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Tech tips: How to search in Windows 8

Posted In Windows - By Techtiplib on Saturday, October 27th, 2012 With No Comments »

You can use the Search charm to search for applications, settings and files on your PC. You can also use the Search charm to search for items in the app you have open or in a different app you select. For example, you can use the Search charm to search for a new app in the Store or for a contact in the People app.

To use the Search charm

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you’re using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, then click Search)
  2. Enter your search term.
  3. To search for an application, setting or file on your PC, tap or click AppsSettings or Files. To search within a particular application, tap or click the application in the list.


  • If you have a keyboard and are on the Start screen, you can just start typing to open Search.
To search for an application on your PC, you can press Windows logo key Windows logo key +Q. To search for a file, you can press Windows logo key Windows logo key +F.
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Here are some other things you can do with the Search charm:

  • To open a location in File Explorer, enter a path in the search box and tap or click Applications. For example, if you enter C:, a list of the folders on your C drive appears below the search box. Press the Down Arrow key to select a folder, then keep typing until you get to the path you want. You can do the same with network folders by entering the path as\servershare. You can also run an .exe file by entering its file name in the search box.
  • To see all of the applications you have on your PC, tap or click Apps before you enter a search term.
  • If you use an application such as a web browser a lot for searching, pin it to the top of the application list in Search. Press and hold or right-click the application and choose Pin.
  • To see more details for an item in the search results, press and hold or point to the item to see information like path, date modified and file type.
  • If files you expect to see don’t appear in the search results, they might be in locations where Search isn’t looking. For info about adding locations to the search index, see Indexing and Search in Windows 8.

To change search settings

You can change the applications that appear in Search and delete the search history that’s saved by Windows.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you’re using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, click Settings, then click Change PC settings)
  2. Choose Search. 

Note: Deleting your Windows search history doesn’t delete the search history that particular applications save. For information about deleting search history in an application, look on the application developer’s website or in help for that application.

For info about searching in File Explorer, see Search for files in File Explorer.


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