Today we’ll see what commands you can use when searching for files in Windows 10 so you can find exactly what you are looking for. Although these filters can be accessed through the buttons in File Explorer, using the commands directly will save you time.

Just like when searching Google or Gmail you can use operators to specify exactly what you’re looking for, Windows 10 also includes the feature in File Explorer. Here you will find the list of all search operators supported by Windows 10.

Where are search operators used?

The main advantage of search operators is that, once you have learned them, they are faster than if you have to adjust those same options using buttons. In the file explorer finder, you use directly in the search bar, without more.

The alternative to search operators is the tab Search tools, which only appears after you’ve clicked on the search bar. From here you can adjust various options related to search, some of which what they do is add search operators to the search box. It is a good resource if you do not remember a specific operator.

What search operators does Windows 10 support

Windows 10 search supports a good number of search commands, as it makes use of Microsoft’s Advanced Query Syntax technology, the same available for example in Microsoft Outlook. The commands can be separated into Booleans, filters or specific to some types of files.

Boolean operators

Boolean operators are the simplest and also the most powerful, since they allow you to specify what you want and what you don’t want to add to your search. These are the Boolean operators you can use in Windows 10. Boolean operators are embedded in the search itself. For example, certified NOT document.

  • NOT. To prevent a word from being included in the search. For example, ‘dog NOT cat’ will search for documents that have a dog in their name and do not have a cat. You can also use a minus symbol: ‘dog-cat’ has the same effect.
  • OR. To search for a file that includes one or another term. For example ‘dog OR cat’ will search both documents that have a dog and those that have a cat.
  • Quotation marks. If you use quotation marks to put several phrases together, it will search for a file that contains the words in that same order. For example, “cat dog” will find documents that have cat dog, but not cat dog.
  • Parenthesis. The words you include within parentheses will be searched in any order. For example, (cat dog) will find both files named cat dog and files named cat dog.

General filters

The Windows Explorer Finder includes support for a number of specific filters as well. Some of them are accessible from the Search Tools tab, while others are only available if you know the appropriate command. These filters are used by typing the name of the filter followed by a colon and its value. For example, to use the ‘Date’ filter for ‘today’, you would type date: today.

  • Date. It is used to filter the results according to the modification or creation date of the files. You can choose between today, yesterday, this week, last week, this month, last month, this year, last year or enter a specific date.
  • Modified. It works the same as the filter above, but only takes into account the modification date of a file, and not the creation date.
  • Created. Same as the previous two, but it will only take into account the creation date of a file and not the modification date.
  • Size. It is used to filter the results based on the size of the files. You can choose between empty, tiny, small, medium, large, huge, gigantic or write the exact size manually.
  • Class. Specify the type of file you are looking for. Lots of options to choose from: Calendar, Communication, Contact, Document, Email, Source, Folder, Game, Instant Message, Diary, Link, Movie, Music, Note, Picture, Playlist, Program, Recorded TV, Saved Search , task, video, web history or unknown. Example, class: image.
  • Ext. Use it to search only certain user extensions. For example: ext: jpg searches for images in JPG format.
  • Binder. Search within a specific folder.
  • File. Searches only on the file name.

Specific filters by file type

Some file types have their own specific filters with which you can go one step further in the exact search of what you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for a song you can specify its singer or genre, or if you are looking for an image you can filter them by height or width. This search is based on the metadata included in documents and photos.

  • Slideshow. Find Presentations with the number of sheets you specify. For example, Slides: 20 will find presentations with 20 sheets.
  • Commentary. Look for Word documents that include a comment with the text you indicate. For example, comment: to review.
  • Artist. Find songs that have the artist you list below. For example, artist: Michael Jackson.
  • Album. Also for music search. It will include only the results of songs that belong to the album you specify.
  • Track. It allows you to filter songs by track number. They should have this information included in their metadata. For example, clue: 13.
  • Gender. Like the previous ones, it helps you filter songs by their genre. For example, genre: rock.
  • Duration. Valid on music and videos. You can choose between very short, short, medium, long, very long or the exact length you want.
  • Year. Valid for songs or movies, it allows you to filter in which year it was shot / produced. For example: year: 1990.
  • Orientation. In a photo, it allows you to choose the orientation, although the camera must have recorded that metadata in the image.
  • Width. In image search, it allows you to specify the exact width of the image. For example, width: 1024.
  • High. In image search, it allows you to specify the exact height of the image. For example, height: 480.

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