Saving a Windows Search

by Barry Dysert
(last updated May 1, 2017)

2

The Search feature built into Windows Explorer and File Explorer can be a good way to find files that contain a given string or files with names that contain a particular string. If you perform the same search frequently, you can save the search to improve your efficiency. For example, say that I want to locate all the XLSX (Excel) files on my system. I would display the Windows Explorer or File Explorer window, type XLSX in the search box in the upper-right corner of the window, and press Enter. Now, the Explorer window contains the file names that match my search string. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The results of a Windows search.

To save this search for subsequent reuse, click the Save Search button (circled above in red). A "Save As" dialog box appears to prompt you for the name and/or location of your saved search (usually, accepting the defaults is OK). When you're satisfied with the name and location of your saved search, click the Save button. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Saving a search.

Note that searches are saved in a special file that uses a very long filename extension: .search-ms. When you later want to perform the same search on the files in the directory, the .search-ms file is key. All you need to do is double-click the saved search file (the .search-ms file) and Windows Explorer will launch and take you to the results of the search.

 This tip (12877) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

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

Using Windows Easy Transfer

If you ever want to copy user accounts, documents, pictures, etc., from one computer to another, you'll find that Windows ...

Discover More

Breaking a Network Drive Mapping Association

Windows makes it easy to break the association between a network drive and its assigned letter. This tip explains how.

Discover More

Creating a Simple Batch File

One of the powerful capabilities built into Windows is the ability to create and use batch files to perform a wide variety of ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Checking the Size of Apps

Need to know how much disk space is consumed by the small applications (apps) installed on your system? Windows makes it ...

Discover More

Searching From within File Explorer

Searching from within File Explorer is a quick and easy way to find files and even content within files. This tip shows you ...

Discover More

Copying Files or Folders

A common operation within Windows is to copy files and folders from one location to another. Here are the two major ways that ...

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 nine minus 5?

2017-05-02 02:26:24

Barry

I don't think you can save the results. You have to run the saved search again.


2017-05-01 16:45:13

Bill F

Is there any way to save or export the search results rather than the search criteria?
Thanks.


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.