While Windows Explorer has improved considerably in the last few years, even the Windows 7 version may leave you feeling that finding files on your computer is a cumbersome, difficult process. Especially if you have files spread across several folders and drives. There are a lot of Windows Explorer replacements out there, but FileMind is certainly one of the best.
What It Does
FileMind is a free tool that allows you to search for files incredibly fast.It is designed to resemble a browser window. After downloading, installing and launching the program, you’ll no doubt see the similarities. There’s an address bar across the top, quick filtering links along the right (similar to the cloud-style tags often used online) and a large, open window in the middle.
To find a file, begin by selecting one or more of the filters along the right. For example, if you know you’re searching for a Microsoft Word document, you might select the “.docx” filter. Or if you are looking for something you modified in the past week, select the “Week” filter. What happens then is impressive—in a matter of seconds, FileMind will filter all the files on your computer, displaying only those that match your filter in the main window. It’s quick and it’s accurate. What’s more, you can apply multiple filters to drill down further, making it that much easier to find what you’re looking for.
You can also search by name directly in the address bar. Like many browsers, it will display matching search results in real type as you type.
As advertised, it’s fast. I was able to find every file I looked for with incredible speed and impressive ease of use. Once you understand how the program works, finding virtually anything on your computer should be a cake walk.
The program costs nothing, is virus-free and is functional. Not bad at all, particularly considering that it’s still considered a beta.
First, it is still a beta program. While I didn’t encounter a single hiccup in my testing, your mileage may vary. As is always the case with beta versions, this is not yet a polished, fully finished product. It may misfire from time to time.
The FileMind website encourages new users to “skip the training and the manual,” explaining that “if you can use a web browser, you already know how to use FileMind.” However, the experience isn’t quite that smooth the first time you launch the program. The interface is clean and visually appealing, but it isn’t as clear as it could where to go from there. Perhaps the reason they encourage skipping the user manual is because there isn’t one. You’ll find no “Help” menu to introduce you to your new tool. You’re on your own, there.
FileMind is a solid program that truly offers something valuable to Windows 7 users, and it’s free. It may still be in beta, but if you feel Windows Explorer falls short and you feel comfortable diving into new programs without so much as glancing at a tutorial, this is a tool well worth checking out if you are looking for a faster way to search for files.
Still not convinced? Check out the video below to see the application in action.