How to Search for Words Within Files on Windows 10: A Guide

Searching for words within files on Windows 10 may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple once you know the tricks. Whether you’re trying to find a specific document or just a particular phrase, Windows 10 has built-in features that make the search process quick and easy. So let’s dive into how you can become a word-searching wizard on your Windows 10 computer.

Step by Step Tutorial: Searching for Words within Files on Windows 10

Before we start, let’s understand what we’re aiming for. By following these steps, you’ll learn how to use Windows 10’s search function to locate words or phrases within your files. This is incredibly useful for when you need to find documents containing specific information but can’t remember the file name.

Step 1: Open File Explorer

Open File Explorer by clicking on the folder icon located on your taskbar.

File Explorer is the gateway to all of your documents, pictures, and system files. It’s where you’ll start your search for words within files.

Step 2: Navigate to the Search Box

Click on the search box in the upper right corner of the File Explorer window.

The search box is your starting point for any file search. It’s designed to be a convenient tool for locating files based on various criteria, including words within the files.

Step 3: Enter Your Search Query

Type the word or phrase you’re searching for, then press Enter.

When you type your search query, Windows 10 starts looking for files that contain the word or phrase. It may take a few moments, depending on the number of files it needs to sift through.

Step 4: Filter the Search Results (Optional)

Use the "Search" tab to refine your search results, if necessary.

The search tab appears after you initiate a search and offers additional options to narrow down your results. You can filter by date, type of file, size, and other properties to make your search more precise.

After completing these steps, the files containing the word or phrase you searched for will be displayed. You can then open the files directly from the search results to find the information you need.

Tips for Searching for Words within Files on Windows 10

  • Use quotation marks to search for an exact phrase. For example, typing "annual report" will search for files containing that exact phrase.
  • Include wildcards in your search. The asterisk (*) can represent any series of characters, and the question mark (?) can represent any single character.
  • Take advantage of the “Search” tab for more advanced searches, like looking for words within a specific section of your files.
  • Remember that the search function also looks within the content of the files, not just the file names.
  • If your search is taking too long, try narrowing your search to a specific folder or file type.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I search for words within files across the entire PC?

To search the entire PC, begin your search from the “This PC” view in File Explorer.

Can I search within hidden files?

Yes, but you’ll need to make hidden files visible first by changing the view settings in File Explorer.

Does the search function work for all file types?

No, some file types, especially those that are not text-based, may not be searchable in this way.

Can I save my search for future use?

Yes, you can save your search by clicking on the “Save search” button in the “Search” tab.

Why can’t I find the file I’m looking for?

The file might not contain the exact word or phrase you’re searching for, or it could be in a location that’s not being searched.


  1. Open File Explorer
  2. Navigate to the Search Box
  3. Enter Your Search Query
  4. Filter the Search Results (Optional)


So there you have it, a simple guide on how to search for words within files on Windows 10. With these steps, you can efficiently locate the files you need without having to remember every file name or location. This feature is especially handy for professionals who handle large volumes of documents or anyone who needs to organize their digital life better. Remember, the key to mastering this skill is practice and experimentation. Try different search queries and use the filters to become more proficient. And of course, always keep your files well-organized to make the search process even smoother. Now that you know how to search for words within files on Windows 10, you’re well-equipped to find the information you need with just a few clicks. Happy searching!

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