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How to search inside multiple text based files at once on Windows 10

There are lots of files that are simple text; batch scripts, AHK scripts, PowerShell scripts, log files, subtitle files, and more. The great thing about these files is that since they’re text, Windows 10 will be able to preview some of them. If it’s a TXT file, you will definitely get a preview. If you want to search inside multiple text-based files at once, you need an app. Windows 10 can’t do it out of the box. You need a free app called grepWin.

Search multiple text files

Download grepWin. There’s a portable version of the app, and an installable version so take your pick. Run the app. The interface looks like a lot, but it’s really easy to use. You can also use the app to replace the text it finds across multiple files. Click the browse button under the ‘Search in’ field and select the folder that you want to search text files in (assuming all the text files are in the same folder, if not move them to one to make it easier to search them).

Next, under the ‘Search’ section, select ‘Text search’ and enter what you want to search in the ‘Search for’ field. If you want, the search can be case sensitive. Once you’re done, click the ‘Search’ button.

The app will list all the files that the search term was found in. If you double-click a file, it will open though if the file is a script, it will just run the script.

You can only search one folder at a time but it’s still a really great app. The search results will show the line where it found the search term and also the line number so if you open it in a text editor like Notepad++, you will be able to find it fairly easily. You can filter the files that the app searches; there are options for limiting files by size, and by date. By default, grepWin doesn’t search subfolders and any text or text-based files in them but, you can include sub-folders as well from under the ‘Limit search’ section.

grepWin is open source and it’s better than some of the paid apps that do the same job. The interface isn’t that complicated once you go through it and the replace feature is an added bonus. If you have multiple scripts that you need to replace a file path in or correct a command, this tool is worth trying.

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