How to Use Search Filters in Windows 8.1 File Explorer for More Accurate Results

How to Use Search Filters in Windows 8.1 File Explorer for More Accurate Results

You can use Windows Search to find files, folders and apps on your PC or the web, even if you’re not sure of their exact name or location. For example, if you know that your favorite recipe is in a folder on your Desktop but you don’t know the precise name of the file, you can search for it in Windows 8.1 File Explorer by filtering your search results using specific criteria. This article will tell you how to use Search filters in Windows 8.1 File Explorer so that you find more accurate results when looking for something on your computer or the web.

Using Contains to Exclude Words

The Contains filter is used when you’re looking for files that contain a specific word or words, but want to exclude other words that might appear in the file names. For example, if you are looking for all of your documents with dogs in the name, but do not want those with cats or bears in the name, then you would use Contains and enter the word dog. This will bring up all of your documents with dogs somewhere within their file name.

The Excludes filter is used when you know that your desired results will have a certain word or words within them, but not at the beginning of the filename.

Using Does Not Contain to Exclude Words

If you are looking to find files that do not contain a certain word or phrase, search by selecting the Does Not Contain option in the Advanced Search text box. Enter your search term, and then select the Does Not Contain option from the drop-down list of options on the right side of the text box. This will allow you to find all files that do not have this word or phrase anywhere within them.

If you want to find all files that contain a certain word or phrase but not another one, use Does Not Contained In for your second term. For example, if you wanted to find all files with caesar salad but not Caesars Palace, enter caesar salad in the first text box and Does Not Contain In in the next one. The search will return any file containing either of these words without finding ones containing both words.

Using Is Equal To to Narrow Down Searches

The first thing you will want to do is type in the search bar and press enter on your keyboard. This will bring up a list of results that are most closely related to what you were searching for. However, if you want more accurate results, use the Is Equal To filter by typing it into the search bar and pressing Enter on your keyboard. When you click on it, a new set of filters will appear below it with many different options including Name (file name), Size (size of file), Created Date and Modified Date (date file was created or date file was last modified). You can then select the criteria that you would like to narrow down your searches. Once this has been done, all of the files listed under those categories will be filtered so you only see files that meet those requirements.

Using Is Less Than to Narrow Down Searches

In Windows 8.1, you can use the Search field and enter a keyword or phrase with a filter attached to narrow down your search results in File Explorer. For example, if you want only PDF files that have been modified within the past month, enter PDF into the search field and then add modified:month ago after it so that it reads PDF modified:month ago. This will restrict your search to those PDF files that have been modified within the past month and give you more accurate results than without using any filters. If you’re looking for MP3s instead of PDFs, simply replace PDF with MP3. There are also some built-in shortcuts available by adding just two letters at the end of your search. To see all items from the Downloads folder, type download*; to find an item based on its size, type size:10MB*; to find all images with less than five stars rating (but not necessarily low quality), type stars<5*. If this is still too cumbersome, click the magnifying glass icon next to Search and select Advanced Query Syntax from the drop-down menu to see additional ways you can specify what types of items appear in your search results.

Using Dates, Times, and Numbers with the Date Filter

The Date filter can be used to find files by a specific date and time, or by a range of dates and times. To use the Date filter, type in what you’re looking for then press Enter on your keyboard. If you would like a search result list with only files that contain information from today’s date, click Today under the list of options on the left side of the window. You can also enter a specific date or time into the text field at the top of this page; this will return results as well. To search within a specified time frame, click Today followed by an open square bracket and close square bracket (for example ). Next, fill in the start and end dates in order to find files created within those dates. For example:

If you want all documents created between November 7th and November 12th, select Today followed by .

If you want all documents created after November 12th but before December 11th, select Today followed by .

If you want all documents created between March 3rd and May 18th last year (2012), select Today followed by  . Finally, if you need to search based on numbers instead of words, type in the number followed by & and choose Decimal point symbol (.) under operators on the right hand side. Here is a complete sentence using the Number filter: If I am looking for files that have 1000 somewhere in their name, I would select 1000 & Decimal point symbol (.) from the operators list next to Numbers.