We have seen plenty of desktop search applications in the past. There’s Everything, which is the favorite of many, UltraSearch or VX Search among other options.
If you’re looking for something simpler, MasterSeeker may be worth a closer look.
The program caches your data when you run it the first time. The indexing process was really fast and it impressed me because I have 3 drives plugged into this laptop. Once your drives have been indexed you will see the interface of the program that is is reminiscent of Windows Explorer’s UI. The search bar on the top is where you will enter the keyword to search for files and the large pane below is where the search results are displayed.
Just type in the name of the file that you’re looking for and the results appear instantly; real-time in an as-you-type basis. Speaking of which, changes you make to your data are indexed (updated) in real-time as well including new files that you create, download, or file edits or deletes. MasterSeeker supports NTFS, FAT, FAT32 and exFAT file systems.
Clicking on the arrow icon in the search box let’s you set the program to ignore case and use Regex mode (for regular expressions). The directory bar can be used to limit the search to one folder (or drive). This bar has a similar arrow icon which has an extra option to include/exclude sub folders from the search process.
The File Size box limits search results to files that have a size close to the selected file size.
The checkboxes toward the right of the file size box can be toggled to search for files and folders. The eraser button can be used to reset all the search fields and you can manually run the caching process by using F5 or the refresh button. Though it is fully functional as an application that does not need to be installed, you can optionally set it to run at Windows start-up. MasterSeeker can be set to minimized to the system tray from the settings.
You can use the Left Control + Tilde (~ key) hotkey combo to bring MasterSeeker into view. Once you perform a search you can view the name of the each file, its directory path and size in the results pane.
You can sort the results by name, size, folder path. Double clicking on a file in the list will open it in its default handler program. Right-click on any file to open the containing folder, or to copy the file itself, copy the filename, the full path where it is located, or to view the properties.
The application supports multi select; select multiple items to view the combined size on disk, to open their locations, or launch them. You can click in the bottom left corner to view the index bar. This lists all drives on the computer and indicates whether they have been cached or not.
Warning: The context menu has a “delete permanently” option, use it with caution.
The application hasn’t been updated for quite a while, but still works flawlessly on the latest version of Windows 10. MasterSeeker requires .NET Framework 2.0 to run.
Though I use “Everything” on my computer, I have to admit MasterSeeker is pretty good even though it is a bit greedy in the memory department. The search software may still have its uses but most users would probably pick Everything or another search program instead considering that MasterSeeker seems to have been abandoned.