Most of us are used to being able to search for a specific phrase in Google by putting the phrase in “quotation marks”. This is a simple thing to do, and very useful for narrowing down searches.
In databases you can use Boolean search terms such as ‘AND’, ‘OR’, etc. These are also mostly self-explanatory – with the caveat that you NEED TO USE CAPITALS or else they will not work.
What is not so obvious is how to search for a phrase in Windows Explorer. It is quite simple, but not at all intuitive. As usual, there are answers out there, and I found a forum post by a certain ‘robarthur’ with the explanation.
Here are the steps:
- Open Windows Explorer
- Type the following string in the search box: content:”your phrase”
- (Replace ‘your phrase’ with whatever you are searching for)
- You will see the colour of the text changes to light blue – I assume this means Windows recognises this as a specific instruction
- You will then see the results below in the usual manner
Here is a screenshot:
Edit 30/9/2019: I have just noticed comments saying that this doesn’t work. I just tested it (Windows 10, 64bit) and it still works for me. Not sure why it’s not working for some people. Maybe just make sure you have the colon and the quotation marks all in the right place.
Hello. Thank you for your tip but it does not work on my Windows 10. When I use the above solution it returns all the documents which contain any of the words used in the string.
Doesn’t seem to work on Windows 10 x64 bit.
My tests show that the files containing “Malaysian” or “nationalism” will be listed.
Nope – this does not work. when I do this, it just returns every file with contents “your” OR “content”
Does not work
I use Notepad++ to search for a phrase within files.
I want to be able to filter by a phrase in the filename.
The description for using content:”blah1 blah2″ returns files with either blah1 or blah2 in the file.
Windows File Manager doesn’t respect the quotes because this returns the same results as just typing blah1 blah2 in the search box.
What is the keyword for searching in a file name?
name: is the keyword
Worked great for me! Thank you so much! I use Windows 10 Pro on a 64-bit system, but with an older Office package.
Now all I need is to figure out how to get rid of the jumping cursor problem.
Does not work!
Step 2 should read:
“Type the following string in the search box: content:=”your phrase”
(Replace ‘your phrase’ with whatever you are searching for)”
This works for me. It needs the equals sign after the colon.
Quotations seem to be irrelevant. I think the search for content:”my content” retrieved files with content:my AND content:content
You need to put the quoted phrase in TWICE
That is: “my content” “my content”
Rather than “my content”
Microsoft motto: it’s counter-intuitive, that’s how we roll!
To search for a file which had the exact phrase (eg Part A) in its file name and to avoid getting a result with only Part or only A, I changed the command to filename:”your phrase” and it worked.
I guess content:”your phrase” will search for the contents in the files and the above command searched only for the exact filename.
Windows 10 64 bit.
Worked for me, thanks! Win10 Education 64-bit
Found it: ~=”your search text”. It works for my Windows 10 version. Fixed!
~=”your search phrase”