©2022 Donald R. Snow -- Page last updated 2022-05-23
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ABSTRACT: EVERYTHING is a free program for Widows that searches your entire computer for file names containing  any terms you specify.  It works extremely fast and can be used to find "lost" files in any folder, if you know any characters or words in the file name.  It has various settings to make it work the way you want and is very useful in family history and other uses.. Everything is a Windows program, but there is probably something comparable for Macs.   The notes for this class and related articles, all with active Internet links, are on Don's website .


  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow of St. George and Provo, Utah ( ).
  2. These notes, with active Internet links and other related articles, are posted on Don's website .
  3. Tips:  (1)  To put an icon on your desktop for the URL for these notes, or any web page, just drag the icon in front of the address in your browser to your desktop.  (2)  To open a link while keeping your place in the original page, hold down the Control key while clicking the link so it opens in a new tab.
  4. Problem for today:  What is EVERYTHING and how do you us it?

  6. Free Windows program, download from -- 
  7. A;article --
  8. To use it type into the search box at the top left the words or characters you want to find in the title and as you type you see files with those words in them
  9. Leave a space and as you add words it drops out files without those terms so it barrows down the results immediately
  10. Any file in the results list can be opened, renamed, deleted, moved, or otherwise worked with by just clicking on it
  11. EVERYTHING is a WINDOWS program, but there is probably something equivalent for Macs.
  12. It will only search NTSF-formatted drives and flash drives, not FAT nor FAT32 drives, but most hard drives are formatted NTSF.

  14. When you run EVERYTHING, across the top are the words File, Edit, View, Search, Bookmarks, Tools, and Help.
  15. Some of these are standard for WINDOWS programs. Pressing Help (or F1) takes you to their website  which has 20-25 well-explained help topics.
  16. The Installing section shows how to install it on various computer operating systems and even how to use it as a portable program, so it can be run from a flash drive and doesn't need to be installed on the computer to be searched.
  17. The Using Everything section gives you a quick run-through.
  18. The Searching section shows the search syntax including the Boolean operators and wildcards, modifiers, and function syntax.
  19. The program really has a complete set of search parameters. In the Helps menu, down at the bottom of the Searching section, are examples of how to do different kinds of searches.
  20. The Options Help section shows how to set the program for searching and showing the results the way you want.
  21. When running the program, I turn on the " Show Search Terms Bold" in Options, so each search character or term is in the results list.

  23. The basic search syntax is as follows. space = AND, ! = NOT, | = OR, " " = exact phrase, < > = grouping, and * = wildcard for one or more characters. There are several search examples on the Help > Searching menu.
  24.  Note that first in the results list will be all folders that satisfy the search criteria, followed by all the files satisfying it.
  25. To search for just files include "file:" (without the quotes) in the search box.
  26. For just folders include "folder:" (without the quotes).
  27. As an example, to search for all photos on your computer, enter jpg | .tif | .png , etc.
  28. My naming process is explained in detail elsewhere, but is a system so that by using EVERYTHING, all files related to a person alphabetize in chronological order for the person.
  29. When I find a lost file on my computer that relates to someone name it with my system, or just give it a temporary name, so it will show up later near where it belongs next time I use EVERYTHING to work on that person. Then I can give it a full correct name.

  31. EVERYTHING has a Preview Pane so you can see what's in the file without opening it in whatever its default program is. This is extremely helpful.
  32. Turn on the Preview Pane at View > Preview. You now see the first ppage of the file in the panel to the right where the file path used to be.
  33. You can make the panel larger or smaller by dragging the separator in the title bar. Now, when a file is highlighted, its contents are shown in the Preview Pane and you can work with it without having to open it in a program.

  35. This shows the files as thumbnails and makes it easy to find some that you are looking for.
  36. If you know what the first page looks like, e.g. text or a particular colored paper, etc., you may be able to find it by just using this feature.

  38. The free program EVERYTHING is extremely helpful and I keep finding new things that it will do.
  39. You might try it out and see if it is helpful to you.
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