Top 3 essential desktop search tools

Search logoThe more data we download and store, the more information you have to organise and store it all in a way that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for when you need it. In addition to my hard drive, I now have 2 external drives connected to my Mac and remembering where everything I need is in becoming increasingly difficult. Fortunately, there are now several desktop search tools out there that allow you to search everything connected to your computer from the comfort of your desktop. Here’s 3 of the best:

Google Desktop

It’s no surprise that the king of search engines built the best desktop search tool. Google Desktop search works with a convenient floating search box than can be summoned at any time by double pressing Ctrl (or Cmd on Macs). Google Desktop then displays the results in your web browser with hyper links to folders and files. The one concern is that the contents of your hard drive(s) could be compromised via your internet connection after being indexed by Google.


Who could live without Spotlight on the Mac? I know I certainly couldn’t and I can only wonder what Mac users did before 2005 when it was introduced to OS X 10.4. Spotlight searches at lightening speed and organises results into easy to read categories such as images, folders, music etc. Windows users don’t know what they’re missing out on.

Windows Search 4

For a Microsoft product, Windows Search 4 is remarkably well designed and executed. It’s the closest you’ll get to Spotlight on Windows although it only comes bundled with Vista – XP users have to download and install it manually. It also has a little known natural language search tool, where you can search using natural search terms such as “where is the most recent version of the Softonic newsletter?”

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