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How to find missing files in Windows 10

How to find missing files in Windows 10
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How to find missing files in Windows 10

To search for files in Windows 10:

  1. Press Win + S to open Windows Search.
  2. Write something you remember from the file name.
  3. Use the filters at the top of the search panel to choose a specific file type.

Applies to Windows 10 1903 and higher

Looking for a hard-to-reach file or program? Windows Search could help you find what you have lost.

The search is deeply integrated into Windows and its interface. To start a new search, simply press the Win + S keyboard shortcut. Try writing a known word or character set within the file you are looking for. Hopefully, the item will appear immediately.

 Searching in Windows 10

You can narrow your search using the categories at the top of the search interface. Choose "Applications", "Documents", "Settings" or "Web" to display only the results of each respective category. In "More", you get additional useful filters that allow you to drill down by file classification: you can choose Music, Videos or Images.

If what you are looking for still does not appear, you may need to adjust how Windows indexes your PC. You can get detailed guidance on how to set up enhanced search indexing by following our specific practical guide. Windows Search works best once you have created a complete index of what is on your PC, so it is a good idea to verify that it covers the most used folders.

 Search in File Explorer

To access more advanced search options, try using search from File Explorer. Start File Explorer and look for a directory in which you think the file might reside. Click on the search bar and type something you remember from the file name.

You can now use the "Search" tab on the ribbon to customize the content of the search results. The properties that you can filter include the file type, the approximate file size and the modification date. This can be useful if the lost content is not displayed in the search bar of the taskbar.

More information: Windows 10, Windows Search

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