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Windows 8.1 Bible by Rob Tidrow, Jeffrey R. Shapiro, Jim Boyce

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Chapter 22: Searching for Files and Messages on Your Computer

IN THIS CHAPTER

Searching from the Charms Bar

Searching from folders

Searching your computer and network

Specifying search criteria

Saving and reusing searches

Hard disk storage in the 21st century is reliable, fast, and cheap. Just about every computer sold in the past few years has lots of it. The result is that people now store many thousands of files on their computers. To organize their folders, people use lots of folders and subfolders. Although having lots of well-organized files on your hard disk is certainly good, it has a couple of downsides. For one, drilling down through a ton of folders to get to a specific file gets tedious. For another, it's easy to forget where you put things and what you named them.

In earlier versions of Windows, you could use shortcuts and searches to help with these problems, but too many shortcuts just add that much more clutter to the screen. The old style of searching is slow and tedious. Searching in Windows 8.1 is a lot like searching on the Internet. You don't have to search for specific filenames. You can search by content and meaning. And in most cases the search results are instantaneous. You don't have to wait for the system to slog through the whole file system looking at every file.

Basics of Searching

Like filing cabinets, computers just store information. The information in your filing cabinet has no “meaning” to your filing cabinet. Likewise, the information in your ...

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