Everything – fast and powerful file search utility

everything_icon I noticed Everything reviews pacing through plenty of tech blogs lately and downloaded it to try at leisure. I was always quite incompatible with search utilities and preferred to keep stuff where I can find it.

Until I had occasion to try Everything and it suddenly threw me in pure file search bliss adoption.

File search theory

There are two basic approaches to search:

  1. as it happens – you start search and whatever utility or file manager you use crawls around to find fitting results;
  2. index – software runs in background at all times and creates database of files that is used for searches.

Latter provides faster searches but has reputation to be total drag on system resources.

Everything provides all benefits of second approach without any usual downsides of indexing.

What it does

On startup Everything does perform an indexing routine. However I have no idea what kind of magic they used but it is blazing fast. Took it about 20 seconds to completely index two of my (messy) hard drives and external (thus slow) drive on top.


So it has all benefits of index-type search while extremely fast index routine is performed with speed that beats browse-type searches. Awesome.

Interface is minimalistic type-to-find. In best traditions of Nirsoft and Sysinternals utilities.


Everything supports search by:

  • masks;
  • in specific paths;
  • some boolean operators;
  • regular expressions (!).

App is very tweakable:

  • extensive operation and inclusion/exclusion options;
  • which can be invoked from command line as well.


  • only works with NTFS volumes;
  • doesn’t index file contents;
  • indexing network drives requires additional server/client setup.


Tiny, freeware, powerful utility with excellent performance, light resources usage and completely portable version available. Only using it for a short time but it is seriously one of best small utilities I had seen in recent months.

Home http://www.voidtools.com/

Download http://www.voidtools.com/download.php

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  • Rick #

    Rarst, I concur with your findings on this file search utility... I have found it to be the fastest out there. I use it all of the time. Just wish it could search FAT volumes as well...
  • Rarst #

    @Rick I more or less moved to NTFS exclusively... About five years later than most of the world but still. :)
  • Rick #

    Rarst, Did the same here; however, still run into PC's and networks where FAT is common. "Everything" is one of my favorite apps!
  • KTecNet® #

    Nice one, I Like this little search tool.
  • Rarst #

    @KTecNet Glad you like it and thanks for link. :) Hope you readers will like it as well.
  • Iggi #

    "However I have no idea what kind of magic they used but it is blazing fast." That is a special street magic and also reason why it is locked to NTFS only. It reads NTFS structures in bulk into memory and then parses them.
  • Rarst #

    @Iggi It could as well rip time-space continium. :) Tricks that go into software that beats competition by giant margin are usually too boring for end-user. Anyway Everything is great example of what is possible when stepping out of generic realm.
  • Best | Rarst.net #

    [...] Everything – redefines file search. Lightning speed and powerful filtering improve file managing as much as inventing file managers itself did in the past. [...]
  • The DataRat #

    The Vista-haters can say what they want, but indexing in XP actually SLOWS DOWN the search utility ! Microsoft drastically improved search in Vista. Indexing isn't a negative in Vista like it has been in XP. That said, Everything is fantastic. For starters: Default indexing on Vista doesn't include much of the hard drive's contents (e.g., Program Files). Whereas, Everything includes ...well, everything ! Plus you can perform some boolean search. Google Desktop search has some interesting and useful features. And, as mentioned, Microsoft dramatically improved Vista's native search over XP's. Yet neither are as good as Everything ! The DataRat .
  • Rarst #

    @DataRat Well, I heard plenty of bad things about indexing in Vista as well. No personal opinion, XP user here. I've tried Google Desktop but it was also heavy on resources and I didn't like results much. It is most interesting for distributed search over local network.
  • The DataRat #

    My experience with XP indexing is the same as your's. But on Vista have found it works well without slowing either the search or the machine down. Only thing: As mentioned, the default indexing isn't inclusive of your entire hard drive. This can be changed, but Microsoft ~doesn't~ recommend it. I changed the defaults so that Vista also indexes Program Files. Haven't noticed the slightest slowdown having done so. Vista searches with indexing are faster than XP searches with indexing turned off. This on laptops with 5200-rpm hard drives and 2-gHz CPU. ( My main machine is a 64-bit Dell with 4-gigs of RAM. ) But, again, Everything is superior. I only use the Vista search box for it's convenience ...being quickly available in the task bar or an Explorer window. The DataRat .
  • Rarst #

    @DataRat I remapped Win+F to Everything with qliner hotkeys. Really convenient.
  • SearchMyFiles – flexible files and their duplicates search | Rarst.net #

    [...] It is not inferior to similar utilities, but comparing to those that make use of indexing (like Everything) it definitely feels [...]
  • Joseph #

    This is a really nice tool. I downloaded it after I tried getting Vista's search to delete all files with (1) in it's name in a certain folder for an hour... Amazingly fast.
  • Rarst #

    @Joseph Yeah, Vista is not really known for good search implementation. When it just came out disabling search indexing there was almost mandatory to get computer moving.