Windows: Searching for files

Windows: Searching for files

I’ve been looking for an SwiftSearch alternative that I can install with one Scoop command and have found something that’s not perfect, but good enough. I haven’t considered tools that resemble “grep” and search the contents inside of files. There are plenty of those available, many with great UI, and almost all of them can be found on Scoop, but I’ll skip that topic for now.

At the end, I chose WizFile, but after using it for a while, it’s noticeably “slower” than SwiftSearch, so I’m going to try to set up a scoop installation for SwiftSearch or somehow to force installing SwiftSearch using scoop.

I think SwiftSearch is still the first choice and I’m planning to try to revive it by incorporating it into the Scoop bucket. If this effort fails, my backup plan is the use of WizFile in Windows. Regarding command-line search, fzf is considered the best option.


Without a doubt, the most well-known tool is Everything. Although it is not open-source, it is completely free of charge, which is why it is so popular. Overall, it is a solid tool, installable with Scoop, but personally, it doesn’t quite align with my preferences.

What I dislike about it is that it creates an index and tries to run constantly in the background, even though NTFS search is already quite fast. I prefer not having anything resident. This is actually why I did not originally favor it.

When it comes to searching for contents within files, like grep, it does support it but it is extremely slow, as expected, as it does not create an index for it. I do not see the need for creating an index at all.


WizFile is a almost perfect SwiftSearch alternative available in Scoop. I don’t like that it has quite prominent donation-nag in the corner, but it’s manageable.

It can stay resident in memory and constantly update its database, but that option, like everything else, can be nicely adjusted to the user’s liking. So being resident in this case isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I think this is the best alternative I’ve found.

To get rid of the donation-nag, you gotta pay for a supporter-code which is only valid for one year and only for one computer. I don’t know what this is if it’s not a license, but their argument is that it’s not impoverishing the free version - except it is, by displaying the nag. Regardless, it’s not too annoying but it’s not fair.


junegunn/fzf is a command-line fuzzy finder, installable with Scoop, and it’s amazing. Its unique feature is its “fuzzy matching” capability, which allows users to search for items using incomplete or partially spelled words. It lacks a GUI, but it’s still very solid, and I consider it a good alternative to SwiftSearch.

Still a Champ: SwiftSearch

My favorite tool used to be SwiftSearch, which is great for searching NTFS drives in real-time. However, the main problem with it is that it’s not available on Scoop, which makes installation a hassle.

Uspeo sam da ga downloadujem ovom komandom:

Invoke-WebRequest -UserAgent "Wget" -Uri "" -OutFile swiftsearch.exe

Toliko je pogodniji od alternativa da stvarno želim da automatizujem njegovu instalaciju. Pokušaću da predložim u Scoop, pa ćemo videti kako to ide.

Other Fruitless Attempts


Locate32 sounds like what I’m looking for, but it’s a no-go. It hasn’t been updated since 2012 and isn’t available on Scoop. I was hoping to give it a shot though, because I’m really feeling deprived and unfulfilled.

Even though it started up fine, it had some trouble reading from the database it generates. Actually, it doesn’t work exactly like SwiftSearch, which constantly reads and updates its file table, but instead it creates the database once and then just retrieves and rebuilds it when the user needs it. That’s how the original Linux tool locate and its companion updatedb work. Either way, it didn’t deliver, so I gotta let it go.


UltraSearch is another option, but it’s not available in Scoop or Winget. It’s not open-source, so there’s no reason for me to switch from SwiftSearch. It looks great and is completely free. You can download the portable version from this direct link. However, when it comes to real use and performance, it’s actually slower than SwiftSearch. It’s hard to believe, I know.


Searchmyfiles is part of the respected nirtools package and you can install it from official Scoop buckets, but not the main one. However, when I tried to install it, I got an “Hash check” error, so I decided not to use it.

Actualy, the real reason I don’t use it is much more rational - the whole UI just doesn’t make sense to me. There are also few other things that drive me crazy: you have to select the disk before doing any actual search; it’s really weird procedure to stop the current search; package is not just one exe-file, but several files, etc. Sure, it has a duplicate files search feature, but in every other way, SwiftSearch beats it hands down.

NTFS-Search is ancient history, aka from 2017, but I even gave this tool a try. I downloaded the latest version with the command: Invoke-WebRequest -UserAgent "Wget" -Uri "" -OutFile ntfs-search.exe. And you won’t believe it, this “granpa” actually works. In fact, it almost works great, but it still lags in performance behind SwiftSearch. And it still took me 3 minutes to figure out where to click to load the NTFS table, I also couldn’t immediately understand how to save my settings, etc. The good news is that it works and it’s genuinely open-source.

I’ll mention separately TFind because it is properly maintained but it’s exclusively a command-line tool, and in that domain we have fzf already. Various other tools I’ve tried, such as ntfsfastfind-x64 and NTFS-Search.1.2.3, either don’t work or I don’t understand how they work.

Windows: Searching content inside files

Decided to use ugrep and dnGrep

Classic Grep inside command-line

I rarely use pure ‘grep’ except after piping the result of another command.

  • Genivia/ugrep is ultra fast C++ command-line replacement grep with interactive TUI in command-line and fuzzy search. Faster than ripgrep, sift or anything else.

  • BurntSushi/ripgrep is respecting .gitignore and is very fast, writtern in Rust

  • sift powerful alternative written in Go, but slower than ripgrep

  • arsham/blush is command-line grep with colors

A Grep Tool with a User Interface

I’ve mostly been using Total Commander for these purposes lately, but it’s always handy to have a tool with more advanced options just in case.

date 04. Jan 2022 | modified 03. Feb 2023
filename: Windows » Searching for Files