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How to save a search in File Explorer on Windows 10

File Explorer has a fairly decent search feature. You can use it to search for a file or folder by name. It also supports quite a few search modifiers and if you know how to use them, you can refine the search criteria and get better results. If you often need to run the same search, or you accidentally close it, it’s a good idea to save it. Here’s how you can save a search on Windows 10.

Save a search

This is a built-in feature on Windows 10. Open File Explorer and navigate to the folder you want to search. Use the search bar at the top right to search for something. If you know how to use one of the many search modifiers that File Explorer supports, feel free to use them. Let the search complete and allow all results to be listed.

You’ll notice that when you clicked inside the search bar, a new tab appeared on the ribbon called Search Tools. This tab is definitely worth exploring. It has a lot of quick ways to modify the search that you make and it essentially gives you a GUI for adding search modifiers.

One of the options on the Search Tools tab is to Save Search. Click it, give the search a name of your choice, and save it wherever you like.

When you next run this file (double-click it like any other file on your system), it will open in File Explorer and show you all the results it found.

This is somewhat similar to Smart Folders on macOS. On macOS, Smart Folders rerun the search or rather the inclusion criteria to include any and all new items to it. A saved search on Windows 10 is the same thing except you can’t change the criteria of the search. It will include new files if they match the search criteria but beyond that, they won’t allow any more flexibility.

To be clear, you can change the search criteria after opening a saved search but it won’t save automatically. When you change the search criteria, you’re basically conducting a new search. You can save it as a separate one, or overwrite the one you modified.

A saved search can be pinned to the Start menu like a file can. Right-click it and select the pin to start option from the context menu. If you often need to open the same search, the Start menu tile will give you a quick way to do that.

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