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How To Search Multiple File Types In File Explorer

Windows search is a pretty excellent feature. It’s only suffered in Windows 10 where it’s been forced to work with Cortana. Often, it fails to find an app or file that’s on your desktop. You can still use Windows search via the File Explorer without ever involving Cortana and unlike Windows search, File Explorere’s search works flawlessly even in Windows 10. The File Explorer search feature lets you make use of advanced search parameters. You can use wildcards to search for files by type but if you want to search multiple file types in File Explorere, the modifier is a somewhat unconventional one.

In order to search multiple file types in File Explorer, you have to use ‘OR’ to separate your search criteria.

Search Multiple File Types

You can search multiple file types in File explorer by using wild card or by specifying a file name. For example, if you use the following search parameter, you will be able to find all TXT and PNG files in a folder.

*.txt OR *.png

You can also use it to search for a file by name and type. For example, if you search for the following in a folder, it will find all text and JPG files named ‘Test’.

test.txt OR test.jpg

The OR Search Modifier

The search modifier is ‘OR’ and it must be written in all caps. If you write ‘or’, it will not work. This modifier only works in File Explorer and not in Windows Search/Cortana. Cortana can search a specific type of file but it’s limited to only one type.

Commas, semi-commas, and pipe bars are not search modifiers that File Explorer recognizes. They’re mostly recognized by search engines and out of habit, users might think they’ll work on Windows as well but that is not the case.

The search isn’t limited to just text or image files. You can use it to search for any type of file if you know its correct extension. As for the file name, it’s not case sensitive however you must know the correct file name to be able to find it. File Explorer can search for a particular word in a file name. For example, if you have file named ‘Lord of the Rings’, typing rings.txt will be enough to find the file. This same principle works with the OR modifier. For example, if you search rings.txt OR rings.jpg, File Explorer will find all text and JPG files with the word ‘rings’ in it.


  1. Thank you for including that the command must be capitalized. “OR” (without the quotes)
    I must of read five other sites that did not specify the capitalization.

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