What tags can I use to search in Windows Explorer?

A. By default, the Search box in Explorer will search the current folder and all subfolders for any file containing the word you enter, either in the name, in the file's metadata, or for certain file types in the actual file data itself. For example, as this figure shows, the first file matched because of the file's metadata, the second file (misc.one) contained the keyword within the file's text, and the others matched by name only.

After the system returns search results, you can click Search Tools and select Search Pane to access a toolbar that lets you filter the results based on their type (e.g., all files, email, document, picture, music). Also on the bar is the Advanced Search option, which opens a much larger search criteria window, allowing more granular searching. For example, I can choose to search on tags only for "Superman"; in this case, the only matching criterion is the file's tags, so only one search result is found.

To avoid the necessity of performing an advanced search every time, you can enter the type of search you want in the search entry box. For example, to search for only files that have the word "Superman" in their name, I can use name:superman.

Likewise, I can do the same thing for other search criteria. For example:

  • Author of document - author:(\[name of author\]); for example, author:(john savill)
  • Name of document - name:
  • Metadata tags - tag:(\[tag\]); for example, tag:(superman)
  • File modified after - modified:>date; for example, modified:>3/2/2007
  • Date of file - date:
  • File created - Datecreated:
  • Size in KB - Size:>number (> for greater than, = for equal,

The easiest way to determine the criteria options you want is to perform an advanced search and take note of the generated search criteria. You can then place the generated search criteria into the search field if you're unsure.

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