Finding Your Files

We have already taken a look at how to locate files if you know where they are. You can do this by clicking on the drive the file is stored in and drill your way down through the folder structure until you see the desired file in the right pane of the utility. This is what we did when we found the paper1.docx file.

But, suppose you don’t remember where you saved your file. How would you go about finding it? You could randomly click on folders and sub-folders until you found what you were looking for; but, there is a much easier way to search.

In the upper right area of the Windows Explorer window, there is a “search” box in which you can type a key word. The utility will search through the area you are currently viewing. You can choose to search the entire drive (as we have done in our example) or within a folder or group of sub-folders. After typing the keyword, simply press the enter key on the keyboard and the right pane of the utility window will filter to return items that contain the keyword in either the file name, content, or properties.


find journal

In our example, we typed the keyword “journal” into the search box and the utility filtered the right pane to show only those folders and files that contain the word “journal”. You will see from the search results that not only was our Journal folder returned, the individual Journal Word documents were displayed. Additionally, there were other files on the C:\ that happened to contain the word “journal” that don’t have anything to do with our classwork.

It may be tempting to delete or move files that you don’t recognize, but it is important that you don’t do that. The files could be necessary to keep your computer functioning properly. Our screenshot provides one example of one of these types of files. The last file to be returned is named “journal.dll”. This is a file that Microsoft needs to keep its programs running properly.