Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

How to search for files in Windows 11 with its filters and search operators

Let’s explain to you how to search files using advanced filters in Windows 11. This is a command system that you can use in the search bar in Windows file explorer, and that will allow you to do much more precise searches.

It is a system of search operators similar to those in applications like Gmail or Google and that will allow you from finding file types to specifying things such as its date or in which folders you want it not to search.

Windows file search operators

Search in

To use these operators, you have to go to windows file explorer. Once you are in it, click on the search bar. Here, you’ll be able to type file names, but you can also use operators to specify more things.

Boolean operators


Boolean operators are the simplest and most powerful, since you can specify what you want or do not want to add to your search. Below we leave you a list of those that you can use interspersed in the search itself. For example, certified NOT document.

  • NOT. To prevent a word from being included in the search. For example, ‘dog NOT cat’ will search for documents that have dog in their name and that they do not have cat. You can also use a minus symbol: ‘dog -cat’ has the same effect.
  • OR. To search for a file that includes one or another term. For example ‘dog OR cat’ will search for both documents that have dog like those who have cat.
  • Quotation marks. If you use quotes to join multiple sentences, a file containing the words in that same order will be searched. For example, “dog cat” will find documents that have dog Catbut not cat dog.
  • Parenthesis. The words you include within parentheses will be searched in any order. For example, (cat dog) will find both files that are called dog Cat like those called cat dog.

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General filters


These are specific filters that you can use typing the name of the filter followed by a colon and its value. For example, to use the ‘Date’ filter for ‘today’, you would type today `s date.

  • Date. Used to filter results based on file creation or modification date. You can choose between today, yesterday, this week, last week, this month, last month, this year, last year or enter a specific date.
  • Modified. It works the same as the previous filter, but only takes into account the modification date of a file, and not the creation date.
  • Created. Same as the previous two, but it will only take into account the creation date of a file and not the modification date.
  • Size. Used to filter results based on file size. You can choose between empty, tiny, small, medium, large, huge, gigantic or enter the exact size manually.
  • Class. Specify the type of file you are looking for. Lots of options to choose from: calendar, communication, contact, document, email, feed, folder, game, instant message, diary, link, movie, music, note, image, playlist, program, recorded TV, saved search , task, video, web history or unknown. Example, class:image.
  • ext. Use it to search only for certain user extensions. For example: ext:jpg Search for images in JPG format.
  • File. Search within a specific folder.
  • Archive. Searches only in the file name.

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Specific filters by file type

Specific filters for some file types to further refine your searches. Here, you just have to keep in mind that some filters are for certain metadata of the files, and that its usefulness depends on whether the files you are looking for include this metadata.

  • Slideshow. Search for Layouts with the number of sheets you specify. For example, slides: 20 will look for presentations with 20 sheets.
  • Comment. Look for Word documents that include a comment with the text you indicate. For example, comment: to review.
  • Artist. Search for songs that have the artist you indicate below. For example, artist:Michael Jackson.
  • Album. Also for music search. It will include only results for songs that belong to the album you specify.
  • Clue. Allows you to filter songs by track number. They should have this information included in their metadata. For example, track:13.
  • Gender. Like the previous ones, it helps you filter songs by their genre. For example, genre: rock.
  • Duration. Valid on music and videos. You can choose between very short, short, medium, long, very long or the exact length you want.
  • Year. Valid for songs or movies, it allows you to filter which year it was filmed/produced. For example: year:1990.
  • Orientation. In a photo, it allows you to choose the orientation, although the camera must have recorded that metadata in the image.
  • Broad. In image search, it allows you to specify the exact width of the image. For example, width:1024.
  • High. In image search, it allows you to specify the exact height of the image. For example, height:480.

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