Understanding the Start Menu Search Box

Written by Barry Dysert (last updated July 17, 2017)

The Start Menu Search Box is a handy time-saving item. You can often use it to go directly to files and folders without having to go through a laborious navigation process. And since it has search functionality, you can get to files/folders even if you're not exactly sure how they're spelled.

For example, let's say you wanted to bring up the on-screen keyboard. Instead of going to Start | Control Panel | Ease of Access Center and clicking the "on-screen keyboard" link, you could just click Start (or press the Windows key) and type "on" (without the quotes). Immediately a menu appears, and on my system "On-Screen Keyboard" is at the top of the list. I would then press Enter and the on-screen keyboard would launch. This saves a great deal of time, not only because you don't have to move your hands off the keyboard to the mouse, but also because you don't have to navigate through the menus to get to the desired link.

The Search Box does not index everything on your system, but the great thing is that you can get it to index any number of specific files you want to use it with. For example, say that I have a program called "Procexp.exe" that I'd like to use with the Search Box. All I need to do is to create a shortcut to that program, and move the shortcut to this location:

C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

In fact, I have set this folder as a "Favorite" (or under “Quick Access” in Windows 10) and every time I come across a file that I want to access via the Search Box, I create a shortcut to that file and move the shortcut to that favorite folder.

 This tip (12820) applies to Windows 7 and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Changing User Permissions for a File

All objects on your computer (e.g., files) have permissions that allow or deny various types of access. This tip shows ...

Discover More

Understanding IP Addresses

IP addresses are at the heart of computer networking. They are typically handled automatically, but you may find it ...

Discover More

Using Robocopy to Mirror Directories

It's simple to use Robocopy when dealing with entire directories. Dealing with directories is what it does best! This top ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Clipboard History

Windows has had cut and paste functionality for years. Windows 10 improves the Clipboard functionality by including a new ...

Discover More

Understanding the Windows Experience Index

Sometimes it's good to know how powerful your system is. You may want to alleviate a hardware bottleneck or decide ...

Discover More

Creating a Selection Set

You may often need to work with many files at the same time. For example, you may wish to copy or delete a set of files. ...

Discover More
Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one less than 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips