Understanding the Start Menu Search Box

by Barry Dysert
(last updated December 2, 2013)

2

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 "C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu". In fact, I have set this folder as a "Favorite" 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.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Transferring Pictures from a Memory Card

Transferring pictures from a memory card to your computer may be simpler than you think. This tip describes the process.

Discover More

Understanding Libraries

Windows Libraries are a great extension to the functionality of Windows Explorer. Libraries are similar to folders in that ...

Discover More

Saving Search Queries

Windows Explorer has a good search utility built into it. As you use it, you may wish to save your commonly typed searches. ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Increasing the Number of Restore Points

You may feel constrained by the low number of restore points your system is keeping. You can increase the disk space ...

Discover More

Starting Windows 10 in Safe Mode

Hopefully you'll never find yourself in a situation where you need to restart your computer in Safe Mode. If you do, though, ...

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 whether a ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

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}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. 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 two minus 2?

2013-12-10 08:42:49

Barry

Sorry it's not clearer. You move the shortcut by simply doing a "Cut" on it. Then navigate (using Windows Explorer) to the "...Start Menu" location, and do a "Paste". Your shortcut is now moved.


2013-12-09 18:34:42

don

Don't understand the last paragraph. How do I get to "C:Users<user>AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStart Menu" and move the shortcut to it?


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.