Documents
  2. Click on the small Arrow to the right of search box in File Explorer
  3. Choose a date when you think the file was created or changed
  4. The computer will search for relevant files
  5. <Right-Click> your matching file, and choose Open File Location to view the file in its current folder.


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