Windows Vista: Searching Using Search Folders

One of Windows Vista's coolest features is the Windows Vista Search Folder. The concept is simple: a Search Folder is just a saved search. There's a whole bunch that come with the system at installation; you can find them if you open the Start Menu, select your user name (top right-hand corner of the Start menu), […]

One of Windows Vista's coolest features is the Windows Vista Search Folder. The concept is simple: a Search Folder is just a saved search. There's a whole bunch that come with the system at installation; you can find them if you open the Start Menu, select your user name (top right-hand corner of the Start menu), and open the "Searches" folder -- it's the folder with the magnifying glass icon. The other way you can get to your Search Folders is from the navigation pane in any Explorer window. When you have the "Favorite Links" view turned on in the navigation pane in Explorer (versus the "Folders" view), you'll also see a "Searches Folder."

The system natively comes with a number of Search Folders to help get you started. Things like "Files Shared by Me," "Recent Pictures and Videos," and "Recent Documents" are all pretty helpful as defaults. However, I've found that the most useful Search Folders available are the ones that I've created myself.

One set of Search Folders that I cannot live without is my All Word docs, All PPTX, and All XLSX queries. Here's how I went about creating them:

  1. Open the Search Explorer by hitting the Start button and selecting "Search"
  2. Type a "*" in the Search field
  3. Use the Type column to filter the resulting list, choosing all Word docs in both Office 2007 and all pre-Office 2007 formats
  4. Select the option near the top of the window that says "Save Search" When you combine Search Folders with the Advanced Query Operators that we showed you yesterday, the sky's the limit on getting the most out of Windows Vista's built-in search technology.

You can combine Search Folders with the Advanced Query Operators for getting the most out of Windows Vista's built-in search technology.

Windows Vista Team Blog

Microsoft, Windows Vista, Search, Search Folders, Knowledgebase, Tips, Tricks