Quick Search: super-fast desktop search, similar to “Everything”

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Do the words “lightning fast desktop search” seem like a great thing to you? If so, then read on.

But first, a bit of context; visit my “Freeware Top 30” page and you will see that the first program on the list is a desktop search program called “Everything”.

This is because it provides lightning fast search that is as close to real time as can be, owing to the fact that it uses the raw Master File Table of the NTFS drive to create it’s index rather than physically scanning the hard drive.

“Quick Search” is based on the exact same concept; it does, however, introduce a few changes in interface and filtering that are very attractive.

Quick-Search-Screenshot-v2

PROS: things I like about “Quick Search”

  • The interface: double-clicking ‘control’ displays a quick search prompt by the system tray for quick system wide search. If you would rather see a ‘normal’ window in the middle of the screen you can do that as well in ‘full’ mode.
  • Results are sortable: seems obvious, but in Quick Search you can sort search results by clicking on the column head (e.g. the ‘date’ column) and get sorted results in fairly short order, even when the search results consists of several thousand entries (‘Everything’, in contrast, strangely bogs down when you try to do the same thing).
  • Quick Search Screenshot2Filter by file type: provides a sidebar in the results set whereby you could filter files by type (e.g. music, video, etc). Yes, you could now filter by folders. You could even add your own group of file types to the list of filters. See screenshot to the right for an example.

CONS: how this software can be even better

  • Fix a serious bug: whereby for some files (I’ve seen it on .MP3 and .TORRENT, but unsure if it is extension specific), the wrong path and file icon are displayed, and double clicking on the file does not open the correct folder/path. The screenshot below illustrates this with a side by side comparison of results from ‘Everything’ and ‘Quick Search’.

  • Windows context menu entry: strangely missing. This would be very handy to instantly limit your search to a certain path and/or get a ‘flat view’ of a folder. I use this all the time with “Everything”.
  • The ability to filter by additional search criteria: e.g. by date or file size, should be added. This is the sort of thing that us users of “Everything” are looking for that has been missing.
  • More resource intensive than Everything: about 90 megs, compared with approx. 20 megs for the latter.
  • The ability to customize the left click: with Quick Search, the left click opens the folder/path where the item is located rather than run the file. I would love to be able to customize that; also, the program needs to add a ‘open file/folder path’ function as the first entry when you right click a file, IMHO.
  • The ability to display the 64bit Windows context menu: using this on Windows 7 64 bit I get the 32 bit context menu when right clicking on a file (which is also the same with ‘Everything’). It would be great if I were able to use the 64bit context menu instead.
  • More documentation: the website doesn’t offer enough documentation on how the program does what it does. For example, it states that the program “supports file indexing of portable storage devices, like USB flash drives, external hard disks”. Since these drives are unlikely to be NTFS formatted, this begs the question whether the software can create an index via scanning or some other way aside from reading the raw Master File Table of the NTFS drive, but there is no information on the site.

The verdict: finally, another desktop search program that uses the same concept as ‘Everything’ (reading the raw Master File Table of the NTFS drive). This program is fast, useful, and has a nice interface to boot.

But will I abandon my beloved ‘Everything’ in favor of ‘Quick Search’? No, at least at the moment, it is unlikely. This program does add a couple of things that I really like, including fast sorting of results via the column headers (I cannot over emphasize the usefulness of this), and the sidebar filters, which are really cool. But as of this writing there’s a serious bug that needs to be addressed (see cons section above), and I really do hope that they will add a “Quick Search’ entry to the Windows context menu, add filtering by size and date, and that the program’s memory consumption can be reduced to be on par with “Everything”. So, keeping my fingers crossed.

[Thanks go to reader Suja Ram for pointing this software out in the comments section of my ‘Software Mysteries’ post.]

Version tested: 1.0.0.166

Compatibility: WinAll. Works only on NTFS drives (I believe)

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 3.43 megs).