‘Everything’ desktop search gets updated with cool new features

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‘Everything’ is the kind of program that every geek loves, and is the first program that I install on every Windows machine. We first reviewed this program in 2009, and after a strange four year hiatus, it is finally being updated again, with beta versions coming out regularly. The beta version I tested (1.3.3.656b) is very exciting, and contains a lot of fixes and improvements which you will like a lot.

We’ve sung this program’s praises a lot on this site. It is the the kind of program that, once you start using it, becomes indispensible very quickly, and I’ve seen it frequently referred to as the desktop search that Microsoft should have preinstalled in Windows. What is special about ‘Everything’ is that it uses the Master File Table of the NTFS volume to build its database, which means that the results are almost instant as it doesn’t have to go out and scour your hard drive. It also means that it will only work on NTFS formatted drives, and will require administrator privileges to run.

Five things that I am LOVING about the new Everything beta

1. Filter results by type

Everything Screenshot2 - fitlering

‘Everything’ now comes with file type filters that you can place next to the search box as a dropdown. You can filter by the usual file types: images, videos, audio, folders, executables, etc. You can edit these or make your own, which brings us the next point …

2. Create custom filters (and create macros from them as well as keyboard shortcuts)

You can group several file types together to create your own filter, or use Regex and/or Everything’s improved search syntax. I created the ‘Not Folder’ filter which you can see in the dropdown above, for example, to eliminate folders from my results.

Further, you can use these user defined filters as ‘macros’ that can be used as custom functions, and that you could insert into the search string.

3. Much improved search and regex syntax

Giving your searches an enormous amount of flexibility and power. How about filtering your search results by those files that are read only, or have been created after a certain date, or are above or below a certain size, or all of these together. Very easy to do, with simple syntax.

The screenshot below shows a sampling. You can find it in the help section, and scroll up and down for more.

Everything Screenshot3 - syntax

 

4. Runs without the UAC prompt

If you used the original ‘Everything’ then you’re accustomed to the UAC prompt flashing every time you used it. Not so with this new beta version.

Circumventing the UAC can typically be done by using the Windows task scheduler, but it doesn’t seem that it is the case here. So I actually am not sure how this is possible, because the program does access the NTFS Master File Table. If you have any ideas please share them in the comment.

I will say that I am glad not to have to deal with the prompt, though.

5. No more gibberish when you use ‘Everything’ from the context menu

Might seem like a small thing, and it is – but boy am I glad I don’t have to be deleting the string of gibberish that was always a mainstay of the original version, whenever you used the Windows right click context menu.


There are more welcome additions, such as the availability of a 64 bit version (finally), the option to bookmark files and folders, alternating row colors for results, and others.

The developers deserve credit for adding a lot of features while somehow preserving the simplicity of ‘Everything’ and keeping it free of clutter.  Note that the new ‘Everything’ is still in beta, and may contain errors, etc.

Get ‘Everything’ here (Windows).